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Alloy in Calgary

I am intrigued by Alloy and would love to go there but I have heard some mixed reviews and am not sure what to believe! What does everyone really think about Alloy?

Thanks!

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  1. I have been to Alloy 3 times and all three have been great! I have not been for about 3 months. It is one of our go to spots and I think we will try and get in next weekend.

    1. It was better than average (over a year ago). If you've never been you should go. I ALWAYS try places (especially new places) for myself and don't rely on others' opinions. But since you asked, my experience there was good food, nice ambience, a little pricey for what you get but they had free olives and hummous which was a really nice touch. Not good enough to go back regularly, but good enough to recommend for a new experience.

      1. I have been to Alloy about 3 times and really enjoyed it. It is a little pricey to make it there more often, but for a nice night out with a really different kind of experience and ambiance than you often get in Calgary I recommend it.

        1. I agree with all above. Alloy is beautiful California bungalow inside . It also has one of the most beautiful patios in Calgary - so get out to Alloy soon while you can enjoy the patio.

          The food is very nice also. I agree that perhaps the food doesn't have quite the same panache as perhaps Rush or Chef's Table BUT then again - how many places are? To me, Alloy is on par with some of my favourites like Centini and Redwater Grille. Places with very well prepared, contemporary food and fabulous decor.

          Also, if you are a bit hesitant, try Alloy for lunch. This is a fabulous place to take clients. Further, there isn't much in this caliber outside the core for lunch - so in that respect you can't lose. The fish and chips (a very elegant version) is great and the braised ribs are really unique - excellent.

          6 Replies
          1. re: jsfoodchat

            Thanks guys,

            Yea I was just curious about value for your dollar. I heard it was pricey and was wondering whether it was worth it.

            I think I am going to give a go though, and come up with my own review :P

            Any menu suggestions?

            1. re: Foodie149

              i love the lamb trio, i recently had the halibut and it was delicious, the greek salad w/calamari is lovely and fresh, i've also had the pork tenderloin - they usually have a good special as well, we didn't have it last time we were there but it sounded delicious, wild salmon....

              love alloy, always have a good experience and everyone leaves happy.

              1. re: pants

                Anything braised - I love the lamb trio too and the ribs.

              2. re: Foodie149

                Alloy is very good, tied with The Ranche in my opinion as the best restaurant in the south of Calgary. The garden patio is charming. There are better places in town: Rush, River Cafe, Capo, Chef's Table, Rouge, and I would now add Petite. But if you're in the south of Calgary I would strongly recommend Alloy.

                Menu recs: the lobster tempura or blue cheese souffle or soft shell crab for appetizer; the surf and turf, lamb trio or short rib for main.

                1. re: alley

                  I have not been to Rush yet but I love Capo. What is Petite like? I heard it just opend recently.

                  Thanks for the recommendations on the menu :)

                  1. re: alley

                    We had an excellent dinner at Alloy a few nights ago.
                    Appetizers consumed were the soft shell crab, the blue cheese soufle, salmon cakes, and the greek salad with calamari ( it was a deconstructed version). Mains were the Surf and Turf ( tournedo and lobster ravioli), a chicken dish , and two duck breasts with sweet potato gnocci. The consensus was that all was well executed and commensurate with the price point.
                    Service was erratic, in an enjoyable patio with music volumes that kept changing with the selections, and becoming annoying at times.
                    The wine list could be better organized, not many red wine choices in the under $75 range

              3. I'm a big fan of Alloy, but you won't catch me dining there on a regular basis due to the price range. That being said, you may very well catch me sitting at the bar quite often, as a good friend of mine is the bartender there.

                The one time I ate a full meal there, I really, really enjoyed it. I had the Greek Village Salad/Tempura Calamari as an appetizer, which was deelish, and very uniquely presented (the greek salad portion came on a very narrow dish, which kind of allowed you to taste the different features of the salad on their own). For my main, I had the Surf & Turf, which was to DIE for. The Lobster Ravioli was amazing. The creme brulee was a great dessert as well :)

                If any of you go there, and you're a Martini drinker, ask if JP is bartending. If he is, get him to make you up one of his Caramel Pear martinis They're quite good. If he asks how the heck you knew his name, just tell him Fraser recommended it on Chowhound :)

                1. I'm not getting it. If this is one of the best we've got in Calgary, well then ...........

                  A host who takes our coats, then tries to seat us with them still over her arm. A server who visits six separate times for a hello, to bring menus, to bring drink/wine menus, to take a drink order, to come back and recite specials, to bring drinks. (so much for Valentine's romance) She couldn't speak to the wine list as far as recommendations go. Tinny music emanating from the cheapest of speakers and echoing around a room devoid of sound absorbing materials. Table bases that clanged every time you moved your feet. The food was tasty enough but why was my steak way at the bottom of a high-rimmed soup plate? (The chef should make himself one, then sit down in cocktail dress to try and eat it. While he/she is at it, try walking into the restaurant on sloped, unshoveled ice & snow wearing heels)

                  All of this without any visible evidence of a manager running the show.

                  200 smackers with just a few glasses of wine? I don't think so. Demand better Calgary. Or vote with your feet as we shall.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: girlwithafork

                    I can see that overall you did not enjoy your experience at Alloy, but some of your complaints are pretty petty. Seriously because the host/hostess sat you while she held your coat that bugs you? And a server dropping off menus irritates you (I agree that bringing all menus at once would be preferred, but it would not turn me off to the point that I made a comment on it, its better than the server not coming by at all which is what we just experienced at Rush). Also I fail to see how eating in a cocktail dress is any different then any attire.

                    You are definitely allowed your opinion but some of the things you are complaining about seem very trivial.

                    1. re: true mc

                      Well I am pretty shocked to read all the GOOD reviews... I don't think that Alloy is on par with Capo or the Ranch in any way shape or form. period.

                      Girlswithafork: I am sorry your romantic night way a bust I had an even worse experience about a year ago there, and will not go back there again.

                      true mac: trivial in my opinion is pretty valid when you are parting with a couple hundred dollars for a meal!

                      If I pay $200-$300 for a meal, I want to be pampered, I want impeccable service, and I want divine food. At Alloy this is not going to happen, better to spend my hard earned dollars at Capo or Teatro's where I will get more than I pay for.

                      While Alloy is beautiful yes, They are not on par with Calgary's greats.

                  2. I am with hsk on this one, good enough to try out but not somewhere that I feel the need to return to on a regular basis. I had the beef shortrib and it was wonderful, and the polenta made me realize why people like it for the first time. My friends double cut porkchop was very good, but my other friends' special of halibut was on the bland side. The cocktails were a total miss, wine was decent, and the free hummus lacked any hint of garlic or lemon juice which made it very bland. I'd give it a four out of five overall.

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: tatiana131

                      I must have had a different Valentine's Day altogether than girlwithafork. My boyfriend took me to Alloy on V-Day and we had an amazing time. We sat in a beautiful white booth, and enjoyed some great wine. The complimentary hummus was brought over (we soon found out by the owner) and he explained almost every dish on the menu! The food was super tasty. We can't wait to go back. I would have to say my only complaint was it was hard to hear the music, but it was very busy on a Saturday night.

                      1. re: misssteak

                        I don't think it's fair to judge a restaurant solely from one v-day experience - I generally avoid restaurants on v-day (old married couples can do that). I've been once again since my original post (I had out-of-town family with two kids, we couldn't get into Petite), the 6 of us fit comfortably into a booth, the food was great and the staff really accommodating (the young niece was a really picky eater). Quite expensive, but nice for a special occasion.

                        1. re: hsk

                          i agree, you can't judge a restaurant by valentine's day - it's usually a bust...but i've had similar service experiences on regular days - once we were seated and sat for about 15 minutes before even a menu showed up, nevermind a drink order taken...i used to love alloy but it's been too hit and miss lately. it's too bad, it was really great a few times...

                          1. re: pants

                            We celebrated an early Valentine's on the 11th, not the 14th so the "can't judge" comments wouldn't apply to us.

                            Regardless ..... did Alloy or anyone else lower their prices on Valentine's Day? Didn't think so. As consumers, why do you expect less on certain days?

                            1. re: girlwithafork

                              i think we expect less because we tend to receive less and pay more - often holidays like that are more expensive....

                              smart to go out early - we cooked a nice meal at home instead.

                              1. re: girlwithafork

                                Regarding your question on why do you expect less on certain days: Valentine's Day, Mother's Day and New Year's Eve are to be avoided at any restaurant. The restaurant is overbooked, the kitchen and wait staff are over worked, the menus are usually reduced to "specials", and the owners are trying to squeeze as much profit out as they can, even at the best places. The only reason that a restaurant might reduce prices is that they also reduced portion sizes - and they're more likely to increase the cost regardless. I used to wait at a hotel dining room, and dreaded these special days. Read "Waiter Rant" for more on this.

                                BTW girlwithafork, I agree that Alloy isn't up to the standard of the best in Calgary. It's one of the best restaurants south of downtown (and north of the Ranche), but it is expensive and it's not at the standard of Capo or Rush or River Cafe or Teatro, and I would pick Petite for example over Alloy. If Tango holds up, it will probably become my favourite restaurant in the area - not as high-end, but better value for the money.

                      2. After my first visit to Alloy, where I enjoyed appetizers and wine, I looked forward to returning there for dinner. After dining there a second time, I looked forward to dining there again if only to determine if the first or second visit was the anomaly, ie. the second trip was one likeable appetizer short of revolting. Sadly, the third visit tipped the scales more towards the unfortunate experience of the second visit. I say "sadly" mostly because I do really enjoy the look/feel of the restaurant.

                        It goes on my long list of glossy, overpriced and underwhelming restaurants in Calgary. There are restaurants in the city worthy of their pricey menus that have been mentioned above, most notably Capo, but please do not put Alloy in that same league, it's not even close. It really is unfair and insulting to those restaurants that deserve to be placed in that upper echelon. If money is no object and you eat out several times a week fine, try it, but otherwise why not spend your dollars where you get a lot more value and enjoyment for them.

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                        Alloy
                        220 42 Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2G 1Y4, CA

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: horacerace

                          The Alloy restaurant when I went was immature. The hostess was a bubble headed bimbo and the wait staff were unprofessional. I will say that the space itself is very impressive. Props to the designers and architects who completed the renovation – it is really quite a magnificent space. Well except for the pink light wall in the bar – I just didn’t get the point of that.

                          Anyway, I was not impressed with anything else and decided not to return until I heard that things had improved. Well that hasn’t happened so I have never been back.

                          I went with my husband to celebrate and enjoy a romantic dinner for two. I made reservations a couple of weeks in advance so was quite surprised to be seated in the bar, just outside the kitchen, at a table for six! I seem to remember that the food was fine but the ambiance of the dinner was not what we had booked. I could totally understand if that happened when you were a walk in but we had made reservations well in advance. To make matters worse the kitchen staff were arguing a lot with the serving staff and it was very loud and unprofessional and about 10’ from our table.

                          Anyhow, I guess I hold a grudge against these things because I have never been back.
                          Best of luck to any of you willing to give them a try.

                          -----
                          Alloy
                          220 42 Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2G 1Y4, CA

                        2. Definitely pricey. As with many other such places, the portion size is inversely proportional to the price. I've only been their once and the price didn't justify a return visit in my eyes. The atmosphere is quite good though.