When I arrived back in Calgary from my adventures in Australia and New Zealand, I immediately took to eating. Not that I didn’t eat a lot while I was traveling, we humans need to eat of course, but in the month and a half I was away, five new restaurants had opened up. Crazy!
A transformation of space and taste is always expected when a new restaurant opens in the place of an old establishment but looking at the newly opened MARKET restaurant, you would never know that it had a previous life as The Yardhouse bar.
The interiors in MARKET are visually divided, with black floors and walls highlighting a bar area covered in a funky chalk mural, while whitewashed walls pull your sight straight back to the open kitchen. Living orbs hanging above MARKET’s long, tiled bar are the real design highlight in the space. Small living plants hang from the roof while bartenders shake, stir and pour drinks for patrons.
MARKET dishes have a sort of rustic elegance. Though the offerings change often — note the ‘print date’ on the top corner of the menu — you should cross your fingers that the bison tartar with flank jerky and pickled shallots as well as the Pork Salad with kale, pork shoulder, bacon, pig ears and shaved gouda both grace the menu when you arrive.
March is always an exciting month for restauranteurs and food lovers in Calgary. It’s the month where Avenue Magazine celebrates our food community and hands out their annual Restaurant Awards. Like last year, I was excited and honoured to be on the judging panel with some of Calgary’s top culinary folks.
With all of the restaurants we have popping up lately, next year it’s going to be even more difficult to decide who takes the top spot in the various categories we argue over in a small room. Picture a heated Law and Order courtroom debate. Yes, it is that intense – ok, maybe not that intense.
In addition to the many categories we deliberated on, all contributors had the opportunity to put together some ‘Top 10′ lists to go along with the 10th anniversary of this particular issue. (You can check out all category winners and other content here)
A couple of the lists I wrote up were on food trends in Calgary. Food trends that I thought should be on their way out and trends that I’m happy are happening around town. Obviously, just like dining out, some things come down to a matter of taste. So, take a look at each of these lists. I’m curious to know if you agree or disagree with me.
Ten Calgary Food Trends We Wish Would Go Away
For example, I think ridiculously flavoured vodkas like this need to hit the road. What do you think? James Bond would be so unimpressed!
On the flip side of things, I love a good cocktail and am so happy to see cocktail culture gaining momentum in Calgary.
So, what do you think?
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…
One of the most anticipated restaurants, MARKET, hosted a pop-up charity dinner event in mid-December at The Calgary Farmers’ Market. With all proceeds from the dinner going towards The Calgary Food Bank, the five course menu was well worth the ticket; both for a good cause and deliciousness.
MARKET’s executive chef Geoff Rogers (formerly of Home Tasting Room) and their chef de cuisine Dave Bohati (formerly of Rush) have joined together to head the culinary team of the upcoming restaurant, set to open February 1st, 2013 on 17th Ave SW.
Though the official menu for MARKET is not yet finalized the chefs gave last night’s guests a taste of what everyone could expect in the new year.
Their pop-up dinner menu was a reinvented look at the traditional Christmas Dinner full of flavour and flare. I may be biased, but, personally, I can’t wait for this restaurant to open its doors.
Until then, here are some teaser pictures of the style of tastiness you’ll be able to experience there…
Blood Orange and Cinnamon Cocktail, a sweet and spicy start to the evening.
Turkey Veloute, a rich soup reminiscent of a comforting stuffing and gravy.
One thing I’ve been bad at lately is remembering to share my writing on here from other publications. Well, truth be told, I am bad at a lot things…Dating, singing, counting…the list goes on, but, anyway, here are a few different pieces I’ve done for Avenue Magazine in the past few months. Every month there seems to be a great new restaurant popping up on the scene, which is awesome. I can’t wait to see what new flavours and culinary experiences 2013 is going to bring, now that it’s just over a month away! Yikes!
On the corner of 10th Avenue and 12th Street S.W., right across from Community Natural Foods, and is a welcome addition to the neighbourhood.
The small space features an open kitchen with a cozy surrounding environment and a sun-filled patio (weather permitting, of course).
A step up from the standard brunch offerings, you can choose from a selection of unique egg Benedicts like chorizo, caramelized onion and goat cheese, or sliced Angus beef with sautéed mushrooms. I decided to try the smoked ham and prawn option with mascarpone cheese ($16). The perfectly poached eggs sat on top a medley of ham, prawns and cheese appropriately topped with hollandaise. A trio of frittatas, as well as a brisket hash, are also on the breakfast menu…
This past snowy long weekend, my friend, Stephanie and I were able to get a little taste of Banff’s annual restaurant festival, Bon Appetit Banff. The ten day event, which began yesterday, involves over twenty different establishments around the town, ranging from pubs to fine dining. Much like Calgary’s The Big Taste, participating restaurants will offer diners a three course meal at prix fix prices ranging at great price points ($25, $35, or $45).
Seeing as Banff is only a short (and beautiful) drive from Calgary, heading to the mountains for dinner again soon is looking very appealing to me. We had the opportunity to try out some dishes from several of the restaurants taking part in Bon Appetit Banff. Here’s a bit of preview…
The Primrose Dining Room, located inside of The Rimrock Hotel, had a nice selection of dishes for us to enjoy. Their warm dining room is lined with tall windows with views of their back courtyard and snow-covered trees.
We sampled a very weather-appropriate, Coconut Curry Chicken, a Lobster and Snow Crab Pappardelle with marscapone, and, last, but not least, an interesting take on ‘surf ‘n turf’ consisting of braised short rib and steelhead trout.
Primrose’s Short Rib and Steelhead Trout ‘Surf ‘n Turf’.
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