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Mar 1, 2008 04:29 PM

Noble in Calgary?

Did Michael Noble open a new restaurant in Calgary?

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    1. re: yen

      Yes, he did Yen but I am not sure where I read that and when.

      Only a matter of tme I guess. Did his time, made a few bucks. Sort of like Feenie at Cactus Club.

      I remember reading something about opening another restaurant and for some reason I thought it might be in the Okanagan but apart from that no additional details.

      1. re: Bob Mac

        Ned Bell has gone to Kelowna to open his own restaurant. Perhaps that's who you were thinking of.

        1. re: Zydeco_Mama

          You could be right Zydeco was just one of those passing comments I heard or read somewhere

          I am going to have to get down to Kelowna. With Ned Bell, Rodney Butters, Filatow [sp?] at Waterfront Wines, Michael A at Mission Hill they have accumulated a number of good chefs.

          I also read that James Kendall relocated to a winery after his stays at the Jasper Park Lodge and the Aerie so that is good front of house talent as well.

          1. re: Bob Mac

            Last I heard, Michael Allemaier (sp?) had left Kelowna and is back in Calgary as an instructor at Sait.

          2. re: Zydeco_Mama

            According to Bell is Operating Partner of Cabana Bar and Grill in Kelowna. Noble is listed as Director, Culinary & Product Dev from 05-07, nothing updated on chef's db for 2008...I wonder if there is a new project in the works in Calgary or has he, like Bell, headed out of town?

            1. re: maplesugar

              Noble is in town. Bell is not part of Cabana.

              1. re: rae26

                Ned Bell is in Kelowna at Cabana, partnered with Jason Blackford formerly of the Living room ...

                  1. re: rae26

                    don't mean to hijack but, what happened to bell??

                    1. re: criticalcritic

                      Hijack? You will see him resurface soon.

                      1. re: criticalcritic

                        last I saw Ned he was at a tanning salon.

                        1. re: John Manzo

                          With his puffy vest, bottle of Voss and jeans with kitchen clogs!

          3. re: yen

            NOtaBLE is now OPEN
            our hours are:
            Tuesday ~11:30am - 10pm
            Wednesday ~ 11:30am - 10pm
            Thursday ~ 11:30am - 11pm
            Friday ~ 11:30am - 11pm
            Saturday ~ 10am - 11pm
            Sunday ~ 10am - 9pm
            Monday ~ closed

            1. re: L.Noble

              What a pleasant surprise! Out and about with lunch hour quickly approaching, I thought I'd take a glance at Facebook to see if NOtaBLE was open, and YES! So off we zoom to Bowness in search of lunch, and what a fantastic experience.

              The decor is upscale (note Wedgewood flatware and black linen) yet incorporates some rustic details such as copper-topped tables. The tables have ample space between them; to the point that when NOtaBLE gets terribly busy, extra tables could be inserted into the mix. I don't think I'm being overly optimistic using the word "when".

              Lunch for the two of us consisted of a carafe of sparkling Q Water ($1/carafe) and a starter of Grilled Flatbread brushed lightly with olive oil and was served with a head of warm, roasted garlic on the side. We added the Olive Tapenade and were licking our fingers when the main came. For this, and with the purpose of trying as many things as possible, Hubby and I split a Braised Beef Sandwich and Rotisserie Vegetable Pizza. The Braised Beef was AMAZING, perhaps a little fatty (I trimmed prior to assembly), but fantastic after the trim. It was served on fresh focaccia with a mustard slaw, and hot fries on the side (very hot). The pizza was as far as I can ascertain, the same flatbread as we had for a starter (similar to Naan), grilled on both sides and topped with vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, roasted garlic, onion, etc. that had been rotisseried. Not an overcooked veg in sight. The pizza was a lighter option to the sandwich, and offered an interesting alternative, plus it was tender and tasty.

              NOtaBLE is serving P&S, but alas, no Espresso. The dessert selection, while it didn't entice me adequately, I'm sure will others. Stilton Cheesecake with Rhubarb Compote, Flourless Chocolate Cake, and Lemon Tarts are a few selections I recall.

              Service was prompt, kind, and attentive, and the quality of lunch (total $46) left us entirely happy campers. Great value IMO. NOtaBLE will be offering brunch on the weekends, and we will be happy to partake.

              Michael Noble seems to like the mix between neighbourhood and fine dining; approachable and sophisticated. I think he's created it very well.

              1. re: L.Noble

                I was so excited when I checked Facebook early this afternoon and found out they were open today. I had high hopes for NOtaBLE given Chef Noble's impressive resume. At the same time, it crossed my mind whether it was a good idea or not to check out this restaurant on their opening night, esp being a Friday night. Since I was tasked with choosing a place for dinner for some friends from out-of-town, I was confident that NOtaBLE would be the perfect choice to showcase some of the best dining that Calgary has to offer. I had a hunch that Chef Noble would be there running the kitchen, esp. since it was opening night, so I thought that would improve my chances of getting a flawless meal. It crossed my mind though that tonight might be chaotic since it was opening night but against my better judgment, I convinced myself that it wasn't likely going to happen given Chef Noble's 25 plus years in the restaurant industry.

                Unfortunately, my dinner experience was not as stellar as nutellaluvr's. I really wanted to love this restaurant. I agree that the decor is beautiful and is tastefully done. However, the service and overall experience certainly has room for improvement. One of my friends observed that some of the kitchen staff and definitely a lot of the servers seem very inexperienced and they seem overwhelmed giving that the restaurant was almost full during dinner service.

                We ordered a carafe of sparkling Q water, 2 lychee martinis, a glass of red, a starter of grilled flatbread served with a head of roasted garlic ($5 for starter size) and added both the olive tapenade ($4) and house made tzatziki ($4). Personally, I thought the tzatziki was too runny and not all that special. It was definitely not worth the $4 for the portion size that was given. I agree the olive tapenade was quite tasty but looking back, I'm not sure it was worth the $13 in total for 6 pieces of flat bread and 2 small containers of condiments. I probably would order the flat bread again with the olive tapenade but would probably stay away from the tzatziki.

                For entrees, I had the double cut pork chop and my friends had the special of the day which was troll-caught salmon cooked over wood burning rotisserie and the galloway new york striploin. I loved the flavours for the pork chop and would definitely order it again. It is easily one of the best pork chops I've had here in Calgary. I had a taste of the salmon. I didn't love it.. and neither did my friend who ordered it. Mind you, we usually prefer our salmon undercooked and this salmon was cooked all the way through. Also, I was expecting to taste the subtle smoked flavours from the wood burning rotisserie but I didn't and we certainly weren't wowed by the dish. As for the galloway new york striploin, it was cooked perfectly to medium-rare as my friend had requested. But flavour-wise it wasn't all that impressive. And for $36 for the striploin, I would probably go elsewhere if I was really craving steak. I can appreciate at least they cooked it properly but it was by far not the best steak I've ever had.

                As for service and overall experience, tonight did not meet my expectations. The starter of flatbread came in a reasonable time after the order was put in (15 to 20 min) but it came before our drinks showed up. I had to flag down the manager to get him to expedite the drinks and even then, they took a while to show up. After we finished the starter, we waited... and waited... and waited... for our entrees to show up. It was easily over an hour a half after we sat down (and easily over an hour after we had put in the order) for the entrees to show up. I looked around the restaurant and it seemed like everyone around us were in the same boat. Basically, everyone was waiting what seemed like forever, for the entrees to show up. I could see that people were getting restless and some started checking their phones, etc. while others were looking around the restaurant at all the other hungry diners anxiously awaiting their food.

                I felt particularly bad for the couple sitting at the table next to us. If I recall correctly, they were already seated by the time we sat down. They had finished their appetizer and a whole bottle of wine before their entrees showed up. What was particularly strange was that a server came by and cleared away their water glasses while they were still sitting at the table waiting for entrees that they were planning to share (they were given clean plates and cutlery in anticipation of arrival of the entrees). Their entrees finally came just as we were about to leave. At that point, they have no beverage glasses of any sort as their wine glasses had been cleared away earlier. This is the first time I've ever seen a server clear away water glasses with the guests still sitting at the table.

                Given the total bill (excl tip) was $126 for 3 alcoholic drinks, 1 starter and 3 entrees, I would say NOtaBLE is decent value if they can improve on the service. Based on my experience tonight, I couldn't say that service was prompt or attentive but it was not entirely the fault of the serving staff. I will probably wait at least a couple of weeks or a month before coming back to try other menu items. A couple of other menu items caught my eye such as their house made burger and their rotisserie chicken. Hopefully by then, a lot of these kinks will be ironed out. I really don't want to be waiting over an hour for a burger...

                I learned my lesson tonight. I definitely won't be bringing out of town guests to a new restaurant on their opening night. The food wasn't bad...the pork chop was actually impressive but the wait time for the entrees was too much for us and overall, we expected more given Chef Noble's impressive resume...

                1. re: miss.foodie

                  I have to agree with miss.foodie on several points. I too thought twice about trying out NOtaBLE on an opening Friday night. Friday/Saturday night service can be abysmal and new restaurants inevitably have kinks to work out. Hence the reason we scrambled to go for lunch. That being said, more tables were occupied than I anticipated, let's say 8, however we had two members of the staff attend to us and both were chatty. My husband did comment early on that with the open kitchen concept, it was all the more obvious that much of the kitchen staff was green. They didn't move or behave with precision nor confidence, and at one point Chef Noble seemed to be instructing someone on how to grill lemon halves and onions. Admittedly, it seems a little late in the game for lessons, they are open for business and have been trying to be for a week.

                  Regardless, I too would have felt badly for the couple at the table next to miss.foodie and would have come away with an entirely different experience had that been me.

                  1. re: miss.foodie

                    Headed to Noble few weekends ago for brunch... sigh. Didn't find the parking garage till I had already street parked - no biggie, Hubby had the tuna sandwich, I had the cold plate, water for me, very late coffee for him. Took forever for coffee and than the bill but not too bad. No indication of a drink menu etc so I stuck with the H2O when all I wanted was a mimosa but didn't feel comfortable asking if they served them (probably my bad more than theres) Cold plate was OK not great chicken was raw in the middle and nothing really stood out but like I said nothing bad per se. Hubby's Tuna sandwich was good, salad was uninspired. Total bill over 40 bucks- what the heck?!! Love paying for good food hate having water and mediocre food and paying that much. Never again... just reaffirms my resolve to avoid Bowness until it re gentrifies.

                  2. re: L.Noble

                    Went with my husband last night for my birthday to Notable. We were very excited as we leave close by and are definitely missing good restaurants in the neighbourhood (recommendations anyone....). unfortunately I was a bit disappointed...I knew it was the second night so wasnt expecting much from the service but didnt have a pleasant experience. Spent in total 2.5 hours for 1 starter and 1 main each and I think we would still be there now if we hadnt walked to the bar to pay....I saw a few tables coming after us and leaving before us with starters and mains as well so got a bit disappointed....also I wasnt very impressed with the menu, I thought it lacked originality....I actually struggled to find something I fancied!! the food was good but nothing husband s beef tenderloin arrived cold on his plate....

                    we will return there in 6 months time, leaving them time to adjust!

                    1. re: L.Noble

                      We had an early dinner last night (arrived 5:30) and found both the food and service to be stellar. Two apps and two mains, total time 1-1/2 hours. Maybe they need to stagger the reservation times more, it's a pretty big restaurant, not much you can do if everyone orders within a few minutes of each other.

                      The rotisserie on Saturdays is chicken (not my favourite thing) so we had halibut (excellent, large thick portion perfectly cooked with fingerling potatoes and yellow beets) and Galloway striploin with asparagus, and some kind of puree, also perfectly cooked. I found the lobster rolls a bit meh but the tuna tartare was great - fresh, lightly seasoned and came with what was called ratatouille but was more like a chutney. Delicious.

                      The prices were really, really reasonable for the quality and taste - our entrees were $27 and $36, apps $12 and $15. Wine was reasonable, starting at $28 a bottle. I hate places where bottles of wine start at $50, I just have beer. They have casual items, burgers and the like for around $15. If it were more conventiently located I'd go there ALL the time. I noticed they have lamb on the rotisserie on Tuesdays (yum), I'll have to keep that in mind.

                      1. re: hsk

                        My husband made reservations for us on Friday night at 7:00 pm as he assumed the restaurant had been open for a week. Overall, the atmosphere was a controlled chaos. We were seated promptly but failed to get menus for about 15 minutes. Our server stopped by and greeted us warmly, we ordered a carafe of Q still water ... but no menus. Water dropped off promptly with the requested wedges of lemon and then our server disappeared.

                        We finally flagged down another server for menus and told "If I can find any". ???? not enough menus? I looked around the room we were sitting in and no one was reading a menu. Finally, my husband flagged down a gentleman who appeared to be a manager and he found us two menus, beautifully bound in soft leather,with the Notable logo on it.

                        I ordered the rotisserie chicken sandwich as I wanted something light, and Mr S ordered the double cut pork chop as that's one of his fave entrees. We ordered a lobster salad starter to share. The lobster starter arrived an hour after we were seated, and was EXQUISITE. Delicately seasoned lobster salad on tiny brioche buns, topped with micro greens. Definitely my fave thing on the menu.

                        Then .... we waited for our entrees .. waited ..... waited ...... at hour 2 we received our entrees with profuse apologies from our waitress and the gentleman who gave us our menus. My sandwich was full of fresh and flavorful ingredients - organic roast chicken (white meat, slightly dry I must say), a spicy mayo, fresh, RIPE tomatoes, butter lettuce on freshly baked focaccia. To be totally honest, the sandwich was slightly *meh* - I could have made this thing at home with the right ingredients, it seemed somehow slapped together and didn't quite come together. The accompanying fries were great - the type of potato used carmalized slightly while frying and they were delightful. My husband's pork chop was massive with wonderful sides of asparagus, squash, and scalloped potatoes. He was, however, slightly disappointed - the server had promised a "very tender pork chop". it was overall quite chewy, though the flavour was very good.

                        Now, here is where we were impressed with Notable - my husband mentioned to our server the pork chop was quite chewy and she took it off our bill; she seemed cognizant of the fact that we had waited for a long time for our meals and Mr. S was disappointed. Service speeded up a bit ( someone had to find us a dessert menu - again, "If I can find a menu!" ?????) and we had an amazing Stilton Cheesecake (really folks, order it you won't be sorry) with rhubarb compote and I had the Flourless Chocolate Cake with Chocolate sorbet. My dessert was heavenly but I recommend it be shared as it was overall quite rich - the sorbet was more of a gelato.

                        Total time from being seated to leaving: almost 3 hours. As we walked away in the setting sun our thoughts:

                        Yes, we would return. Yes, the prices are reasonable and we like the the added bonus of free parking, plus it is close to our home. The staff though overwhelmed, remained pleasant and it was a nice touch to remove the pork chop from our bill. Most places we've encountered in the same situation were ... "Oh, sorry to hear that. I'll mention it to the kitchen". yes, we like the room - very spacious and we liked we could hold a private conversation without anyone in earshot. Yes, we liked the staff uniforms - casual jeans and very cool t-shirts with with a pitchfork, fork and the Notable logo (I want one!!!)

                        We'll probably return next month - hopefully they'll have more menus printed up! Two thumbs up from us.

                        1. re: sweeterpea

                          Went for lunch today... great food.

                          The place was almost completely full, on a Tuesday at noon. It was a genius move to put a higher quality restaurant in the NW, there is virtually no competition aside from Redwater.

                          The rotiserie chicken was rather incredible.. must be that wood oven. Sadly the fries were not fresh and were overdone. Can't win em all.

                          The spinach salad was beautiful as well, with strawberries pickled in balsamic, something I had never come across. Balsamic strawberries yes, but the pickling (with red onions also) changed the character a little. They were delicious.

                          Really friendly service, but I'll have to agree with other posters that the timing was a bit off. The server seemed to be there when we didn't need her and nowhere when we did. Although they seem to have hired local neighborhood staff, not the slick servers you encounter at more expensive restaurants downtown, and I appreciate that. Hopefully they'll get in the groove.

                          Great value though, the bill came to $50.00, including a shared dessert and some exceptional tea to finish (cherry rose sencha.. tasted like turkish delight).

                          As I'm ten minutes from the place, it'll pretty much be my go-to from now on. Looking forward to trying the brunch.

                  3. I'm an acquaintance of his daughter and through a bit of sleuthing, I found so it looks like something is in the works.

                    6 Replies
                      1. re: John Manzo

                        Michael is searching for a Calgary lease space. The talent these days is going to make him crazy (in a bad way!) 6 years ago June, Michael hired a man from Japan, brought him to Catch, he couldn't speak a word of English. Hayato Okamitsu just made Executive Chef, Noble will be proud!

                        1. re: ChefsMenuTasting

                          I think you mean Chef de Cuisine,

                          The executive chef at the Catch should be Brad Horen. Don't get me wrong Chef the Cuisine is pretty much the Executive Sous Chef or the second in command in the kitchen.

                          I have never meet Hayato san, but I am happy for him to make it this far in this short period of time

                          1. re: wine guru

                            I've heard from a valuable source that Brad has now relocated to Vancouver Island. It all happened pretty quickly as in the past couple of weeks.

                          2. re: ChefsMenuTasting

                            Hayato actually moved from Japan to Vancouver first and worked under my dad at Diva at the Met at the Metropolitan Hotel. Then when we moved to Calgary for Catch, Hayato came too.
                            Hayato's my favorite!

                      2. The original comment has been removed
                        1. Noble is still here in Calgary and ready to do his own spot from what I hear. I heard that the location is going to be near Eau Claire. I think its going to be called "Notable"! I'm sure it won't be a huge space, but it will be nice to have him back in the game so to speak.

                          1. re: DrZiggy

                            it's not going to be near Eau Claire but you got the name right...

                        2. The original comment has been removed
                            1. re: L.Noble

                              Hmmm- Montgomery- interesting location. Bowness is set to become the new Inglewood.

                              1. re: L.Noble

                                Thanks for the update & congrats to your Dad :)

                                1. re: maplesugar

                                  L.N. the last update to your blog was in April... any more progress on NoTable? =)

                                  1. re: maplesugar

                                    Just checked and there are 2 blog updates ,1 in July, and 1 in September.

                                    The July post indicates a November opening

                                    1. re: newJJD

                                      whoops missed that - Thanks newJJD

                                      1. re: maplesugar

                                        there's actually going to be another blog update soon because the possesion date was continuously delayed and we finally just received notice
                                        the restaurant will likely be opening 4 months after the middle of october..

                                        1. re: L.Noble

                                          Seems like that's a chronic problem in Calgary - usually permit holdups. Sorry to hear NOtaBLE is having the same issues. Looking forward to the eventual opening. Keep us posted :)