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pubs

4 Reasons We Love Canmore’s Restaurants

October 18, 2016
By Where writers

Restaurants in Canmore pair food with great prices, open kitchens, international tastes and mountain views.

Canmore dining, where to eat in Canmore

Canmore’s pubs have unbeatable lunch specials.

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Canmore Cafes & Restaurants to Try this Fall

By Where Staff

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Blissful Baking

Little bursts of heaven: delectable handmade fruit and chocolate pâtisseries and viennoiseries at Canmore’s Le Fournil. This authentic French bakery offers daily specialty breads and pastries; Saturday’s three flavours of pain Méditérranéen are local favourites. We also love their luscious fresh fruit tarts.

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Where to Eat & Drink in Jasper this Summer

By Where Staff

Jasper has many delicious restaurants (check out our Jasper Dining Guide for more extensive options by category). Here are some of our favourites:

Photo: Courtesy of Cassios

Photo: Courtesy of Cassios

Italian dining delights include:

  • Orso Trattoria is the new northern Italian restaurant at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. Their Osso Bucco is a standout dish – this tender veal Milanese specialty is marinated for 24 hours, red wine braised and served on saffron risotto. “I’ve never seen a single bite left behind,” says Trattoria manager Virginia Letourneau. Their antipasti selection includes cured meats and cheeses from Italy.
  • Cassios Italian Restaurant is the namesake of a family that’s been in the restaurant business for 60+ years, and offers more delicious Italian dining. Tomato sauce, from an old family recipe, incorporates ripe California tomatoes, oregano, garlic and Italian parsley; it’s the staple ingredient in their classic Pomodoro spaghetti and Pescatore linguini. “The secret to great flavours is not to overcook,” advises owner/chef Mike Cassio.

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3 Places to get Great Food & Beer in Canmore

Photo: Courtesy of The Grizzly Paw Brewing Company

Photo: Courtesy of The Grizzly Paw Brewing Company

By Where Staff

Canmore has a great dining scene. Check out three of our favourites below and keep an eye on our dining blog through April for extensive coverage of the Canmore Uncorked food festival!

Brewery Tour with Benefits

Grizzly Paw Brewing Company beers have a solid local following. See why during Friday to Sunday tours of their 20,000-square foot Canmore microbrewery. Learn how hops, malt, mash, wort and tun become your favourite beer, and sample their tasty regular and seasonal brews.

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Hot Dining: Purebred British at The Oxley

Yorkville can be one of the more intimidating neighbourhoods in Toronto, what with its lavish hotels and super-chic boutiques. The Oxley is a welcoming oasis in the midst of all this luxury. Inside a fire engine–red Victorian house you’ll find a quintessentially English pub complete with feature fireplace, lots of leather and murals depicting “ye olde fox hunt.” The pub shares a pedigree with its slightly sportier sister space the Queen and Beaver; count on it to deliver refined yet familiar comforts in the form of lamb sirloin with olive ketchup ($28), dry-aged rib-eye with stilton cheese ($38), and bar favourites like a roast beef sandwich ($17) and fish and chips ($17).

8 Great Montreal Bars and Pubs for Beer Lovers

By RED HUNT

Fourquette Forchette (Photo: Red Hunt)

Montreal has a burgeoning beer scene and is home to more than its fair share of Canadian brewpubs and microbreweries offering everything from Belgian-style ales to thirst-quenching wheat beers and savoury stouts. There are literally hundreds of flavourful local beers to choose from, making a quest for great beers a somewhat daunting task in this city. (more…)

Hot Dining: A Taste of the Highlands

Highlander Pub is a favourite for scotch lovers.

Located in the ByWard Market, the Highlander Pub offers something a little different from a traditional pub. Besides a unique selection of microbrews and imported draughts, this Scottish establishment is Ottawa’s only gold level single malt scotch bar (with an entire wall devoted to their scotch selection, it’s no wonder they’ve nabbed this honour). Live music Wednesday to Saturday nights and some traditional dishes like bangers and mash (with sausages made in house) round out the experience. 15 Rideau St., 613-562-5678.

Favourite things to do in Saskatchewan

Andrew Konoff's favourite Saskatchewan scene, near the Box Mine at Uranium City

In his role as the Saskatchewanderer, Andrew Konoff has learned a thing or two about fun things to see and do in Saskatchewan. (Go here to read our full Travel Tuesday profile on Andrew.) Below is a list of some of his favourite activities from across Canada’s breadbasket. (more…)

Hot Dining: The Halifax Pub Experience

The rooftop patio at Your Father's Moustache is a summer hot spot.

•    The Maxwell’s Plum on Grafton Street: Large sidewalk patio, 60+ beers on tap, sports on big-screen TVs, kitchen open until 2am.

•    Your Father’s Moustache on Spring Garden Road: Live music, rooftop patio, daily food specials.

•   The Red Stag Tavern on Lower Water Street: Top-notch fish and chips, rooftop patio, located in the
historic Alexander Keith’s Brewery building.

Nightlife: St. Patrick’s Day Hot Spots

•  Durty Nelly’s on Argyle Street: Traditional pub, serving Irish grub and imported beers.
•  The Red Stag on Lower Water Street: Friendly vibe, wide selection of beer on  tap, located in historic Brewery Market building.
•  The Split Crow on Granville Mall: One of the city’s most beloved pubs, live music, rollicking atmosphere.
•  The Old Triangle on Prince Street: Owned by folk-music legend Brian Doherty, live music, Irish beers aplenty.
•  Pogue Fado on Barrington Street: Hip young bar, party atmosphere, live music.

Brew Pubs of the Canadian Rockies

It was a tough assignment, but I was up to the task. So, I set out to visit the Canadian Rockies’ three brew pubs. Friends and I sampled their food, quaffed their house-made beers and filed this report. By Jack Newton

Beers at Banff Ave Brewing Co

Banff Avenue Brewing Co

Last spring I watched as the owners of Banff Avenue Brewing Co reinforced the floor with steel, installed stainless brewery tanks and converted a high-end restaurant into Banff’s first brew pub. The results are impressive. Features of the previous restaurant remain such as a frosted glass ‘wall of wine’, recycled fir bar and big windows that open onto the main street balcony. New elements include soft leather seats, pool table and open-to-view brewery with tours on request.

Banff Avenue Brewing Co retains the fabulous kitchen of its predecessor and employs culinary director David Husereau to work with on-site chef Scott Kelly on menu detail. So, making our first dining choices was easy; Spiny Lobster Roll is one of Dave’s signature dishes. My server assured me that although it’s an appetizer, “the roll is big enough to make a meal.”

Elegantly presented on a long skinny plate with artistically drizzled sauce, the col-ourful, bursting-with-flavour Lobster Roll is so pretty that it’s a shame to break apart. “I like the contrast between the crunchy outside and the creamy inside,” remarked my dining companion Katie.

We also sampled the Crispy Buffalo Chicken Sandwich. Served on ciabatta with hot sauce, cheddar, bacon and blue cheese dressing, this dish also proved to be a tasty selection. Fries arrived hot and crisp (and soft on the inside) in a butcher paper lined, metal coil cone.

Three of Banff Avenue Brewing Co owners are also partners of Jasper Brewing Co, a brew pub I have long admired for their excellent beers (more on this below). So, my expectations of their Banff brews were high. I was not disappointed. My pint of Reverend Rundle Stout was a nitrogen-infused dark ale reminiscent of Guinness, but milder and easier to drink.

Banff Avenue Brewing Co produces seven beers on-site, each with a distinctive combination of malted barley and hops. The common denominator is Banff’s mineral-rich, glacier fed water that the brewmaster has discovered is best just as it comes from the tap. The only treatment required to make good beer is the removal of chlorine.

Meatloaf at Banff Ave Brewing Co

Jasper Brewing Co

I have been a fan of Jasper Brewing Co for years. I enjoy dropping by for a pint of their fresh and tasty beer that’s piped to the taps directly from their lower level, visible-through-glass brewery. A tour (available on request) provides an education on beer ingredients and the brewing process. It also confirms this brew pub’s dedication to their craft.

The night before my ‘official’ reconnaissance for this article, I took a seat at the bar to watch the Oilers play hockey on one of their many plasmas. Light Honey Coriander Ale served with lime quenched a powerful thirst created from a day of work. Next to me sat Paul from Phoenix, a burly fellow with flowing beard who had been travelling by motor home for months. “More like a long pub crawl,” he noted. Remembering that I had research to conduct, I asked Paul if he liked his beer. He responded with a thumbs-up and a nod of his head.

The next day my business partner Glenn and I took a seat at a comfortable, window-side booth with main street and mountain view. On the advice of our server we ordered Monkey Fingers, crispy chicken tenders crusted in banana panko (Japanese bread crumbs); curry and sweet chili sauces contributed to the flavour. We also tried the Grilled Salmon and Fresh Veggie Sandwich, a breaded filet on ciabatta with fresh dill tartar, cucumbers, peppers, lettuce and red onion, and a side of outstanding sweet potato fries.

The food was good, and (as usual) the beer was great. The Rock Hopper India Pale Ale was pleasingly bitter; extra hops provide its characteristic taste. Their Honey Bear, made with German hops and clover honey from Canada’s Okanagan, is a brew I recommend if you like a beer with big flavour. We enjoyed the first two pints so much that we ordered a third. Liftline Cream Ale is brewed with British malt and hops, and poured with nitrogen to give it an easy drinking and creamy taste. Beers are served in a signature glass embossed with the distinctive Jasper Brewing Co logo.

Interior of Grizzly Paw Brewing Company

Grizzly Paw Brewing Co

Unlike its Banff and Jasper counterparts, Canmore’s Grizzly Paw Brewing Company is a designated micro brewery. Beers from their two-storey, back-of-the-restaurant brewery are both tap poured on-site and available at local liquor stores (their bottling plant is in a separate building). The Paw is also unique insofar as they brew sodas as well as beer. These carbonated fruit drinks plus root beer and cream soda are surprisingly delicious, not as sweet or col-oured as you might expect.

The Grizzly Paw opened in 1996, making it the Canadian Rockies’ original brew pub. The pine finished restaurant has a bar, dining section and patio with overhead heaters, fireplace and barbeque on the main floor. The deck is great, but in winter I recommend eating upstairs in the cozy loft with vaulted ceiling, pool table, fireplace and four big screens. Both levels have views of Main Street, the historic United Church and Three Sister Mountains. Open mic night (from 10 pm) is Tuesday; grab the guitar to indulge your inner entertainer.

My dining companion Warren and I were hungry. So, I ordered the blackboard special, hearty slices of spiced blackened steak topped with cambozola (brie and blue cheese) served with fresh vegetables and a salad comprised of more ingredients than anticipated. Warren ordered the steak sandwich, a tender New York cut bigger than the six ounces advertised. The chef was happy to make the meal gluten free as my friend requested.

Since Warren adheres to a diet free of wheat and barley, the burden of sampling Grizzly Paw beers feel entirely on my shoulders. I chose the Dark Flight, a selection of Rutting Red (Scottish style amber), IPA (made with four varieties of hops), Coffee Stout (seasonal beer) and English-like Big Head Nut Brown, a surprisingly mild beer given its intense color that was my favourite of the four.

Grizzly Paw pours eight housemade beers, two of which are seasonal brews. Above the bar is an intriguing collection of over 100 mugs. Each belongs to a member of the Mug Club; $35 annually gets participants $1 off pints anytime and invitations to tasting parties at a place where everyone knows your name.

Hot Dining: Cheers!

Durty Nelly's

•    Durty Nelly’s, Sackville Street: Irish pub, imported beers like Harp and Smithwick’s, plus local microbrews.

•    Split Crow, Granville Street: The quintessential Maritime pub: historic setting, daily live music, friendly crowds, daily beer specials.

•    Fife & Drum), Upper Water Street: Smart-casual Scottish-style pub; Stella Artois, Guinness and Heineken on tap.

•    Brussels Restaurant & Brasserie), Granville Street: Belgian cuisine; huge imported beer selection: Leffe Bruin, Chimay Première Red Label, Mort Subite Kriek Lambic and many others.

•   Old Triangle, Prince Street: Irish pub, co-owned by singer Brian Doherty, “Guinness & Oysters” special on Wednesdays.