By SHAUNA MCGINN
BE YOUR OWN BARTENDER
If there’s a place to learn how to make a proper drink it’s at Shelter YYC, where the ultra-cool vibe and unique style prove they’re at the cutting edge of cocktail connoisseurship. Shelter offers public classes on the rudiments — and, if you get that far, intricacies — of cocktail making, even for those who think they’re hopeless in the drink-crafting department. Sign up as an individual or with a group and learn the basics of putting together spirits with their respective mixes, as well as simple ways to get creative.
Photo courtesy Shelter YYC.
MODERN STEAK, PART TWO
This beloved Calgary steakhouse opened a second location mid-December in the Imperial Bank building, one of the prominent historical buildings on downtown’s Stephen Avenue. The restaurant’s first level is called Bar Modern, which has its own menu and unique atmosphere, while the second level houses the Modern Steak Calgarians know and love. Expect their stock of fresh Alberta beef locally sourced from family owned ranches on the menu. In addition to an excellent selection of steaks, find an array of seafood dishes and other complementary plates.
Photo courtesy Modern Steak.
Opened in the Beltline this past fall, this brewery boasts a 100 plus-seat taproom with floor-to-ceiling windows that reveal the magic happening in the brewing room just steps away. Joining Calgary’s impressive arsenal of over 30 craft breweries, Inner City has eight house-made beers on tap: four of them core brews, four seasonal. Their own creations include a hoppy blonde IPA called the Bridgelandia — named for Calgary’s Bridgeland neighbourhood — and a dark porter named after nearby Victoria Park.
Photo by Ryan Barr.
By RYAN MASSEL
The rainbow flag will be soaring in Calgary during the city’s annual Calgary Pride festivities from August 24 to September 3. Many local businesses are celebrating by serving up unique menu offerings to wet whistles and please palettes in support of the LGBT community, and a number of them are donating a portion of the proceeds to a variety of charities, including Camp fYrefly. Here’s a sneak peek at some of the delicious offerings and collaborations you’ll see during Calgary Pride!
Back by popular demand, Ollia Macarons & Tea will once again offer the wildberry pride macaron as well as two new unicorn macarons with mane colours to mimic the classic pride rainbow flag colours and the pink and blue of the transgender flag. A portion of sales from the macarons will go to Camp fYrefly.
Photo courtesy Ollia Macarons and Tea.
Available by pre-order only starting August 27, to be picked up August 31, you’ll be able to brighten up your mornings with Bagelino’s vibrant rainbow bagels. Don’t forget to pick up a tub of their limited edition vanilla cream cheese spread filled with colourful confetti!
Photo courtesy Bagelino’s.
Calgary’s iconic Crave Cupcakes, creatively decorated with vanilla buttercream rainbows and unicorns, will be available for 6-pack pre-order throughout pride week and individually in stores on parade day, September 2.
Photo courtesy Crave Cupcakes.
FIASCO GELATO LEATHER DADDY
Gelato lovers have spoken, and this year will see the return of an award-winning Pride Collaboration Gelato to Fiasco Gelato. The vanilla based “Leather Daddy” combines daddy’s soft side of fluffy housemade marshmallows with his dark side of licorice-flavoured jawbreakers. (Editor’s Note: Ryan Massel, aka local blogger Mr. Fabulous, created the Leather Daddy flavour in collaboration with Fiasco Gelato!)
Photo courtesy Fiasco Gelato.
PROUD N’ LOUD UTCA CHIMNEY CAKE
This traditional bread-like dough pastry straight from the streets of Budapest is baked in a way that gives it a crunchy caramel texture on the outside, keeping it soft and fluffy on the inside. It will be rolled in rainbow sprinkles, filled with vanilla soft serve, topped with Fruit Loops and boldly named “I am Proud ‘n Loud” at UTCA Chimney Cakes.
Photo courtesy UTCA.
SWEET RELIEF SUGAR COOKIE
You’ll have some extra pep in your step after snacking on these artfully decorated sugar cookies topped with royal icing and colourful sugar sprinkles or rainbows at Sweet Relief Pastries. Proceeds go to Camp fYrefly.
Photo courtesy Sweet Relief.
SPILL THE TEA FROM WILD TEA KOMBUCHA
Keep cool this pride with Wild Tea Kombucha’s small batch offering “Spill the Tea.” Brewed by hand, using pressed juice for bold flavours, this limited-edition kombucha (fermented tea) will offer a mix of fruity flavours and is perfect to enjoy alone or as a base for your pride-inspired cocktail. Now that’s the tea (wildteakombucha.com)!
Photo courtesy Wild Tea Kombucha.
Our panel of 10 judges had a difficult task this year due to the extremely high bar that is being set by Calgary’s restaurants. There was much rigorous debate before they narrowed it down to 12 stellar examples of the very best the city has to offer. Each of these restaurants (presented in alphabetical order) are well worth the time and offer something new to visitors to Calgary—they are all original to our city. We invite you to see for yourself what our judges are raving about.
Photo courtesy Anju restaurant.
By SILVIA PIKAL
Here are five cocktails we ordered again and again in 2017, and the dishes we like to enjoy with them. This is part of our bi-monthly food and drink series, which rounds up eats, drinks and food news!
Mimosas at Buttermilk Fine Waffles
Mimosas at Buttermilk Fine Waffles/Photo by Silvia Pikal.
Freshly squeezed orange juice is a must for breakfast and brunch. The team at Buttermilk Fine Waffles go through about 800 pounds of California navel oranges a week! They’ve recently stepped up their orange game by adding mimosas to the menu, which make use of those oranges and 3 oz of Prosecco. Pair your sweet drink with a savoury waffle like the green eggs and ham (poached eggs, maple smoked ham and aged cheddar).
Buttermilk Fine Waffles, 330 – 17 Ave SW, buttermilkfinewaffles.com (more…)
By MICHAELA RITCHIE and SILVIA PIKAL
Calgarians aren’t the only ones getting into the spirit of giving this season—many Calgary businesses have launched programs this December that give their customers a chance to give back. Consider supporting one of these local charitable diners the next time you step out. (more…)
By ELIZABETH CHORNEY-BOOTH
Procrastinate on planning a holiday party? These nick-of-time solutions will save the day! (Photo courtesy of Pixabay.)
Whether you’re entertaining clients and colleagues or catching up with friends, this time of year is prime party season. The holidays call for fun and frivolity around a dinner table or over a glass (or two) of cheer, but if you’re trying to put together a last-minute shindig, it can be difficult to navigate Calgary’s wide variety of wining and dining options. Whether you’re aiming to impress or just want to do some holiday socializing, there’s a spot in Calgary to help host a cheer-worthy celebration. (more…)
By SILVIA PIKAL
We’re lucky with the variety of restaurants that have opened in Calgary and area in the last few months, from French and Italian cuisine to a charcuterie and butchery shop you can stop at for lunch. Check out our favourite dishes from 5 new restaurants, the first post in our new bi-monthly food and drink series.
CARDINALE: MODERN ITALIAN RESTAURANT
Mezze maniche pasta at Cardinale/Photo by Silvia Pikal.
Housed in the historic Dafoe building in Victoria Park, Cardinale is a refresh and rebrand of La Vita é Bella restaurant. The new restaurant focuses on fresh pasta made in-house, hand-crafted cocktails and fine Italian wine. The space is beautiful; exposed brick, green velvet booths and a large bar greet you when you walk in. A short walk away from the Saddledome, it’s a favourite hang-out when the Flames play. (more…)
By GWENDOLYN RICHARDS
(Photo courtesy of Without Papers Pizza.)
The weather outside is frightful, but Calgary’s hot plates are so delightful! As the coldest months of the year approach, our favourite local dining destinations are turning up the heat—everything from cozy comfort foods to a hearty helping of spice. If you need to banish the chill, we recommend you peruse these menus. (more…)
By MICHAELA RITCHIE
Tuk Tuk Thai promises “fast and flavourful” authentic Thai cuisine to Calgarians, but they aren’t the only restaurant in town that serves up delicious meals on the fly! Check out our favourite local takeout restaurants below. (Photo courtesy of Tuk Tuk Thai.)
Life moves pretty fast—sometimes so fast that the only viable option out there for lunch or dinner is a dish served on the go. But if the idea of takeout leaves you cringing with memories of cardboard pizza and greasy burgers, never fear! Not all hope is lost when your city is full to bursting with delicious fast food options around every corner. Browse the takeout menus at our favourite speedy local eateries and taste for yourself! (more…)
By MICHAELA RITCHIE
Surprise cocktail, appetizer, entrée and desert options lend an extra hint of mystery to an already ominous concept at Dark Table. The dining room is completely dark… so you’ll just have to trust us that the dish pictured here was delicious. (Photo by Michaela Ritchie.)
Marveling over the artistry of a dish is usually half the fun when you go out to dine at an upscale downtown restaurant—just ask anyone with an Instagram account! But there’s a new dark horse saddling up in Calgary’s culinary scene with plans to turn the tables on local diners: Dark Table. It’s the first restaurant of its kind in our city, where the table (as well as everything on and around it) is shrouded in complete darkness for the duration of your meal. (more…)
By MICHAELA RITCHIE
Want to throw a feast back at the office? The Happy Chicken Dinner from The Nash and NOtaBLE is now available to order out. (Photo courtesy of NOtaBLE.)
We’ve all been there—seeking out a delicious mid-day meal, but pressed for time in the middle of the workday or between errands and meetings. It’s easy enough to hunt down the nearest McDonald’s or Tim Horton’s for a quick lunch fix, but if you’re in the mood for something a little more hearty or healthy, finding a quality meal on-the-go can certainly be a challenge. Whether you’re looking for take-out or dine-in, a solo meal or a speedy spot that is sure to impress, these local eateries are sure to feed you right! (more…)