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Aug 24, 2007 12:04 AM

Jaro Blue- Calgary- Outstanding!

It's late and I'm off to bed but I had to post this "stub" (thanks, Wikipedia) to the effect that I went to an event at Jaro Blue (17th Ave SW where Da Lat used to be, near Morgan's Pub east of 14 St) and it was just excellent. They served four kinds of tapas- pate with strawberries on crisp bread, tuna tartar in rice cracker, cornish hen on rounds of polenta, and my fave, duck confit risotto balls with a pineapple salsa. Desert was tiny chocolate mousse on halved strawberries.

Since it was an "event" we weren't exposed to the full menu, but my God these guys know how to cook. Everything was superb.

Looking very much forward to a proper dinner there. BEAUTIFUL room and patio, too. Just magnificent.

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  1. Myself and a couple girlfriends went to Jaro Blue this past weekend - it was fabulous!
    it's my new favorite restaurant(it won't replace Tribune but...) and the type of place Calgary very much needed.

    The room is very cool, I very much enjoyed the horse images :)

    We got $30/person chef's platter for two and three extra items - the chef's platter is a crap shoot, no requests, you may get items on the menu or you may get items they created in the kitchen that day. We had tenderloin ravioli, delicious! had a bit of blue cheese to make it a bit salty - then came the first part of the chef's platter - the pate mentioned above, nicoise salad and i missed what type of fish it was, but i think it was marliln served raw with taco chips, tomato and a very delicious sauce intended to make fish taco bites - lovely as well. The next platter included poached pair salad w/walnuts and blue cheese, chantrell and lobster calzone and the other item has escaped me. The remaining items were roasted squash with apple/pomegranate chutney and the lamb chops.

    Everything was lovely and fresh, the service was friendly and fun - we did alright - for 3 of us - a round of martini's, bottle of wine, the food, 1 desert and a desert wine we were at $200 before tip...not too terrible,especially with the great atmosphere and service.

    1. Jaro Blue sounds wonderful! Thanks for the "stub" John. By the sounds of things I'll have to take DH there on our next date night. Or maybe a night out with the girls hmmmm. John - any idea if Jaro Blue has a private room?

      2 Replies
      1. re: gourmethunter

        most def not. It is pretty tiny.

        Incidentally, we had the chef's choice thing last month and the last dish was frog's legs. I had never had them before and rather enjoyed them, they reminded me of lake perch that we always had when I was a kid, but my dining companions were too squeamish to even try them!

        1. re: John Manzo

          Good to know.

          I have to say, I'm not sure if I would have been up for frog's legs either...something about growing up with a creek behind your house and frogs all over the lawn/driveway... I'm just too visual for my own good I guess. I grew upon perch too, but from the St. Lawrence. There's just nothing like a perch roll.

      2. We tried JaroBlue this weekend for a late Valentine's Day dinner & we were not disappointed. The food was awesome. We decided not to get the chef's platter as the entire rest of the restaurant had ordered one & our waiter let us know that we would get our food faster if we ordered seperate plates. We were glad that he gave us that head's up. We ordered (in order of how much I liked them): the spicy szechuan green beans (very, very good), the fried wontons, scallop ceviche, the mini burgers (one with foie gras, one with pulled pork, one with duck breast & one regular burger), french fried taro with housemade tomatoe chutney, the beef tenderloin stack and the chocolate plate to finish up. Everything was very tasty with the exception of the brownie on the chocolate plate. It was very "meh". Our only complaint about the entire evening was that they don't take reservations. We ended up waiting for about 45 minutes for a table. Not terrible but reservations would make it a much better experience. Service was great as well. We will be back (soon I hope).

        4 Replies
        1. re: Merry113

          glad to hear! i have plans to take a vancouverite there for dinner on thursday and i haven't been there for a few months - hopefully thursday night isn't as busy as the weekend...

          1. re: Merry113

            Out of curiosity, what was the total bill? And did you mention that the dessert was "meh"? Figure if enough people tell them that, they might do something about it :)

            1. re: yen

              Yen believe me, we let them know every time we go there that their deserts are not up to snuff compared to the tapas... still have not seen an improvement there.

              1. re: yen

                Our total bill was around $160 before tip (I think). We also had 4 glasses of wine & one cocktail in addition to all the plates I mentioned. I did mention to the waiter that the tapas was excellent and that the chocolate plate was good with the exception of the brownie. I don't even think I was as nice as "meh" when I told him.....I think I said it was just plain bad.

            2. went there for appies and drinks on a thursday night. thought the room was interesting, different for calgary. drinks were great, wine list ok. unfortunately the food wasn't all that. the fries tasted stale and it didn't have any vegetarian food! who knows where to get high end veg food, not the coup!

              1. Went for our first visit Sat night at about 11 p.m. LOVED the room and atmosphere and just wonderful service. Good wine list and server could even tell me about it! Imagine that.

                Food was a little uneven. They were out of beef tartar and mini-hamburgers, so we got -duck confit risotto croquettes: quite good, hot, crunchy, tasty
                -tenderloin tortellini: tasted OK but a little cold
                -grilled lamb chops: surprisingly large portion with three chops on a nest of very nice matchstick sweet potato fries

                However, the kitchen likes to do the lamb rare. And my piece was rare to the point of raw, couldn't cut it with my knife or even chew a piece. So I sent it back to the grill - and the server was super nice about it. They replated it and added au jus when it came back - just for my little chop. So I appreciated the attention on that end of things.

                Would definitely go back to try again despite the hiccups. It's about time there was such a relaxed but refined space to drop into in Calgary.

                4 Replies
                1. re: alau2

                  we didn't make it there last thursday - got there and it was going to be an hour wait with no space to sit at the bar, so we went to divino which was lovely as usual...

                  1. re: pants

                    Upon several glowing recommendations of Jaro Blue on this website, my SO and I went on Saturday evening to celebrate a graduation and job promotions. As promised the food was incredible and we were each treated by the barman to a celebratory glass of prosecco.

                    We opted to select individual items rather than the Chef's platter and had the bread with consomme, duck con fit and risotto croquettes with pineapple chutney, pear and blue cheese salad, beef tartare,and the lamb chops. The bread with consomme was supposed to be a cheese fondue sort of affair but the kitchen ran out of the cheese before we were served and we received a more traditional consomme. As is usual in Calgary, the bread was passable, but not great, and certainly not as we expected for "house baked", the consomme was good but I would not order it again. The duck croquettes, pear salad and lamb chops with sweet potato frites were all EXCELLENT. All were well balanced with satisfying sized portions. The beef tartare was very good, a traditional interpretation but had too many cornichons for our taste (we prefer a bit more spice and capers instead of pickles, but that's just us). The flavor combination of the tartare was so subtle that it was much better eaten with a fork than off the bread provided. We were also pleased to discover an affordable, basic wine list and selected an organic Spanish wine ($40 per bottle).

                    The barman and host provided lovely and attentive service, although our server's attention was infrequent and left something to be desired. The length between courses was also quite long, 30-45 minutes, but as the food is made to order and the restaurant was very busy, this was understandable.

                    Overall, we had an excellent experience and would definitely go back. A note to those looking for a different dining experience (not the regular beef, chicken, or fish entree) at a reasonable price would do well to check out Jaro Blue, we had more than enough to eat for two and a bottle of wine for just under $150.00 including gratuity. The dark, cozy atmosphere is also very nice, providing ample opportunity to snuggle up to a date.

                    1. re: hrbuttercup

                      The graffiti shop next door has closed and is papered over- one can only hope that this is an expansion of Jaro Blue, as is happening in the former 17th Ave Specs space, into which The Coup is expanding and which will more than double their space.

                      1. re: John Manzo

                        First Beano, now the Coup! I Great news.