Downtown Calgary Dinners
I will be in Calgary next week for a few nights. What are recommendations for business dinners downtown? Would be interested in mid-priced places as well as the best of what's out there. Restaurants that show off Calgary would be especially welcome.
Calgary is a business city and, if nothing else, is a city where you're spoiled for choice in the "business dinner" category. Stephen Avenue Walk (the stretch of 8th Avenue SW from Olympic Plaza to 4th St SW, which is a pedestrian mall during the day) is lined with restaurants that cater to businesspeople- just going east to west, you'll find Teatro, Centini, Thomson's, Catch, Belvedere, Blink, Divino, Murrietta's, and Tangerine, all of which are pricey. Also are Metropolitan Grill, and in the blocks west of 4th, Belgo Brasserie, Seven Restolounge and Opus, all of which are a bit more clubby but (speaking for Opus at least, never been to the others) have good food in a more drink-y atmosphere.
Off Stephen Ave the pickings are slimmer, but worth considering is always River Cafe on Prince's Island Park (and I cannot think of a better place to show off Calgary), Caesar's for old-school steakhouse, and there are many options just south of downtown in the Beltline area- a new resto getting a lot of great buzz is Olives near the stampede grounds. This is also a superb example of a new urban context (it's on the main floor of a new condo development that is changing the face of Victoria Park, for the better) and I think along with River Cafe may be the best place to show the city off.
Seconding John: Stephen Avenue presents lots of choices, my favourites there are Divino and Murietta's (both reasonably priced considering the quality) and Teatro and the bar at Tribune (higher-end prices - the restaurant at Tribune is in the basement, I like the bar better).
River Cafe is definitely the place to show off Calgary: expensive but worth it. I usually take business guests to Divino or River Cafe.
I would also recommend Capo and Rouge just east of downtown in Inglewood: both expensive, both very good, though Capo is a bit intimate for a business dinner.
And I agree with John's recommendation for Olives, I would also add in Chef's Table at the Kensington Riverside Inn just across the river from the downtown center (expensive).
In no particualr order, I would recommend the following for high end dining in Calgary:
Olives-haven't been yet but it is getting rave reviews.
There is also a brand new high-end restaurant (Rush) that I believe opened last week. Perhaps you could TOFTT and give us a review.