When Avenue Magazine recounted all of the new restaurants they had featured throughout 2014, the number was a whooping 27. If math isn’t your forté, that’s approximately one new restaurant every two weeks. That 27 didn’t even include all of the spots that had opened either, the number was likely closer to 40, meaning something more like a new eatery opening every 9 days. Now, that’s a lot of new establishments for diners to have to choose between.
Here are some of the new restaurant features I’ve done personally for the magazine in the past few months and with many more openings on the horizon, there will surely be more features to come!
Well, we certainly do now, thanks to brothers Chris and Russ Prefontaine, owners of Fratello Coffee. Although they already operate both Analog Cafes (located down the road from this new concept and also in The Calgary Farmers’ Market) this is the brothers’ first real foray into the restaurant world and they’ve made sure to come in with a big splash in the city’s food scene with Corbeaux Bakehouse.
The eatery’s interior was conceived by designer Sarah Ward. The designer has been involved in a variety of projects in recent years like Wurst and Craft Beer Market, and most recently, The Nash. Inside the light and airy space you’ll find white brick walls, a black roof with a big, bright skylight above, and windows facing the north side of the street and Corbeaux’s west patio. Curved brass-neck lamps hover over banquet seating while comfy leather stools invite you to saddle up around the espresso and wine bar, or along the baker’s station where you can see staff rolling croissants and baking bread.
Earlier this fall, I got to have a little mountain getaway in Banff while taking the new Volkswagen Touareg for a spin. The weekend of relaxing (which I don’t do often) and eating wrapped up nicely with this beauty of a breakfast pizza from The Bison, but let’s rewind 48 hours here back to the beginning.
Now, most of you would find this hard to believe, but I lived in Calgary sans-vehicle for almost 7 years until this summer when I decided that it was probably time to get a set of wheels again. While it was nice having a reliable 2008 car in my possession in August, it was even cooler to be able to drive this one for a few days. I’m not a vehicle expert by any means, but it was nice to head out to the mountains in an SUV that had all kinds of voice activations, navigation systems and more. Yes, my car sitting outside my home was seeming older and older by the minute the closer we drove to The Rockies.
Every time I sit down and chat with a local chef for this Behind The Line column, I end up learning more about them and the history of Calgary’s food scene than I’m expecting. It’s so interesting how individual in the city’s culinary community has helped shape it into what it is today in some shape or form.
(Chef Dilan Draper’s food is pictured above, by the way. Good stuff!)
Below, you’ll find some great recipes chefs have shared with me over the past few months, but before we dive into tasty food, I’m excited to share that Behind The Line has moved onto EatNorth.ca now with a more national focus. I’ll still be sharing candid conversations with chefs from Calgary, of course, but I am also pretty eager to get to know chefs in other cities like Winnipeg, Vancouver, Halifax and more.
Anyway, onto the food!
Yes! Winter is officially over! That being said, I guess it did just blizzard in Calgary, so we’re stuck with some snow here for a little while longer, but I see some shorts, tank tops and patio beers in my not-so-distant future. Forever the optimist…
There’s been a few new restaurants popping up in Calgary over the past three months and here are a few that you should check out, if you haven’t already!
To be honest, I’m not sure the main drag of 17th Avenue necessarily needed one more restaurant but Bensonhurst Pizza Co. is an intriguing enough concept to contend with the regular suspects we already know and love.
Recently opened in the same building as Roosevelt at 9th Street S.W., Bensonhurst may not immediately grab your attention as you pass by, so make sure to follow the smell of freshly made pizza sauce.
Continuing along with my ‘Behind The Line’ column this year, I’ve been learning so much about different chef’s backgrounds, and the history of Calgary’s food scene in general. Ever sit-down with these local chefs has been amazingly interesting and if I’ve learned one thing since this biweekly column in Swerve began back in the springtime, it’s that everyone has got a story to tell.
Here are some of the chef recipes that I shared along with the interviews over the past few months. All pretty damn tasty!
Leaving the modernist techniques aside for this recipe, chef John Michael MacNeil says, “Serve this with your Sunday roast dinner. It works great with fish as well.”
The snow has finally come and I think we can all agree that nothing says “Goodbye warm weather!” quite like a slippery, snowy sidewalk. It’s not all bad though, as cold as it can be outside, at least there’s no shortage of tasty, comforting food to enjoy around town. Here are some of the restaurant features I’ve done for Avenue over the past few months. Happy eating!
Brunch hotspot Diner Deluxe has given its sister space next door, Affogato, a bit of a facelift — and a name change — to offer much more than just baked goods and preserves to its patrons. If you’re either not in the mood to stand in line for brunch at the diner or if you’re just too damn hungry, the revamped space, Affogato, offers a fairly varied menu including sandwiches, pizza and waffles to appease your appetite.
The decor here is simple — bright and white with space invader decals on the wall, a Pac-Man arcade machine tucked in the corner and a large open-air bar that can let you soak up a bit of sun. Weather permitting, of course.
Available daily from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., the waffles can come classic with a healthy drizzle of maple syrup and icing sugar, or with fresh strawberries and cream, blueberries and lemon curd or bananas and Nutella. For a sweet-meets-savoury kind of experience, get some pulled pork on top of your waffles with a bourbon maple syrup.
- Watermelon Rind Chutney
- Roasted Asparagus and Bulgur Wheat Salad with Maple Olive Vinaigrette
- Spicy Olive and Sea Asparagus “Relish”
- Tabbouleh Soup
- Peppercorn and Cinnamon Preserved Lemons
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