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belgo calgary

pants Jan 21, 2008 08:38 AM

a group of us from the office went to Belgo for lunch on Friday - only one in the group had been before. a couple of us came a few minutes behind the rest of the group that had already been seated - the hostess would let us join our party, we had to wait to be escorted to the table and in the meantime seated 3 other tables, this was not a good start...

we finally get to the table to discover a very expensive menu, we knew it was going to be a bit more for lunch than our usual choices but were expecting something similar to Vintage. It was definitely more expensive than Vintage and much less value.
Our server was slow and full of attitude, it took about 10-15 minutes for our drinks to arrive then we waited another 15 minutes before he took our order. The food took ages to arrive, it was after 1pm before we finally ate. the food was alright, but nothing to really write home about, especially for the money.

i don't think any of us will be in a rush to go back.

  1. w
    Wasabilover Feb 5, 2008 01:03 PM

    We went to Belgo with a group of 6 and varied expectations - run by the penny lane group so expected boobs and short skirts (and it met that expectation) - but with a great chef (and thus expected great food). The food was fabulous - but the place did not warrant the expensive menu. The atmosphere is too 'bar' like to want to order a $100 bottle of wine. Especially went it's served by a 22 year old with a slit in her skirt up to her XXXX. And we had to shout over each other to be heard. The chef (Shaun Desaulniers) is really doing himself a disservice - his food would be much much better in a higher end restaurant with good servers and nice surroundings.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Wasabilover
      b
      Bob Mac Feb 5, 2008 06:28 PM

      I do not know the chef nor his reputation apart from his resume that I just read at chefdb.com.

      The latter lists him as executive chef and managing partner at both Belgo and Wild Ginger, neither of which gets many plaudits at this site. Yours is probably the most complementary.

      If so, he probably has "bought" into the Paul Vickers formula that you succinctly described and is making $

      Actually the dinner menu looked quite appealing although I am not sure why one would "kill" a wonderful piece of fish like sablefish by blackening it with Indian spices but to each his own.

      The one time I tried Belgo was shortly after its opening for a late lunch and it was bustling. I had a lamb sandwich that was pretty bad but I had some fair wine and enjoyed the "theatre" playing around me.

      1. re: Bob Mac
        n
        newJJD Feb 14, 2008 11:25 PM

        I believe a co-worker of mine summed it up best:

        "This place has got to be the most beautiful and busiest $hit-Hole restaurant in Canada!"

    2. hjt Jan 31, 2008 02:12 AM

      wow, I thought I was the only one that had a bad experience with Belgo.

      I made the mistake of putting down a deposit on a catered event with them; they broke off contact without explanation and I've been waiting over a year. They won't return my phonecalls, and I can't bring myself to walk into that crummy place again. Ugh! Just remembering it makes me mad, haha.

      1 Reply
      1. re: hjt
        y
        yen Jan 31, 2008 06:46 AM

        You ever get your deposit back?

      2. alau2 Jan 23, 2008 06:50 PM

        And don't forget, the worst acoustics I've ever encountered in a restaurant. One night, we sat on the second floor sandwiched between the bad bar music from downstairs - and a live band on our floor.

        1. y
          yen Jan 22, 2008 08:29 AM

          It's funny, since we went to Belgo twice in the first 3 months it was open, and the experience has NOT changed since we went, up to now. Slow, distracted service, overpriced beer and food, average quality with bad QPR.

          Thanks for saving me from myself though - anytime i start craving moules and frites, i think of the original Belgo in London. Then think "the Belgo here HAS to have improved....". I guess not.

          1. maplesugar Jan 22, 2008 06:36 AM

            Thanks pants. You've confirmed rumours about the place. DH said he's been there for after work drinks and wouldn't go back unless someone else was paying.

            I was curious about the place since a friend of mine did some of the finishing work.... not so curious though that I'll hand over my wallet for a mediocre experience. :)

            1. m
              muffletoes Jan 22, 2008 06:14 AM

              Belgo is a phenomenum of the oil boom. No more expense accounts , no more Belgo!

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