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Jan 22, 2008 11:30 AM

Best Meal In Calgary in 2007

I know its already 3 weeks in, but.......

What was your best / favorite meal of 2007 in Calgary restaurants?
Maybe there were 2 or 3 that shared the spotlight.

Mine was at Da Guido. In November I went there for my first time and I must say I was pleasantly surprised on so many levels.

First, it was off the beaten path or at least away from the trendy and saturated areas of town. This was a nice change. The service was efficient, mature and knowledgeable. The room was properly lit and the music was a dull background lull.

The food was spectacular. Not the most technically detailed but really really tasty. And plentiful. The lingini with fresh seafood had lots of fresh parsley and lemon and the pasta was cooked properly. The mussels, clams, squid and prawns were also cooked perfectly. I drizzled on some extra virgin olive oil that I asked to be brought to the table and I loved every bite.

Next came truffle risotto. Almost soupy and beautifully creamy, the way I love risotto. I like it a little more soupy so that as it cools it doesn't become so thick and cloying as to be inedible. It was also perfect.

My bone in ribeye was huge. Im a serious carnivore so this was a good thing. It was cooked a proper medium, rested sufficiently and sauced with a rich mushroom, green peppercorn and cognac cream cauce. Things are classics for a reason. Because they are good. Enough said about that. A little sauteed spinach came on the plate to provide a clean green bite intermittently.

I lingered over a couple terrific espresso afterwards and the chef came by to chat. He was authentic and obviously loved what he was doing.

This experience made me appreciate tradition and maturity in cuisine all over again.

Thanks Guido, for my best meal of 2007.

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  1. It took me a while but I finally made it to Capo in 2007 and it lived up to its reputation and so I would have to say the best meal I had in Calgary in 2007 was Capo. Having said that, I find their two sittings for dinner on the weekend rather annoying.

    1. Probably Il Gallo Nero; even the desserts are great. We visited a short while after returning from our trip to Italy, and the food was pretty much the same as we had in Italy.

      I hope I don't get beaten about the head for this, but we had an impressive meal at Ruth's Chris. Mr. S. wanted to try it so I grumbled and went along. I was very pleasantly surprised. Service was impeccable, and our steaks and sides were done perfectly. I still think about the apple pie.

      This isn't in Calgary, but close ... Chef's Studio Japan in Canmore; we had sushi there a couple of times during the horrendous heat wave last summer. One word: Sublime.

      Still trying to make it to Capo :o)

      1. We had an excellent meal / experience at Ruth's Chris also - however, I really do NOT recommend lunch there, especially if you're on a time constraint. Not a great place for a business lunch, unless it's for drinks only - the food menu (apps, sandwiches) are awful. It really is a GREAT place for a GREAT piece of steak - my ribeye was perfection.

        Best Italian meal - La Dolce Vita (Bridgeland) - Franko is adorable, great atmosphere.
        Best Dessert - Il Giardino (17th) - the Zabaglione was awesome!

        I'll have to give both Da Guido and Il Gallo Nero a try this year!

        1. Three really outstanding meals for me in Calgary in 07:

          First was the full chef's tasting menu at eight, complete with wine pairings. Want details? Read my report. I blathered on long enough there :) But needless to say, it was a very memorable evening.

          Second was my first Blowfish omakase experience. It revitalized my love of clean flavours and fresh ingredients. I was developing food paralysis in my life until a dish as simple as a creative take on a Japanese apres-bar snack brought me back!

          Lastly, my first bowl of pho satay at Pho Que Hoang. Creamy, spicy, rich, soothing broth. I'd been looking for something that would satisfy my satay craving...i finally found one - thanks FF for the reco on that one!

          3 Replies
          1. re: yen

            Where is Pho Que Hoang located?


            1. re: Hart50

              Backside of Franklin mall, accessible from the outside or from the food court (same complex as T&T in the NE).

            2. re: yen

              Yen, where was your first memorable meal? Oh, I just saw it, sorry, read too fast ;o)

            3. Mine was way back in February, but it was at St Germain. We had a set multi-course menu for a private staff function paired with wines. It was awesome! It was my fourth meal there (2 dinners and a lunch previously) and it just keeps getting better.
              I hope the food stays good after the departure of Paul McGreevey. That man and his team were god-like with foie gras and braised meats. And their pastry chef with her gift from tastebud heaven, "The Chocolate Bombe". What more can I say. The dinner lasted 3.5 hours, 5+ courses (hard to keep actual count with amuses-bouches and palate cleansers)

              I'll toss a Canmore place in the mix as well. Sage Bistro. I don't know if it was the blustery day, or just being homesick, but the Wild Game Meatloaf special that day made me forget about the world for 15 minutes! And the starter soup - which was a creamy roasted beet with a medallion of goat cheese and creme fraiche - was a bowl-full of hot, comforting, purple goodness. (I spilt some on my shirt sleeve cuff and still have the stain to remind me - it will not come out!)