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Where to Eat at Calgary’s Top Attractions

By CAROLINE GREEN

Sky 360 restaurant in the Calgary Tower. Photo Courtesy of Sky 360

You might already know of these places as some of the must-see spots in Calgary, but did you know they also have some of the must-eat restaurants? Here are some dining hot spots within attractions you won’t want to miss.

Selkirk Grille at Heritage Park
Open year-round just steps in front of the gate to Heritage Park is a restaurant that chef de cuisine Tobias Larcher says he hopes inspires “a Canadian feeling.” Larcher and his team have access to four on-site gardens, an indoor cultivator for year-round micro-greens, and a beehive for fresh honey. For fall 2017, the all-Canadian menu includes house-cured and brined brisket, a campfire s’mores cake, perogies, bannock, homemade beef jerky, elk bolognaise, and a proud favourite of Larcher’s: Caesar crab cakes. Larcher says the kitchen tries to incorporate at least one ingredient from the garden in every dish, such as handpicked strawberries in their berry crumble, or fresh honey for a crème brûlée, to “bring the park back to its roots.” The list of fresh herbs, fruits, and veggies from the garden is long, but includes mint, lavender, tarragon, edible flowers, saskatoon berries, tomatoes, and beets. All other menu items are sourced as locally as possible. Austrian-born Larcher says that travelling the world has shaped his values as a chef, including a passion to push for locally-grown product. “This is what we are,” he says. “I’ve learned that when you live in one place, don’t try to get items from elsewhere. Canada is so big, and it has so much. We take things that are traditional and put a spin on it.”
•1900 Heritage Dr SW, 403-268-8607. heritagepark.ca

Sky 360 in the Calgary Tower
At a staggering 155-metres above street-level, this landmark’s restaurant truly offers a view from the top. Sky 360 makes a full rotation every 45 minutes during lunch service and every hour at dinner to show off views of the city and Rocky Mountains. Though it used to be known as a fine dining staple, general manager Nasser Awada says the restaurant has changed its approach. “While the menu can appeal to many foodies in the city, it is also comfortable and accommodating. We want it to be a more relaxed, fine-casual approach. We’re even appealing to families a lot more by bringing in a kids’ menu.” Awada says that a lot of the cuisine draws from Canadian techniques, with everything made in-house and a focus on local products including pork from 4K Farms in Swalwell, AB, beer from Wild Rose Brewery and Village Brewery, and Canadian wines. “We’re such an iconic piece of the city,” says Awada. “It makes sense to offer as much local support as we can. Sky 360 is a Canadian atmosphere.”
•101 9 Ave SW, 403-532-7966. sky360.ca 

The Social Eatery by Roger Mooking at Telus Spark
Foodies may recognize the charismatic celebrity chef Roger Mooking from Food Network Canada, but his most recent endeavour takes him back to his Alberta roots. Mooking says his challenge was to circumvent the deep-fried, carnival-style stigma that many high-volume environments are posed with. He came up with The Social Eatery at Telus Spark, which caters to all dietary restrictions, ages, and diverse demographics with approachable food, good value, and a social environment where guests are encouraged to meander, talk, and see their food being freshly prepared. Mooking encourages guests to add a twist to their meal via their unique condiment selection. “Whether you like tamarind and hot sauce, or ketchup and mustard, you can do that,” he says. Everything is house-made, including spices such as chimichurri and, Japanese furikake dust. The food puts a global twist on home cooking with dishes like the pull-apart grilled chicken paratha and the the ham and cheese sandwich made with prosciutto and Spanish manchego cheese. Any items not made in-house are from local suppliers including Spolumbo’s sausages, coffee from Phil and Sebastian, and croissants and baguettes from Manuel Latruwe. “Because the community feeds us, we want to make sure we feed back the community,” he says. “The very nature of serving food is a compassionate act of socializing and giving.”
•220 St. George’s Dr NE, 403-817-6800. sparkscience.ca

 

Club Sandwich at The Social Eatery at Telus SPARK. Photo Courtesy of The Social Eatery

 

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