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May 3, 2009 08:50 AM

Disappointment at the top of the Calgary Tower

Despite spending her entire life in Calgary, my girlfriend had never been up the Calgary Tower. Since we both loved Chef Chabot's work at Il Sogno, I figured a trip up the tower to sky360 would be ideal for her birthday dinner. Last year we celebrated the milestone by making our inaugural trip to Alloy and were hoping to add another spot to our stable of fine-dining establishments to frequent.
What we got when we arrived at the top was essentially an Earl's-level menu (not even remotely similar to the menu posted on the website) coupled with Montana's-level service (our server half-described the fish special as being "halibut" with no explanation of preparation or accompaniements, there was no drink menu and the server was not sure what types of cocktails the bartender was able to prepare and he was often MIA at precisely the time we wanted his attention).
The only remotely interesting items on the menu seemed to be the pasta dishes. The bolognese ordered by my girlfriend was passable but the hunk of dry focaccia tossed on the side looked like an afterthought. The "jus" on my mushroom and beef tagliatelle contained a large quantity of grainy mustard - an integral partof the dish but not even mentioned on the menu - as well as the forementioned Focaccia Afterthought..
Perhaps we had set ourselves up for disappointment by expecting an Il Sogno-type experience at an elevation of 600 feet. If Alain Chabot has indeed left Il Sogno for sky360, his presence is certainly not yet felt.

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  1. Sorry to hear it sidepockets. What was the pricepoint? I wonder if they dreamt big in the beginning and had to scale back the menu because of the economy? (lousy excuse but it's possible they opened at exactly the wrong time) According to chef DB Chabot is listed as Executive Chef... though what you experienced certainly doesn't sound like his work.

    3 Replies
    1. re: maplesugar

      $10 for soups and starter salads, $15 for the calamari we tried (breaded, deep fried) and other appetizers, $20 for pasta, $30 for most mains, $40 for steak, $10 for dessert.
      The quality seems to be scaled back but the prices are not. You don't have to pay an elevation fee to get to the restaurant but it looks like they collect the fee through the meal prices.

      1. re: sidepockets

        "it looks like they collect the fee through the meal prices"

        Yes that's how it is in business. They collect rent, utlities, wages, food cost, business taxes and whatever else they can (or need to) to keep the doors open, through the meal prices. I haven't been for a couple of years but last time I went it cost $8 per person to go up there and the entrees were around $35.

        So I'd say if the prices are about the same and you don't have to pay the elevation fee prices have been scaled back.

        1. re: hsk

          Thanks for the primer on business - I had no idea!

    2. What's the old line? "Avoid restaurants that revolve."

      1. What a shame. I went there before Chef Chabot joined them and I was actually quite impressed. But the server we had was extremely good. I'm glad they've taken the charge off to go up there though, that was a bit much.