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Calgary - Looking for Atmosphere and Mood

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I'm looking for a restaurant that has good atmosphere and mood. I'd like somewhere that has an atmosphere where you can talk and have a nice conversation. Of course good food is important.

Something reasonably priced would be great, any suggestions? Would the new restaurant Olives across from the Stampede Casino fit this description?

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  1. I don't know if this was just an isolated incident. I went on a Saturday night around 8:30, after attending a function at the Stampeded grounds. It was my first time at Olives. The decor was very nice and contemporary. I didn't feel like I was in Calgary. I felt like I was in a bar/lounge in a big city. That was really cool. My biggest complaint is the noise level on a busy night. I'm not sure if you'd be able to have a nice conversation when it is that noisy. I couldn't hear my dining companions and we were literally shouting at each other in order to have a conversation. Also, we kept on mishearing each other because of the noise, which could lead to very "interesting" conversations, especially if it is on a first date. Perhaps, it is quieter on weekdays... which would make the environment much more conducive to a nice conversation. I know, I wouldn't pick this place for a first date on a Saturday night because I would have a hard time trying to have a nice conversation.

    1. As with many restaurants, it would seem that when you go has a huge impact on the amount of noise, number of diners, and thus the resulting atmosphere/mood, as from this report:

      http://foodosophy.wordpress.com/2008/...

      ... it seems that when its less busy, the high ceilings make it feel a lot more empty. The post also has more details on the menu and also specific dishes eaten on this occasion to help you in making your decision on this place.

      1. A few recommendations from my neck of the woods (inner city north side of downtown): Il Sogno in Bridgeland, great atmosphere, outstanding food in a heritage building (I'm guessing on the heritage part); Muse in Kensington, great date place with equally outstanding atmosphere and menu; Chef's Table at the Riverside Inn, very small room but beautiful contemporary atmosphere and a truly great tasting menu.

        2 Replies
        1. re: vanderb

          I would concur with your recomendations and would also add a table beside the fireplace at Wildwood.
          I would also suggest that Olives would not be a particularily good place for good atmosphere and mood...a bit too industrial.

          1. If you want something that is spectacular views, Sky360 at the top of the Calgary Tower is great. I took my staff there a couple weekends ago. If you have a reservation, you head up the elevator without paying the elevation fee. The view is spectacular, restaurant is completely renovated. Its very chic but welcoming now. The food was very very good. (Especially the lamb). No one was disappointed in the food. The service was excellent and it was quite intimate.

            1 Reply
            1. re: danniek

              I went to the tower for dinner a few years ago, when it was still the panorama dining room. I cant remember the food that well, but we sat at this little half circle banquette facing the window and we felt like the only people in the world, it was so intimate and relaxing! I hope they didn't get rid of them in the renos...

            2. Il Sogno
              Rouge
              River Cafe
              The Ranche

              All of which fit in terms of convo & atomsphere, they're unfortunately on the higher end in terms of price. Otherwise I just read about Siraia on the Sirocco Golf Course south of Spruce Meadows. Gilchrist gave it a mention in Sunday's Herald says it has the best views of any new resto and a menu that "goes far beyond the smoky-on-a-bun style of most golf courses." Might be worth checking out (Siraia Spruce Meadows Way: 403-256-8591)...sounds like it has atmosphere, don't know what the price point is like though.

              1. I'm not sure exactly what you're looking for in atmosphere, but if you like something very modern and zen-like, I would recommend Rush. The food was great. It's the usual downtown Calgary prices. For something a bit cheaper, I would recommend the Redwater Grill.