DeVille Coffee at Art Central (Cgy), with pics
DeVille "luxury coffee and pastries" at Art Central (7th Ave and Centre St SW, kitty corner from the Hyatt) had its soft opening yesterday afternoon, and a proper opening today. DeVille sources coffees from the estimable Intelligentsia Coffee Roasters in Chicago (the first in Calgary, and third in Alberta to do so). Their food is supplied by Saint Germain restaurant and the menu comprises a small but intriguing list of sweets (eg a really nice chocolate-lavender cupcake) and savouries (with a daily quiche selection, convection oven heated so no worries about the lack of a kitchen per se). I had a very good traditional cappuccino today, in a 5-oz Pavina tumbler, made with Intelli's Black Cat espresso. The space itself is gorgeous, a great combo of glitz and comfort that's very much like the Calgary's other very recent high-end coffeehouse openings, Artigiano and Kawa. Pics that follow are of the exterior (Art Central), the duded-up Synesso espresso machine (and a glimpse of yours truly), and more of the interior- those windows provide a superb view of the Encana Bow site to the east.
With the surprising lovely weather today, I walked over to Art Central specifically to try DeVille. And, boy, am I glad I did. The walnut tart I had was perfect. Set in a pool of dulce de leche (I think), the pate sablee was crisp but not crumbly, tender but not soft. The buttery walnut filling was generous on the walnuts and subtly sweet (I was expecting something like a sticky pecan pie but this was much, much better).
I also enjoyed a hot chocolate, made from Bernard Callebaut product. Delicious, not overly rich (but I like my hot chocolate rich) with distinctive cocoa notes. Again, not too sweet, which I appreciated.
Sat by the window amid the bright, modern decor, enjoyed one of the books offered as reading material (a barista book by Scott Rao), and watched the people milling around and across the Centre St./7th Ave. intersection. DeVille is now one of my new favourite spots near the office!
Ah, you beat me to it John.
It is a beautiful space. I was there during Art Central's "First Thursday" event and also had the traditional capp. The steamed milk could have been better, but then again, I'm comparing it to Phil & Sebastians, whom, in my opinion, do wonders with milk. The actual shot itself was perfect though; I couldn't have asked for any better. It was a very pleasant afternoon, strolling through Art Central with my cappuccino, watching the performance piece and enjoying the crowd. And I'm sooo glad I don't have to drive out to Canmore (Communitea) anymore to get the Black Cat.
Initially, I was a little sceptical about DeVille. I friend of the owners told me about it a few months ago and it seemed like another place putting style over substance. I'm very glad I was wrong. I still don't think that it's a serious coffee house like Kawa, Artigiano, or P&S - I just didn't get that vibe from the staff - but it's definitely another source of very tasty coffee.
As John mentioned, the desserts will be coming from St. Germain, with the selection being rotated on a regular basis.
The staff mentioned to me that their hours will pretty much match the hours of Art Central, including extended hours during events like First Thursday.