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May 26, 2006 01:05 PM

Has Anyone Tried Eight in Calgary?

  • b

Not that I need to add another restaurant to my "must try" list during visits to Calgary but someone on another board inquired if I had been to Ned Bell's new spot beside The Mercury.

The magazine in my hotel room mentioned it [Gilchrist may have been the writer] but only in passing saying virtually nothing about the food stressing that it was smoke free in contrast with the adjacent trendy bar.

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    1. For all the hype about Eight when it first opened.... I was really disappointed in the food. While the restaurant is beautiful, and the servers are wonderful, I would suggest passing on dinning there, and just enjoying a drink at Mercury... maybe head a few doors down to the Living Room for a far superior spread.
      While I did only eat there once... it left such a poor taste in my mouth I can't bring my self to go back.
      If I recall I had a Seafood dish that was supposed to be prepared in a saffron smoked tomato broth... and what I received was a dish of a few pieces of seafood in about 1/2 inch of a warm watery broth (barley tinted red) there was clearly no saffron or tomato of any sort infused in the salt water. It was weak.

      2 Replies
      1. re: CookieGal

        CookieGal.......They replaced their first chef shortly after opening, and the menus changed with it. May be worthwhile to try it again, and report as such.

        1. re: formerlyfingers

          Well that explains a lot! That said I will give it another go....

          Could there lobster ravoli be better than Teatro's sea food lasagna? I'd like to find out!


      2. Sorry you had a bad experience CookieGal. I was just there a two weeks ago with my wife and another couple for dinner on a Sunday - for the first time.

        We enjoyed the entire experience - food, service and ambience. We shared the Chili Lime Prawns and Seared Albacore Tuna appetizers - both were excellent.

        I had the lamb loin (like another previous poster) and it is one of the best lamb dishes in Calgary that I've had so far (although the lamb shoulder confit that comes with it was a bit too much for me). My wife had the beef tenderloin/short rib (to satisfy her beef fix) which she really enjoyed. Our friends had the buffalo tenderloin and a pasta dish that I can't remember, but they both inhaled it.

        Dessert was good too, the chocolate molten cake and maple pannacotta with apple gelato being my favourites.

        Seemed to me like a pretty strong entrant in the Calgary area - at least for this visit. I really want to come back to try the sablefish with pork belly...

        By the way - its the place to be for people watching - maybe not so much on a Sunday though...

        1. ybnormal

          You have to go back and have the Sablefish with pork was fantastic. Was there on Wednesday and had the tasting menu which also had a salmon belly tartar with smoked chorizo, and a luscious truffled cauliflower soup with a (perfectly) seared scallop and lamb confit.

          Didn't try dessert; next time!

          1. I posted quite a lengthy review of Eight after visiting this past Valentines Day. I have to agree with these recent posts - our experience was an absolute delight. Food, service, atmosphere - the whole package. I am dieting right now otherwise I would be there right now eating the chocolate molten cake and I would definately have the lobster ravioli again. Scrumptious!

            3 Replies
            1. re: higgika

              Ned is a friend of ours & helped The Mercury out for their opening, hired the chef, helped with menu planning etc.... other than that he has nothing to do with them.
              He's executive corporate (not sure of title) chef for the Vintage Group, which now includes The Red Water Grill on S. MacLeod - beautiful wholesome upscale food, in part of the city that wasn't served real well until they came along, now they have opened another one at Stadium shopping centre.
              Haven't eaten @ Eight/Mercury since the opening - can't tell you that part.

              THANKS for the speedy reply on the market and I will try out COBBS so we have x-buns for Gd Friday....Ken HAS to have them Good FRi, & Easter Sunday !! only 2 x's of the year !!

              1. re: 1stephanie

                SPEAKING OF REDWATER...

                I have heard mixed reviews... and have steered clear (even thought it's really close to my house) I have wanted to give it a go.. but i think i must have the curse of bad food and service lately. any reviews......???
                I love vintage and didn't realize the two were related... whats the scoop folks?

                1. re: tomi

                  OK, so based on all of the above, I gave 8 another shot on Friday (only after Brava was packed...was really craving the lobster poutine...)

                  So here is my account of my revisit, after the HORRID first attempt.

                  It was about 7:30 PM Friday, the hostess seated us at the bar as she claimed the restaurant was totally booked *although 4 tables remained empty the duration of our oh so long stay. Fair enough.
                  The bartender was to be our server and he must have been having a bad night... he was cold and indifferent, but did pour a mean drink.

                  I ordered the salmon and it was PERFECT! crsipy and juicy, well balanced simple seasonings served with a to die for crab croquette. The meal was outstanding and exceeded my expectations. But soon after ordering our meal the bartender (our server) left his post and was not formally replaced. The service was down hill from here. Our drinks were not refilled, and our plates were not cleared until we had been finished *and parched for about half an hour. I waiting again for about 20 minutes for the check.

                  So I have tried it twice, once terrible food outstanding service, and this weekend it was the opposite. So I won't be going back, but I am happy they turned the kitchen around. I certainly understanding the staffing challenges in this city as I employ about 15 people myself... but we are talking about the SERVICE industry here. Service is all that really matters, and it fell short for me at least again at Eight.