Calgary - small group booking
Hi. After browsing through similar past posts on this topic, I'm wondering if the group can offer help. I'm trying to pick a location for a small, mid-week sit-down dinner for 8-12 co-workers.
The thing is, I don't live in Calgary (but as the foodiest of the group, I get to organize such things). I thought it would be nice to offer three suggestions to the higher-up's footing the bill. Right now that list is Rouge, the River Cafe and Divino (for a less expensive option that could lead to more wine-drinking) - they seem to work size-wise and have been reliably good to me in the past but I really don't make it to Calgary often enough to know what's really going on in the restaurant scene.
It doesn't need to have a private dining room - in fact, it would probably more fun for this group to be in a regular dining room but it should be so small that we'd feel like we'd taken over the whole space (like Capo for instance). It should be lively but quiet enough for people to converse. Decent wine list is a must. No steakhouses.
What best fits the bill?
I'm nervous about taking people somewhere I've never been, but I'm wondering what current thinking is on
The Belvedere (I think I've been in once for a drink but I can't for the life of me picture the space - too intimate for what I'm talking about?)
Also, any idea when Michael Noble's new restaurant will be opening and what form it will take?
I went to Alloy for the first time this past Saturday and really enjoyed it. They have all sorts of options for seating larger groups (there was, in fact, a large group sitting next to us), and the food and service are excellent. Plus it was a nice change to get outside the downtown/17th ave area and actually have convenient free parking.
We had a work lunch for about 14 people at Bonterra. We were the room where they keep the wine--a bit tucked away from the main area, but not secluded. Waiters were in and out picking up wines. In any case, the prices, food, and portions are great for that size of group. You can share appetizers and desserts and have your own entree. I don't drink much so I don't know what the restaurant has on offer beyond wine.
I was just going to suggest the "wine room" at Bonterra. I've never had a bad meal there and in fact, my first time was for a work function with about 8 people. If I remember correctly, the wine list is mostly Italian (don't quote me), which I know nothing about so I can't comment on the quality of the wines available.