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Feb 25, 2008 11:16 AM

Best Cocktails and Dinner in Calgary?

I am from Toronto and I am looking for the best place to have really great cocktails, followed by dinner. It doesn't matter what area or price. Any suggestions?

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  1. are we talkin' girl drinks here? Love the martinis at Opus on 8 and at Jaro Blue!

    9 Replies
    1. re: John Manzo

      Was at Murph's tonight - Opus is closed. Paper on the windows, im guessing that means for good.

      For drinks only, places like Blvd, Seven, Tangerine are decent. For dinner, i'd leave those establishments and go elsewhere.

      1. re: yen

        hmm.. sounds like an opportunity for a new bar/resto.. do the places you have mentioned above serve food?

        1. re: MartiniGirls

          They do, but if you check the board, the food all seems to fall under the same category - over priced, poor service, average food.

          Check most of the fine dining threads to see where a better place for dinner would be. Off the top of my head, my money is on Divino and Capo which have a hipper, trendy feel to them.

          Alau's Ming and Living Room suggestion is a good one as well.

          1. re: yen

            Yen, Opus on 8 is open, completely and totally- I don't know where you got the idea it had closed. I just walked past it.

            1. re: John Manzo

              Odd. When i walked by there Monday, they had paper up on the windows so you couldnt see in, and everything was closed and locked up.

              Sorry man, my mistake. I have to admit, it was an odd look for someplace that is still open!

                1. re: John Manzo

                  Quite possible. Or im a semi-blind moron. Also quite possible.

                  1. re: John Manzo

                    Just my 2 cents but it could be they were painting. I know most commercial painters spray rather than roll/brush so it'd make sense that they'd have covered the windows.

          2. re: yen

            Damn. Well thanks for the news anyway Yen.

        2. Brava makes a great Manhattan and is also great food, although I haven't been for awhile.

          1. You could go to Ming on 17th Ave for drinks and then to the Living Room a few steps away for dinner. I know that's what I'd do with some girlfriends visiting from Toronto. :-)

            Or Jaro Blue because I'm still in love with their room and amazing service.

            8 Replies
            1. re: alau2

              thanks guys- Ming has received great reviews all around- I'll let you know how it goes!

              1. re: MartiniGirls

                Just so you are aware, Ming is more of a bohemian, trendy hole in the wall. It's not decorated like popular "lounges" are these days - it's dark, with red lighting, some communist themes to the decor, with small sections logically partitioned off.

                If you're looking for a place to glam it up, Ming isnt it. On the other hand, the drinks are awesome and i like it - it's a fun place. Just thought you might want to know.

                1. re: yen

                  that's why i enjoy ming so much - not the usual 17th crowd :)

                  1. re: pants

                    I agree, but i just wanted to make sure that the OP understood this. If they're dressed to the nines with a limo type crowd, Ming isnt the first place i'd recommend they go to :)

                    1. re: yen

                      Ming is good for drinks, the bartender is usually pretty knowledgeable and they play great music.

                      The food is absolutely atrocious every time I've tried it, deep fried ginger beef that tastes like it was purchased at costco and dumped on a plate with no thought or imagination.. everything I've had there has been extremely disappointing.

                      1. re: young lion

                        I really don't care about fancy- my favourite spots are usually hidden (sometimes grungy) gems & I will NEVER stand in a line up or frequent a place with a roped entrance. And limos..uugh!
                        If Opus is indeed open, is it the best choice?

                        1. re: MartiniGirls

                          No. If you arent about fancy, then you'll prefer Ming. If you find you dont like it, Bungalow is just down the Ave from there. And it's an acceptable alternative.

                          1. re: MartiniGirls

                            Noooooo... I loathe Opus. Every time I've gone all I've received is atrocious service and capital A attitude.

              2. Ming has great drinks - for food, try the yam/sweet potato fries with their banana ketchup. Kinda famous.

                But if you want to take it up a notch, try SEVEN on 8th ave. Wow, good food, good drinks, nice place. Expensive but for business or a date it will impress.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Kor

                  I think Raw Bar would be a great choice. It's a really good, stylish room....very good food and very excellent drink list as well. In the Hotel Arts on 12 Ave,

                  1. re: formerlyfingers

                    raw bar has an excellent bartender to make great lemon drop martinis!

                2. first off, ming is alright for drinks, but nothing else, and avoid jaro blue at all costs! divinos is good for wine and cheese. next door to that is blink, which won 9 best new restaurant in canada and avenue magazine voted it best restaurant and late night spot. they have pretty good martinis, but the food is amazing. also, alloy is a beautiful room for cocktails, but don't eat there!