Stirrings Around Calgary
John Catucci is an actor and writer who travels North America looking for great comfort food restaurants for his new program “Big Food Bucket List,” launched in May. He loves Calgary’s restaurants. Catucci dished with City Palate about dining in Calgary. Here’s what he said:
Calgary has one of the best food scenes in Canada. I love that new, interesting restaurants are always popping up. I’ve been to Calgary a bunch of times and I don’t think I’ve ever had a bad meal.
One of my new favourites is Monki Bistro. It’s doing fun takes on brunch classics and offers brunch all week long, so you don’t have to wait till the weekend. They make a brisket benedict with a prosecco hollandaise! So now you can have your prosecco by the glass (I might’ve had a few while I was there) AND you can eat it! Who doesn’t love brunch?
Another place I love is Calcutta Cricket Club. One step through the doors and you feel like you’ve been transported to India. There’s a tandoor oven and they make the most incredible tandoori chicken; it’s juicy, succulent, and spicy with the perfect amount of char around the edges. UNA is one of my favourite pizza restaurants in the country. It’s loud and busy so you always have to wait for a table, but it’s ALWAYS worth it. The pizza is like nothing I’ve ever had before; its thin crust is crispy, almost buttery.
Another favourite of mine is Holy Grill. There are a couple of locations in town and Calgary is better for it. It has a very chill vibe and amazing breakfast and lunch menus. It’s another Calgary restaurant that I have to visit every time I’m in town. The bacon avocado crisp is a delicious mess of a sandwich.
Want to taste the new Ruby Couverture? Calgary’s own Cococo Chocolatiers has it! Ruby is a new type of couverture 13 years in the making. It offers a totally new cocoa taste experience—intense fruitiness, fresh, with sour notes, and with no flavours or colours added. And it’s pink! Available at select Cococo stores and online at www.bernardcallebaut.com.
Irving’s Fresh Farm:Nicole and Alan Irving moved from the UK to start a new life in Alberta nearly 14 years ago. While Alberta beef is certainly among the best in the world, they still missed British pork products that they had come to love in England. So they started their own pork production company. Following a steep learning curve about how to raise pigs and produce quality pork products, they began selling at farmers’ markets and local restaurants. The Irvings now operate a full meat shop where they use simple, traditional English recipes to create their products, which are always made from scratch. Their facility is allergen friendly, as they do not use gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, nuts or MSG in any of their products. They have been delivering meat to Calgary for about eight years and now have their first brick-and-mortar location at Avenida Food Hall.
The Organic Box is entering its 10th year of delivering quality locally-sourced organic groceries across Alberta. You can now get everything from free-range, organic meats to farm-direct produce, locally made snacks and desserts to natural cleaning products and pantry supplies, all delivered to your home. When you shop at The Organic Box, you are supporting your community, economy, the planet and hundreds of local businesses. And we love local businesses!
Happiness never tasted so good – at the Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Festival, sponsored by Sobeys and Safeway Liquor. Enjoy samples from some of Calgary’s best restaurants and sip on amazing wines, spirits and beers from across the world October 18 and 19 at the Stampede Park BMO Centre. Craving more? Tickets on sale now! Visit www.rockymountainwine.com for more info.
Visit Fresh & Local Farm Market at Kitchen Theatre in the BMO Centre during the 2019 Calgary Stampede Snack on produce and products from 25 local growers and food artisans including fresh BC cherries, blueberries and raspberries, fresh salads, Mountain Rhino vegan donuts, Kruse’s cookies, Sabora’s chips and dip and Fiasco vegan gelato. Visit www.FreshandLocalFarmMarket.com.
WineTym Ltd. is uncorking a new web service for wine lovers. The premium, membership-based service connects wine enthusiasts to BC wineries and has enhanced and revolutionized the way tourists and locals can discover, save and plan their winery adventures. Memberships include access to beautiful virtual tours using drone technology, as well as discounts and other perks. A one-year membership is only $12 at winetym.com.
If you’re looking for THE lunch and après-whatever spot with a view, the Cliffhouse Bistro at Mt. Norquay is a renovated 1950s tea house with an exceptional summer menu. Serving up locally-sourced fare with a mountain casual feel, it’s where comfort food and good quality ingredients mingle. Honouring the tea-house history of the bistro, Mt. Norquay has partnered with Park Distillery to hand-craft tea-infused cocktails, affectionately referred to as “tea-tails.” The mid-mountain bistro is open seven days a week throughout the summer from 11 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Barbecues Galore is celebrating 40 years! With five locations across Canada (two here in Calgary,) BG offers the best selection of barbecues, indoor and outdoor fireplaces, patio furniture, and accessories. And the products are only a fraction of why we love them. BG is known for its Barbecue Butler expert assembly, delivery and installation team. Follow BG on Instagram at @BarbecuesGalore. PLUS, if you too were born in ’79 – submit a photo at
www.barbecuesgalore.ca and receive a $40 gift card.
Buffo Ristorante has made some changes to its programming and part of this is the monthly Sunday Supper series. Every month a different chef partners with Buffo’s chef, Michel Nop, to create a family-style dinner. The first dinner features Daniel Pizzaro from Teatro and will be held on April 28th. 6455 MacLeod Trail SW (located next to Saks Fifth Avenue at CF Chinook Centre). The evening will feature a three-course dinner served family style with additional wine pairings. To reserve, call (403) 351-2316 or go online www.buffocalgary.com/
Hotel Arts unveiled a new Poolside patio in June. The new urban oasis transports patrons to South Beach North. Dip and dine poolside with award-winning cuisine and cocktails in this hot spot featuring luxurious deck furnishings, fire-top tables, lush greenery, heated deck and a new patio bar.
Beermakers dinner at Oxbow. Calgary brewery Caravel and Oxbow Restaurant are collaborating for an evening of food and brew on July 25. Join a passionate team of beer enthusiasts and hear from Caravel Brewery founder Vlad Covali on beer tasting notes and their mission to revisit forgotten old-world beers. Caravel is unveiling a custom chef collaboration brew for the event. Be the one of the only in Calgary to taste this exclusive beer, this small batch collaboration will only be available for event attendees. Visit www.oxbowyyc.ca for tickets.
Two Penny’s chef, Mharlon Atienza, is taking creative license during Stampede and serving American style barbecue. The tea-smoked barbecue menu will include delicious eats like tea smoked ribs, brisket and Sichuan hot links, served with house-made milk buns. Enjoy this BBQ feast downstairs in the tea house for the full 10 days of July festivities, or in Two Penny when booking private parties or large group reservations. HOT TIP, Two Penny will be opening a patio space just in time for Stampede this year.
Twenty years after an ambitious and gregarious Greek immigrant opened his first restaurant in Calgary’s Market Mall, Calgary’s own OPA! of Greece opened its 100th store this spring. The new store resides at 511 – 500 Country Hills Blvd. NW and is partly owned by the franchise’s CEO, Dorrie Karras. Congratulations, Dorrie!
Canmore’s Beamer’s Coffee Bar has opened its third location at the new Shops of Canmore. The new store, aimed at elevating the brand after 25 successful years in business, was designed and overseen by owner Michael Beamer’s own step-daughter, Stephanie Martin, of Martin Lee Design.
Vintage Group is thrilled to be reopening Butcher and the Baker with a rebrand and new menu. This popular breakfast and lunch spot’s new menu includes breakfast sandwiches, breakfast tacos, premade bowls, lunch paninis and lunch bowls. The menu items are sourced from local producers and the egg sandwich offers a competitive advantage with its pan-fried fresh egg made on the spot — unlike other grab-and-go food joints in the downtown core.
Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant’s fresh new summer menu is now available to the delight of Calgary’s foodies. New creations like Beretta Farms beef tenderloin, maple-butterglazed pork duo, soy-sake marinated sable fish, and all-time favourites alongside plenty of local produce, combined with new appetizers like the watermelon and cashew cheese (A new favourite) creates a stunning fine dining experience. Pair the menu with refreshing summer drinks for an extra layer of flavour complexity. Also, BVR’s Cork & Cuisine Dinner Club introduces its members to Calgary’s ever-changing, expanding — and improving — culinary scene. Taking the world’s most beloved cuisine into the fine-dining realm, the series aims to create a masterfully executed four-course dinner that is meticulously paired with the most enticing wines available in Alberta. When? The third Wednesday of every month (Next chapters July 17th and Aug. 21) Visit www.bvrrestaurant.com for details & tickets.
It’s the season of sunshine and Cravings Market Restaurant has launched some new summer creations to enjoy during these good times. A satisfying ahi tuna poke to start, quinoa-crusted salmon, five-peppercorn-crusted NY striploin a Mediterranean-inspired shrimp pizza, and more. There is sure to be something that will satisfy any craving! Stroll through the market stations, interact with the chefs and watch your meal be prepared before your eyes! Check out these new and all time favourites dishes at Cravings Market Restaurant on 7207 Fairmount Dr. www.cravingsmarketrestaurant.com.
On Sunday, July 7, head down to the Central Library for an AeroPress event hosted by Prairie Coffee Collective and Eight Ounce Coffee. Watch some of Canada’s all-star baristas and coffee professionals go head-to-head in an AeroPress competition, or sign up to compete yourself! The night will conclude with the AeroPress Movie.
Looking to score some new coffee gear but don’t want to break the bank? Eight Ounce will be hosting a garage sale on Saturday, Sep. 7 from 10am- 4pm in its warehouse, selling gently used and open-box items. Head over to events.8oz.ca for more details.
Congratulations to Calgary’s Partake Brewing for its win in the “hopeful” category at the 2019 SIAL Canada Awards. Using a proprietary process, Partake creates a craft brewery quality ultra-low calorie, non-alcoholic ale that appeals to people on specialty diets who still want to enjoy a great-tasting beer. SIAL is the world’s biggest network of trade fairs dedicated to food and drink. Visit www.drinkpartake.com for more information.
The Inner Circle of Burwood Distillery offers a unique opportunity to create custom products, purchase private casks and unique products, invest in whisky and be privy to all the innermost secrets of a truly local, hand-crafted distillery. Its Private Batch whisky program invites a select group of likeminded individuals together to be part of something new and exciting in the world of craft aged spirits. The Private Batch whisky program is for those with discerning tastes; it’s for those who have an eye on the future, but know where they’ve come from. This is not a club – it’s a community. A community that understands value, creativity and entrepreneurial spirit. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
YYC Barley Belt Tap Tour: The third annual Barley Belt Tap Tour takes place Aug. 24 and features Annex Ale Project, Banded Peak Brewing, Born Colorado Brewing, Cabin Brewing Company, Confluence Distilling, The Establishment Brewing Company, Legend 7 Brewing, Outcast Brewing, The O.T. Brewing Company, Paddy’s Barbeque and Brewery, Uncommon Cider Co. and Village Brewery. It’s a day of beer gardens, cider, spirits, bands, biking and food in Calgary’s Manchester and Highfield Industrial Park. Hop between all the barley-belt breweries by bus or bike and enjoy outside beer gardens at each stop with live music from local performers. Tickets are $15 at showpass.com.
Summer Camps at The Cookbook Company, July 29 – Aug. 2 – 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Summer camps will nurture your favourite young chef with a week of learning, cooking and eating. During their gastronomic education, your intrepid young cooks will learn knife skills, kitchen safety and a variety of cooking techniques. Making everything from scratch, your munchkins will braise, roast and bake their way to a repertoire of recipes that are both practical and delicious.
The Tastemarket by SAIT,
- August 23, Date Night.
Visit www.culinarycamp.ca for details and more courses.
SAIT Culinary Campus – Downtown Downtown Culinary Campus,
- July 11, Thrill of the Grill;
- July 19, Date Night;
- July 20, Artisan Bread;
- July 25, Vietnamese;
- July 27, Viennoiserie;
- August 8, Fish Cookery;
- August 10, Assorted Buns;
- August 17, Viennoiserie;
- August 20, Thrill of the Grill;
- August 22,Thailand;
- August 24, Canning;
- August 24, Artisan Bread.
Main Campus, August 27, Curry.
Cuisine et Chateau
July 4, Cocina Mexicana;
- July 5, Made In France;
- July 6,Table For Two;
- July 11, A Taste Of Spain – Colourful Culinary Celebration;
- July 12, July 13, Easy Thai,
- July 14, Best Of Brunch;
- July 18, Spanish Tapas;
- July 19, Simply Italian; Saturday,
- July 20, Cheese Making Workshop Level I and A Wok Through Asia;
- July 21, Perfect Pies And Tarts;
- July 25,The Cutting Edge – Knife Skills;
- July 26, Around the Mediterranean; Saturday,
- July 27, A Twist On Sushi – Move Over California Roll;
- July 28, Curing | Smoking | Brining | Grilling – The Fundamentals;
- Aug. 1, Made In France;
- Aug. 2, Cocina Mexicana;
- Aug. 3, Simply Italian;
- Aug. 9, Easy Thai;Aug.10, A Taste Of Spain – Colourful Culinary Celebration;
- Aug. 16, Table for Two;
- Aug. 17, Spanish Tapas;
- Aug.18, Best of Brunch;
- Aug. 23, A Twist On Sushi – Move Over California Roll;
- Aug. 24, From New Delhi with Love;
- Aug. 29, The Cutting Edge – Knife Skills;
- Aug. 30, A Wok Through Asia;
- Aug. 31, Everything Chocolate and Around the Mediterranean