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Jul 19, 2006 06:48 PM

please help - french restaurant for 40th birthday in calgary

I request help, yet again. I am throwing a surprise party for a birthday, and the guest loves French food. I am considering Rouge.... any suggestions? Chez JoJo used to be good? St Germain is closed the week of the party.

Anyone heard anything about Red Door Bistro?

all suggestions appreciated!


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  1. I went by 17th the other day, and it looks like Chez JoJo is gone - something else is in its place.

    I think the location depends on what atmosphere you want, as well as the food.

    I love Rouge, but i wouldn't consider it French. Not classically, not fusion, not noveau. But the food is spectacular. With a surprise party, the only unfortunate part to Rouge is you can't get the tasting menu unless everyone agrees. Did i mention that i love the tasting menu!? It also can host a wide variety of numbers - from a private function room, to a small group (you didnt mention how many would be attending the party).

    I enjoyed Red Door Bistro - the food was impecabbly executed and tasted very good. I liked the space and the service was decent. Prices were pretty reasonable as well - not insanely expensive, but not on the cheap side either. Only issue we had there was we were in a group of 14 or so, and the timing on serving the food was a bit off. Nothing horrendous, like a plate sitting under the warmers for 30 minutes, but enough that i noticed. It too can accomodate quite a few patrons.... im guessing about 100?

    Another place to consider is Alexis' Bistro in Altadore - formerly Divine Ambrosia and a multitude of other restaurants. The food there (i went quite some time ago... last fall perhaps?) was excellent and more classically french, but it was more on the fine dining end in terms of price and ambiance. Nice place, a bit smaller, but probably a more elegant affair than Red Door.

    Hope that helps. If you have more information you can provide, i might be able to help select a few more.

    1 Reply
    1. re: yen

      hi yen

      wow, that is great info. THe party would be for around 8 people. 10 at the most. From a picture, it looked like the REd Door Bistro had smaller tables. When you were there with a whole group, were you seated at one table?

      I think that Bistro JoJO has moved to Marda Loop.

      It doesn't have to be classically french. They will have just returned from a month in Italy, so I am sure that any change will be nice!

    2. JoJo is in a much bigger space in Marda Loop, yes.

      I have heard only fantastic things about Red Door!

      1. We werent seated together... but a big part of that was because it was one of those growing reservation events (we have a reservation for 6.. could you please change that to 8? Oh, we have 4 more coming.. can you make that 12? Now 14? Sure they can accomodate us!) I probably should've taken more time to look at the seating arrangements. Maybe i'll pop by for lunch tomorrow and report back on how many 8 or 10 toppers they have. Good excuse to go anyway :)

        Anyway, if it doesnt have to be classically french, i'd say if you're aiming for a "comfy, casual, urban chic" feel, go to RDB. If you prefer a "more upscale, more private, quieter" setting, do Rouge.

        Regardless, i don't think you can go wrong with the food at either location. (Of course, my friends just got back from Sooke Harbour House, which has pretty wide acclaim, and they hated it, so every restaurant can have a bad day).

        1. jojo's is still just as good, though as you mentioned, they moved to marda loop. i had dinner there a few months ago and had an excellent dish of cassoulet and duck.