Capo's closed; what now? and Banff..
By way of follow-up, we had our visit to Calgary, and Banff, and ate just fine.
The first night we were able to walk to Murietta's from our hotel and had an excellent dinner, well presented with good service. Not too busy for a Friday night; nice jazz piano accompaniment. Sunday, we went to River Cafe for a brunch the day after a family wedding. The setting is lovely, and for many, the food very acceptable, although our host/hostess were disapponted in the dishes. They were fine, just not outstanding, but a family member was late, which may have messd up the timing.
In Banff, again, being able to walk to the restaurant influenced us the first night. We went to Cilantro, on the grounds of the Buffalo Mountain Lodge. A great selection of pizzas and other dishes; somewhat limited wine list. A very small restaurant; we felt lucky to get in. The next day, a successful lunch in the old CPR station in Lake Louise
Later in the week we had a good enough meal at Fuze, about which we'd read some disquieting stories of difficulty.Business was steady, if not brisk, on a Tuesday, but the construction on Banff Ave can't be helping anyone. Superb tomato soup with a pesto garnish, preceded an outstanding tenderloin with foie gras atop, and what seemed not quite as successful a New York strip, too highly spiced to marry successfully with wine. Not smart. Restaurants do like to sell wine, don't they ? And pretty indifferent coffee.
The outdoor patio and menu at Bison pleased everyone for lunch the next day.
On our way to the airport on our last day, my wife and I happened on Gnocchi's at the south end of downtown Calgary for a long lunch... this was a find; a beautiful room, nice wine list, good soup and superb risotto, seafood for madame and sausage for me. And wonderful cappucino/latte. Fuze, take note.
Thanks to all for their suggestions. It sure does help to orient one in a new place.
Thanks for the report!
And I'm sure I speak for many when I say that I didn't even realise Gnocchi's was still open. I walk by there all the time but somehow it's just invisible. Aways nice to hear about a positive cappuccino experience as well- although earlier in the day you would've been able to partake of one of the best coffee experience in town, Bumpy's at 8th St and 10th Ave, just a couple of blocks north.
The Grizzly House: Fondue. Schmalzy, but good. Prepare for the time warp! Absolutely must get reservations or else you'll be waiting forever for a table. If you get the "Complete Fondue Dinner", ask for both the hot rock and the oil. It's more fun that way.
Seoul Country: The most authentic Korean restaurant in southern Alberta. Very good. And by authentic, I mean they leave the shrimp heads on, the kimchi is majorly pungent, and the side dishes take me back to the homeland. It's dead, except when the restaurant is utterly full from Korean tour bus contingents.
Chaya: Japanese noodle soup. Best Japanese noodle soup in southern Alberta.
Eden: French. Located at the Rimrock hotel near the upper hot springs. Afterwards, stay in the uber-romantic lobby and have drinks all night. This place is good enough to make you almost forget about Capo.
Athena Pizza: Great pizza. Great baked lasagna.
Giorgio's Trattoria: Italian. Very good Italian. Make reservations, gets very, very busy really quick, and is packed every night.
Le Beaujolais: French. Never been there, but I've heard really good things about it.
If you want to drive to Lake Louise, there's an absolutely delightful tea house perfect for lunch that's a short hike away from the hotel. As for the hotel restaurants, they're horribly overpriced, even though I've had some decent food there. But nothing earth shattering.
I would say that all the above are must have places to go to. So, I insist you go to them :)
I'm going to toss in Melissa's for breakfast. My wife hates it there, but I didn't mind it. Don't bother for any other meals.
I know some people like Typhoon, but I hated it. Bland, bland food.
Coyote's is another option, but it can be very hit or miss. Also, I'm not sure just how fresh their ingredients are - I tasted what seemed a touch of canned in their items.
There's also the Waldhaus (fondue). I've never made it there, and I've never really heard anything about it, so I suggest you try it and tell us how it was :)