By RACHAEL FREY, SILVIA PIKAL and SHAUNA MCGINN
PANEL OF JUDGES
Food Blogger, @FoodKarmaBlog
Food Writer, @elizaboothy
Owner and host, Vine and Dine, @vineanddine
Hospitality Instructor and Former Restauranteur, @foodieforsure
Food Writer, @gwendolynmr
Chef Concierge, Westin Hotel, @stewart_cindy
Julie Van Rosendaal
Food Writer, @dinnerwithjulie
Calgarians take eating out seriously, and the city’s chefs and restaurateurs of all stripes continue to rise to the challenge with innovative dishes that keep us coming back for more. The Where To Dine Awards are our effort to guide you to some of the very best the city has to offer, and we’re certain an unforgettable dining experience is awaiting you within city limits.
But, don’t take our word for it. We assembled a panel that includes many of Calgary’s top food writers and influencers to give you the critics’ choice for each category, and they also chose the restaurants that received our top honours, Restaurant of the Year and Best New Restaurant.
In addition, we’ve come up with some editor’s picks and local favourites to make sure you’ll be united with your perfect meal — whether that’s pine mushroom and stinging nettle risotto with parsnip milk, or a big ol’ hunk of steak medium rare.
RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR: BRIDGETTE BAR
Our judging panel declared Bridgette Bar the overall winner as Restaurant of the Year thanks to their inventive menu, artful décor and exceptional service. Set in a historic brick warehouse with a mid-century modern theme, they make use of a large wood-burning grill and oven for their dishes. There’s something for every craving, from seasonal vegetables to pizza and pasta, and an array of creative small and large plates. “Even with an ever-changing menu, it never misses the mark,” says Mike Morrison. There’s also a diverse selection of cocktails, wines and beers on tap to pair with your plates. While the menu is frequently updated, some of the cherished and lasting items include the garlic bread (one of Where Calgary’s 25 Favourite Dishes last year), braised rabbit on toast and the epic banana pie. “Nowhere in the world will you find a more decadent and delicious dessert,” says Ryan Massel. “Served on a pretzel crust, this sky-high pie made with rum caramel and spiced custard gives your palate everything it’s ever wanted.”