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Calgary - Rouge or Capo

s
searching7 Nov 3, 2008 03:35 PM

New to Calgary and am looking for a good restaurant in Inglewood for my husband's birthday dinner next week (will just be the two of us). Thought we could grab dessert at Nectar afterwards.

Any thoughts on Rouge or Capo?

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  1. k
    kayahead Nov 3, 2008 04:11 PM

    I know I may be going against the crowd here, but I would heartily recommend Rouge over Capo. Although it could very well be that we caught Capo on a bad night, I have to say that I found the food to be ranging from unexceptional to poor. Very unfortunate because I would have loved to love it. Recently went to Rouge for a birthday dinner and I was quite impressed- very very good food, great service, my new favourite.

    1. m
      Mawson Plan Nov 3, 2008 04:27 PM

      The best meal I had at Capo was better than the meal I had at Rouge, but over the three times I have tried Capo the food got more and more salty and went downhill overall. The last time I ate there the chippino was so salty that it was inedible.

      1. John Manzo Nov 3, 2008 05:41 PM

        Have you considered Sugo? I've never eaten there but have heard good things.

        1 Reply
        1. re: John Manzo
          raidar Nov 3, 2008 06:02 PM

          I would recommend Sugo, as I had a great experience there a few weeks back for my GF's birthday. Both the food and service was outstanding.

        2. h
          Hart50 Nov 3, 2008 08:15 PM

          Although it is not in Inglewood I would choose Chef's Table over Rouge or Capo for a special occasion dinner.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Hart50
            s
            sueflay Nov 4, 2008 05:52 AM

            Rouge in the summer in the garden is hard to beat. I love Sugo too. We've always been treatd so well at lunch, must try for dinner one day.....

          2. s
            shopwinedinefine Nov 4, 2008 08:25 AM

            The food at Rouge is excellent, maybe slighter better than Capo. If you are looking for a romantic b-day celebration, I find the ambiance at Rouge to be more intimate. Capo is more of a "scene" atmosphere.

            1. s
              searching7 Nov 4, 2008 09:23 AM

              Does anyone have any other thoughts on Sugo?

              8 Replies
              1. re: searching7
                s
                shopwinedinefine Nov 4, 2008 09:52 AM

                In my humble opinion, Sugo is not nearly as good as Rouge or Capo. The prices at Rouge and Capo are higher, but the quality is up to it.

                1. re: shopwinedinefine
                  m
                  marcopolo Nov 4, 2008 02:03 PM

                  +1, well said.

                2. re: searching7
                  s
                  sueflay Nov 4, 2008 09:52 AM

                  Sugo is honest, uncomplicated Italian food and the price is right. I feel that many restaurants in Calgary are charging over their ability to deliver. Sugo delivers more than the prices they charge IMHO. The room looks like so many chef owner bistro/small restaurants that one finds. Simple, unfussy decor with local art on the walls. And they have a great (quality and quantity) scotch and grappa selection.

                  1. re: sueflay
                    maplesugar Nov 4, 2008 04:48 PM

                    There's such thing as quality grappa? Good to know...the only kind I tried I thought tasted a lot like gasoline vapours. The mention of good scotch though *swoon* ;)

                    1. re: maplesugar
                      foodosopher Nov 4, 2008 08:47 PM

                      Im with you MS - there may be quality grappa, but im betting it doesnt taste any better :)

                      1. re: foodosopher
                        m
                        Mawson Plan Nov 5, 2008 02:32 PM

                        Cappo offers a really nice grappa that tastes a bit like blueberries. It is a lower alcohol content and is slightly coloured. Does anyone know which one I am thinking of?

                        1. re: foodosopher
                          hornvixen Nov 11, 2008 09:36 AM

                          A comparison might be that a "good" grappa is like a good scotch. (Not the same by any means - but a comparison made by friends who love scotch said after trying grappa that isn't battery acid). Caramel in colour too. There isn't a huge market for it, so finding "the good stuff" isn't always as easy as finding a decent scotch at any corner store. But it does exist.

                        2. re: maplesugar
                          a
                          alley Nov 6, 2008 06:35 PM

                          Grappa is made from the left-overs of wine making: like Marc, it used to be the drink of wine makers and folks of modest means. Cheap grappa is nasty. High quality grappa, made from the pomace left from a top-end wine pressing is a delight. I have also had grappas infused with herbs or flowers: a chamomile grappa is a nice way to end a meal

                          As to the original question: It's hard to get into Capo anyways, so this might be an academic question. Rouge is romantic and the food and service are very good. Capo's food used to be exceptional, but it's busy and expensive, I've stayed away for while now.

                    2. maplesugar Nov 10, 2008 07:46 PM

                      Went to Rouge tonight with DH for a long overdue anniversary dinner. Service and food were both impeccable. I had the crab cakes to start - I'm no expert but these were my definition of perfection. Crisp on the outside and moist (but not even a hint of mushy...which has sadly described a lot of other crabcakes...) on the inside, served with a corn smoothie - a sweet, smooth corn soup with a dollop of creme fraiche, and a tomato jam. Next was the Two Temperature Borscht - a spoon of sour cream ice cream, fresh dill, and the most brilliant borscht I've ever had. Last, the Mahi Mahi with potatoe "boulangerie" ....thin sliced potato stack baked so the edges were crisp, served under the mahi mahi topped with carmelized onions, along side a wonderful lobster "meatball" similar to an arancini...should have brought my camera since words fail me... the works resting on top of some delicate crisp french green beans and a citrusy sauce that defies description. We'll definitely be back.

                      Dessert....I felt a bit guilty skipping out on Rouge (our server Sylvain was wonderful) but when in Inglewood (rare for this mother of three wee ones)Nectar is a must. I had the pumpkin cheesecake with pumpkin praline ice cream and plum compote and took home for my MIL (in town one more night and was graciously babysitting for us) the orange blossom meringues, passionfruit and raspberry/pomagranate sauces - and for me - my first french macarons. Outstanding!

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: maplesugar
                        m
                        Mr.GoodSoup Nov 11, 2008 08:49 AM

                        Capo if you love traditional Italian food made by an Italian with oodles of truffle. Rouge if you love everything! Paul is one of my favorite Chefs. He has fun in his haunted restaurant and puts out amazing food. The only thing is you need to be in one of the main rooms.

                        1. re: Mr.GoodSoup
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                          300rwhp Nov 18, 2008 12:00 PM

                          I went to sugo last night after a few recommendations in this thread and from a friend. To be honest I have found any of the finer dining recommendations on chowhound to be disappointing, the cheaper rec's have been excellent. So back to sugo arrive at 8pm for our reso, the restaurant has three tables, one large party of 7, which is already on mains and two two tops. We sit down and water is brought shortly. We then make our decisions and place our orders, my two companions order flatbread pizzas with one substitution. I order the smoked pork tenderloin. After about 30 mins I am beginning to wonder where our food is and a few minutes later our server stops by saying the pizzas are being plated. About 10 mins after that the pizzas arrive and then she comes back with a third pizza for me. Now I know I ordered the tenderloin but instead I received the pork pizza they offer. A possible mistake that I can look past. I offer to eat the pizza as the pork tenderloin will likely take awhile given how long the pizzas took. I should be honest I was not so convivial and used the phrase " that will take forever so I will just eat the pizza". Our server took offense to my comment, and said very rudely "no! it wont" and proceeded to take the pizza away. She returned shortly after saying it would take 4 minutes to serve the tenderloin. Sure in my mind I thought how could it take 4 minutes to cook a pork entree and plate it when your pizzas take 40 mins. But anywas 4 minutes comes and goes then at about 25 mins as it is now 930pm my dish arrives, at which point my companions are completely finished. I ask for the bill when she sets my dish down and when it comes back I open it to see no discount or gratis pork tenderloin. After waiting over 1 hour for a main course I am not longer willing to eat this dish, and tell our server so, she then says "fine if that is the case I will take this away" referring to the pork tenderloin in a threatening manner. All in all after just short of $40 dollars for two mediocre flatbread pizzas that took 40 minutes to make along with very rude service noted by all in our party we agree sugo was not what it had been made out to be.

                          1. re: 300rwhp
                            s
                            seemac70 Nov 18, 2008 04:04 PM

                            Sounds like you know the industry a little, eh?

                            I guess I'm the troll, but man, the high end joints here are so spoiled by endless oil bucks and low expectations...

                            As the proverb goes; "May you live in interesting times."

                            1. re: 300rwhp
                              maplesugar Nov 18, 2008 09:10 PM

                              I'm not looking for a fight here, merely making an observation: Having heard from other hounds about Sugo it seems to me the service issues you encountered, while definitely negative, could be described as an "off" night. Did you bring these issues to the attention of the MOD or just pay the bill and leave? Management can't fix problems if they don't hear about it.

                              1. re: maplesugar
                                3
                                300rwhp Nov 19, 2008 11:18 AM

                                See having worked in the industry for sometime, I know when you have a bad night and simply a bad server. While water came quickly, nothing else did. As to speaking to management, when you have one server working who is not 16 and rather in their 30's and see the manager/owner behind the bar chatting the whole night, you know your problem was brought to their attention. All of the failings; no apology, no discount, rude service show a great lack in FOH service. What would management have done, comped me the meal clearly not especially as I heard her discussing things in the kitchen. They could have taken that oppurtunity to rectify things when I complained about how it took longer than 4 minutes, but really she should have left the pizza I didnt ordered but agreed to eat. The things that occurred are basic issues that should not occur in a restaurant that postures itself like sugo does. Yes kitchens and orders get screwed up but what sets a place apart is how they deal with adversity. Sugo did not. Earls the situation would be simple, free entree and apologies all around. Perhaps the places in calgary need to take a page from the CFD playbook.

                                1. re: 300rwhp
                                  s
                                  seemac70 Nov 21, 2008 10:26 AM

                                  Amen.

                        2. l
                          letus eat Nov 19, 2008 03:39 PM

                          Went to Capo...awesome. Went to Rouge...never go back. Rude chef, dry beef, tasteless chocolate dessert.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: letus eat
                            s
                            sueflay Nov 20, 2008 04:02 PM

                            That is a very bad experience. I'm surprised as I have always had great service and food there. In fact your experience is so far from mine at Sugo that it seems like a different restaurant. I'll give a review next time I'm there.

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