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Kensington gossip - Calgary

http://www.thenakedleaf.ca/
103-305 10 Street NW
A new tea shop just north of the Carpenter's Union hall.
They have just started renovating their space - new paper covering the windows in the last coupleof days.

Vero Bistro Moderne (not Velo as John M. had previously noted
)209 10 Street NW
Beside Fiasco Gelato
The renovations seem to be mostly complete.
They are advertising for front and back of house staff so the opening should be soon.

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  1. my bad :) "Vero" sounds good!

    You forgot one- "winebar" where the danube used to be- I hear it's Muse's take on a charcuterie type of thing.

    Also I heard Fiasco is closing their Kensington location, too bad but that's a tough space, long skinny and dark- still, it would just kill to have a REALLY good coffee place go in somewhere...

    Two questions-

    1. Anybody been to the new Thai place where most recently Tibet on 10 was? I don't hold out much hope for anything there but am still curious. They had a lunch buffet for about one week and I went to check it out and no more lunch buffet :( so I departed and had the curry (yes, again) at Sungate.

    2. I notice that Lula is gone- too bad as that was a neat store- any news about what's happening in that space?

    18 Replies
    1. re: John Manzo

      Re: the "Muse" space - it wasn't on my (albeit short) tour path. The times I have passed by, the door was open and the lights on so I assume work is progressing but I haven't made the descent - the last time I took a good look, the place had been gutted but that was a month ago. I will try go by some time this week and give a better report.

      I was thinking about lunch at the new Thai place as well but it was closed so I ditched for a steak sandwich instead.

      1. re: John Manzo

        Lula - it is becoming an American Apparel store.

        1. re: cancowboy

          Well I'll be damned- seems too small for an AA (the one by my house must be 10,000sf, on 17th) and I saw they were opening in Market Mall.

          You're a great info source cancowboy!

          edited- just checked AA website, 130 10 St NW, yeppers. If it has to be a chain I must say AA has a bit of an edge.

          1. re: John Manzo

            Thanks but merely snoopy.
            And they were kind enough to post hiring ads in the window.

            I bow before the master.

        2. re: John Manzo

          Re: Winebar (there is a nice little paper? sign now at the top of the stairs)
          I tried to take a look but they have very efficiently covered all the windows.
          Except for a small peephole at floor level at the bottom of the stairs which gives you a good look at construction debris. From what little I could see, it looks like a work in progress - no visible completed anything.
          Looks like late summer at least before it will be open.

          An aside: My original rumour had Winebar going into the Polish Combatant's Hall but I see there is a For Sale sign on the building again - this is the third or fourth time that it will be changing hands.

          1. re: cancowboy

            The Polish hall will be a hard sell- no visible windows and generally an unwelcoming facade- it reminds me of the Crete Social Club here in Bankview; it's like it's trying to be invisible, and is succeeding.

            1. re: John Manzo

              Last time I looked as I drove by the Polish combatants club the front was being changed up.

              1. re: The Gut

                yes, but also FOR LEASE in front. May still sit empty for years and years.

                Of note- The Canadian Bible Society where the futon store was closed (what a surprise) and the property is now "SOLD."

          2. re: John Manzo

            Delicious-Thai
            http://delicious-thai.com/ still under construction - a semi-hidden link lead to http://delicious-thai.com/frontpage.html

            Prices are roughly on par with Ruan Thai (from an 20007 Waiters En Route menu).
            I should preface this by saying I have no idea what Thai food should taste like.
            I went to the restaurant @ 5:30 on Sunday - no one in the place yet.
            A quick look at the takeout menu and I settle on the shrimp pad thai - a safe choice for my inexperienced palate. 10 minutes later I am on my way home.

            Overall, I thought the dish was fine. It looked like the pad thai pictures that I had Googled. I expected the veggies and noodles to be crisper in texture for some reason but it tasted ok.
            It was good enough for me to consider trying the restaurant again some time but perhaps with a more knowledgeable guide.

            1. re: cancowboy

              Miss L and I went to *Delicious Thai* in Kensington for lunch yesterday. The deep fried chicken wings stuffed with pork were really nice, flavorful and very different for a Thai place. We both liked that. The chicken Pad Thai was very disappointing. It was dry, very light in color, and had an overwhelming fish sauce flavor that just wouldn't go away. Pretty sure there was MSG too, as my head began to act up almost immediately after lunch. This Pad Thai was nothing like any other I've had. Linda agreed. The service was nice and friendly.

              1. re: Bagel Guy

                how do they stuff chicken wings with pork?

                  1. re: John Manzo

                    oh, right on! i've never seen such a thing!

            2. re: John Manzo

              Re: Winebar
              I was having brunch in KP and someone mentioned that Winebar would be open in the next week or so.

              1. re: cancowboy

                Well. peering into the tiny slit in the window covering today (Aug 24) - I'd say that's being very unrealistically optimistic, but let's hope for the best.

                1. re: John Manzo

                  Walking past Winebar today.
                  The limited peek in the (mostly) covered windows shows a lot a progress towards being completed.
                  Also a "Change of Use" notice was posted in one window - last date for comment was October 1st. So maybe mid-October for opening????

                  1. re: cancowboy

                    Excellent, can't wait to try it out...thanks for the update.

              2. re: John Manzo

                I happened to walk past Sungate this morning and there is a "For Lease" sign in the window and the place looked emptied so I assume closed for good.

              3. Vero Bistro Moderne is now open (apparently for about a week).
                Menu is euro/continental (I think).
                Pricing is on par with Chef's Table and Muse.
                Lunch $15-$20 for mains; dinner $30-$40+.

                More than I felt like spending on lunch today.

                4 Replies
                1. re: cancowboy

                  Has anyone tried this place yet? I've looked at the menu a couple of times but it's a bit pricey for just a 'it's Tuesday I don't feel like cooking' type day.

                  1. re: magrat22

                    it got a very positive review in ffwd this week.

                      1. re: magrat22

                        I was at Vero Bistro Moderne with a friend 2 weeks ago - and we absolutely loved it. We had a reservation for 9:00 and were informed that we were there in time for the full dinner menu as well as the tapas menu. The tapas menu is available until 2 am. Our server was very attentive and knowledgeable. We shared the shrimp balls/cakes from the tapas menu. They were delicate, had a beautiful crunch and a lovely mango sauce to go with them. I had a ribeye steak that came with a gorgonzola cream, truffled mashed potatoes and veg of some sort. It was the special of the evening and also came with a 2 ounce red wine pairing ($37). It was fantastic! My dinner companion had the duck breast from the dinner menu. I can't remember the specifics of his dish, but it was delicious. We met the chef/owner (Jenny). She is a lovely woman who clearly has a passion for the business. We ordered a dessert to share (creme caramel - also delicous), and Jenny sent us some complimentary sauternes to enjoy with the dessert, as well as some homemade truffles. It was a great meal, and I'd highly recommend it.

                    1. Take Ten is gone. I walked by yesterday and the windows are papered up.

                      A small sign in the door says "????? Sushi" - sorry I forgot the name; I should have posted yesterday. No opening date but it shouldn't take too long to redo the interior - assuming they are not going for the full restaurant makeover.

                      So that will make 4 sushi restaurants in Kensington.
                      An embarassment of riches.

                      9 Replies
                      1. re: cancowboy

                        Is that the one on the corner of 10th and Memorial Drive? The one that changes ownership/formats every year?

                        1. re: alau2

                          No it is the little hole in the wall between the Roasterie and Broken Plate.

                          1. re: cancowboy

                            OOH! The breakfast place. Thanks!

                        2. re: cancowboy

                          The restaurant will be named Tenshi Sushi.

                          Also, one of the Japanese restaurants may be changing hands by the end of the year - most likely candidate is Zeal Sushi.

                          1. re: cancowboy

                            Zeal is pretty good... changing hands and changing restos are just ownership change?

                            1. re: John Manzo

                              I believe ownership change but I have no concrete details.

                              And Zeal is just a guess by elimination - not Globefish obviously; Sushi Club just renewed their lease and did some minor renos; Tenshi is too new (my impression was that the establishment was already a going concern) which leaves Zeal - I know Zeal had been on the market within the last year.

                              Besides I think my rumor record has only been about 50/50.

                              Speaking of which, I peeked in the window at Winebar and they don't seem to have made much progress from the last time I looked in.

                              1. re: John Manzo

                                I spoke to the owner of Zeal Sushi and confirmed that the restaurant had been sold - without his partner, keeping Zeal going was becoming overwhelming and he needed a break.
                                <rumour>
                                The new owners will be renovating and adding an actual kitchen plus bathrooms. I don't know how they will manage that in such a small space and maintain enough seating .
                                </rumour>

                                1. re: cancowboy

                                  Just a final note on Sushi Zeal
                                  The doors are closed and the windows papered over (for about the last week).

                                  A big dumpster in the back so renovations are underway.

                            2. re: cancowboy

                              FYI Tenshi Sushi opened this weekend.

                            3. Fiasco's contract comes up in 2009 and I'm pretty sure they're not going to renew it. Do you guys have any ideas for what will go there in it's place? Or what you would like to go there? I personally wouldn't mind an independent bookstore but not many would agree with me. Another restaurant would be nice, I guess.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: cn1822

                                Fiasco is way way WAY too small for a bookstore! Besides, I think the days of new indie bookstores ever opening up anywhere- aside from strip mall used Harlequin romance ones that litter small towns all over NA- are over.

                                A GOOD coffee place would be killer for Kensington. And you are correct, Fiasco is moving out.

                                1. re: John Manzo

                                  I was thinking that a bookstore in the area (kensington) would be nice, not in that particular spot. But that spot is pretty small for most things. The spot where fiasco is, wouldn't be the greatest place for a sit in coffee shop. What's a good shop that could fit there do you think?

                                  1. re: cn1822

                                    Well there is already a fantastic indie bookstore over on Kensington Rd- not that we couldn't always use more.

                                    It is indeed a bizarre, narrow, tiny space- I guess something that could do with a somewhat sunny front and private back- and I hate to say it but that is the perfect setup for a tanning salon, something Cgy does NOT need more of!

                              2. Winebar.
                                The plastic is off the windows so you can see in now.
                                Interior is done; tables set up.
                                Looks just about ready to open.

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: cancowboy

                                  Great news!

                                  And wow, Calgary might not be exactly an early adopter of this trend but it sure is making up for lost time now. All very reminiscent of the coffee (r)evolution here.

                                  1. re: cancowboy

                                    We walked past Winebar's open door today... They opened on Friday! A very nice manager-type saw us looking in and stopped to chat. They're open 4 pm-1 a.m. (2 a.m. on weekends) and on Thurs, Fri and Saturday for lunch.

                                    He said "city stuff" delayed Winebar's opening for about two months and he hoped their website would be up next week.

                                    They've got chalkboards up for cheese and charcuterie (like Salt in Vancouver) but also very tasty sounding munchies like grilled cheese and duck sandwich ($11) and pulled pork something (I think)... from the quick glance I got from the menu he let us peruse.

                                    The decor is relaxed, greys, metals... Looks very promising! I might have to force myself to visit this week...

                                    1. re: alau2

                                      They have an ad in the new "City Palate".
                                      Web address is http://www.winebarkensington.com/

                                      1. re: cancowboy

                                        Hey, that's the address of the Danube cafe, the place that made those wonderful crepes... does anyone know what happened to them?

                                        1. re: AriaDream

                                          Is it possible that there is a connection b/t Danube and the crepes place in the TD Square food court (Fresh Crepes)? I just ask because they are (or were) both run by Croatian folks.

                                          AFAIK Danube is no more.