I guess winter is not technically over yet, but we’ve had some nice days last week, so I’m pretending that it is on its way out and you should too! Here are a few restaurant pieces that I’ve done for Avenue Magazine over the past few months! Still so many great new places opening up here in Calgary. We are one lucky food scene, I’m telling you!
Our most recent addition to Calgary, MARKET, opened up this past Friday and I can’t wait to eat there once I’m back from my trip down under.
Suburban territory in Calgary has typically been left for the Moxie’s and Earl’s of the world, but now we’re starting to see some great local restaurateurs recognize the potential of these areas outside of the core. Just a few weeks ago, Vin Room opened a second location in Aspen Landing called Vin Room West.
Owner Phoebe Fung has always had a great thing going in Mission and now residents of one of Calgary’s far west neighbourhoods can have a taste of what she’s offering.
The new Vin Room has a beautiful interior. The floor-to-ceiling windows shed light on fantastic design accents like a 30-foot wine bottled wall, all full and drinkable and can be accessed by a library-esque ladder. There’s an upstairs private dining area, modern walnut bar chairs and a brightly coloured piece of artwork on one of the main floors that captures the eye…
Longtime local coffee roaster, Fratello, first expanded from roasting beans to serving them at its Analog Coffee stand in the Calgary Farmers’ Market in 2011. Now, the Fratello brothers, Russ and Chris, have added a second location to their roster on the corner of 17th Avenue S.W. and 7th Street S.W.
If you can’t quite place the location, perhaps you’ll remember what it was before: A Buy Rite store. After decades of being a convenience store, the space has undergone an extensive facelift. The interior, which seats approximately 30 people, is bright and clean. White walls reflect any the sun shining in through the cafe’s front floor-to-ceiling windows, making the baristas’ work station the focal point of the room. Although limited, the comfortable booth seating is highlighted by two rows of black pendant lamps and an accent wall with an eclectic array of artwork. Last, but not least, Analog pays homage to its location’s predecessor, with the original “Buy Rite Store” lettering mounted proudly on the east wall.
Now, for the drinks. Honestly, if you’re really in a rush or looking for a non-fat triple venti caramel mocha whatever, than Analog Coffee probably isn’t for you. Like anything of quality in this world, the Fratello brothers believe that a good cup of coffee takes time. Here, their team of baristas operate The Slayer — a top-of-the-line espresso machine created by Fratello (now used in many top cafés all over the world) — to create espresso-based beverages, complete with latte art of course, and a pour-over system for drip coffee…
I’m a huge fan of evolution. It turned dinosaurs into birds, monkeys into men and now, a cafe into a more elevated restaurant experience. With locations in Art Central and Fashion Central, deVille has long been a popular destination in downtown Calgary, offering a great cup of coffee and some quick eats for the busy downtown worker.
Now, the small cafe chain is extending out of the core, just a hop, skip and a jump away, into Bridgeland. What once was the Heartland Cafe has been transformed into a fresh, bright space with curvy, high-top tables, plenty of natural light and, of course, a silver espresso machine stacked high with bright red mugs.
With this new member of the deVille family, owner Paul Brassard blurs the line between a cafe and a full-service restaurant. It’s hard finding a balance in a space where you want to welcome both the morning coffee drinker and the upscale diner with a discerning palate looking for a quality sit-down meal. That being said, this new venture is pulling off its multiple personalities just fine.
From early morning and throughout the day, a grab-and-go coffee counter with in-house baking and sweets is well suited for someone just popping in for a few minutes. And for those looking to stay and get some work done for a few hours, there is ample bar seating, tables and banquets for any group size. Now, onto the food…
deVille’s chef, Richard Bywater, who previously worked under chef Cam Dobranski of Brasserie Kensington, created a menu of refined dishes that are delicious and easy on the eyes without being overly complicated.
If you’re coming by for a bite to eat during the day the lamb confit sandwich with Boursin cheese, apricot compote and lamb au jus for dipping is perfectly filling. For a cold day, try the braised beef meatball sandwich with a red wine tomato sauce or the macaroni and cheese topped with panko and bruschetta…
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