Reinventing Fine Dining in Calgary

Reinventing Fine Dining in Calgary

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Food & Dining

Reinventing Fine Dining in Calgary

Source: Travel Alberta

The vibe at Calgary's Charcut is cool and edgy but the food is rustic and comforting, fresh from local farms and cooked from scratch.

It's hard not to choose my usual faves - chef Connie De Sousa's famed mortadella, studded with pistachios and stuffed into the pigs' heads she debones herself, or the tender spit-roasted prime rib her partner chef John Jackson coaxes to tender perfection over a smoky wood fire. But I opt for the double-cut heirloom pork chop with creamy cheddar grits, and we snack on a platter of house-made charcuterie and warm pretzels with cheesy dip before the main event arrives.

Calgary Dining Comes of Age
I'm not exactly sure when the sea changed, but this restaurant is one new spot that's given Calgary a reputation as a top dining destination.

While it's still a prairie city where meat trumps fish - Alberta beef deserves its legendary reputation - there's been a restaurant explosion in the city. Creative, chef-driven concepts are grounded in local traditions and fresh Alberta ingredients.  

They may not always advertise the fact, but Calgary's best chefs make sure the pork is pastured, the boar is wild and the Saskatoon berries, morel mushrooms, yellow beets and heirloom potatoes are all locally grown.

While Charcut's meaty nose-to-tail menu satisfies the carnivore in me, there's more to taste along historic Stephen Avenue. It's a popular restaurant strip, where we wander from an oyster bar to a piano bar, with stops at a pub and a wine bar in between. The same innovative and sustainable vibe permeates the menus at top tables clustered along 17 Avenue and 4 Street.  

Yesterday, I couldn't resist the fat morel-topped burger at Model Milk, where Chef Justin Leboe reminded me that he grinds his own special cuts of local Spring Creek beef for the juicy patties and serves Poplar Bluff organic potatoes and Hotchkiss heirloom tomatoes. Heaven on a plate.

Catch the Vibe
Top chefs like Leboe are ditching the white tablecloths for lively, crowded, casual eateries and opening "second label" spots - suburban diners, trattorias, bistros and funky food trucks.

Much of what hits the plate is artisan-made, whether its Calgary's craft beers, house-smoked bacon or fresh buffalo mozzarella made with milk from Alberta herds.

It's a sign that dining here has come of age. The best local produce is on the plate, whether we splurge on a romantic dinner at Rouge, share a plate at Borgo or grab a porchetta sandwich at Boxwood in the park.

The food here is serious, bold and unconventional - completely Calgary.

EXPLORE ALBERTA

SAVOUR ALBERTA'S CRAFT BEER SCENE

Alberta’s fresh run glacier water and acres of farmland, knee-high with golden malt barley, is the perfect foundation for an exceptional craft beer scene.

EAST CENTRAL ALBERTA'S ROADSIDE ATTRACTIONS

Take a road trip through east central Alberta to see some of the country’s tastiest roadside attractions and sample some delicious regional fare.

CULINARY CREATURE COMFORTS

In Alberta, winter is synonymous with comfort food. Given our cultural roots, you’ll find delectable choices around the province, from hand-pinched pyrogies to elk medallions and forest mushrooms.

WINTER IN ALBERTA MEANS COMFORT FOOD

When winter sets in, Albertans turn to their pantries and root cellars to create hearty prairie fare, from bowls of steamy beet and cabbage borscht to tender beef stew.

APRÈS SKI IN THE CANADIAN ROCKIES

Après ski in the Canadian Rockies is about keeping the good times rolling. Meet friends for food, drinks or in the hot springs to reminisce about the day.
Alberta's Craft Beer Scene - From Grain to Glass

ALBERTA'S CRAFT BEER SCENE - FROM GRAIN TO GLASS

Nature gives Alberta the beginnings of the right stuff for making great ale – premium barley and wheat and perfect hard water. The craft beer scene here is booming.
Taste The Cultural Capital

TASTE THE CULTURAL CAPITAL

Explore the roots of Edmonton's eclectic food scene, from the ground up. A strong network of farmers' markets and community gardens means a real commitment to home-style artisan food.
Ethnic, Eclectic Edmonton Dining

ETHNIC, ECLECTIC EDMONTON DINING

Edmonton's eclectic restaurant scene seems to be growing organically - unique places where passionate chefs turn out everything from world class pastries to perfect pasta, often designed to share.
Farm Fresh Flavours Calgary Quisine

FARM FRESH FLAVOURS CALGARY CUISINE

There's nothing like exploring the local food scene. It's always fun to take a market tour or guided urban food hike through neighbourhood gourmet groceries where the city's top chefs shop.
Explore Edmonton's Eateries

EXPLORE EDMONTON'S EATERIES

With its deep ethnic and rural roots Edmonton celebrates its cultural diversity with down-to-earth, comforting prairie food - with a twist. See what the foodies are raving about.
Inspired Quisine in Calgary

INSPIRED CUISINE IN CALGARY

Calgary has come of age as a fine dining destination. Top chefs are choosing local ingredients with global appeal. The food is serious and bold but never pretentious.
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