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YYC-Where should I go for my birthday?

I have a birthday coming up on the 11th, and I would like to go somewhere different. (As in, somewhere that I haven't been to before). Not too expensive, as my husband quit his job and doesn't start his next one for a couple of weeks. No chains, please. I like seafood, pasta, chicken...well, I like all sorts of things, but a sort of contemporary place with nice presentation would be nice. I would like a nice atmosphere. Any suggestions? TIA!

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  1. It may be helpful if you list some of the places you've been to before that you might think posters may suggest. Happy birthday in advance.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Hoj

      Thanks. Hmmm, well, I have been to the chains (Montana's, Red Lobster, Chili's, etc.), and as far as non-chain I've been to The Living Room (years ago), La Dolce Vita, Casa D'Italia, Mercato, Villa Firenze...I think that's it. I didn't really expect anyone to suggest any of the places I've already been.

    2. For a cool atmosphere, I would recommend Mercato. It is very expensive if you get a main but if you split the atipasti platter (super yum) and split two pastas with wine you could come out under $150 (maybe even $100 depending on wine choice I think). I really like the open kitchen concept.

      I also had a very enjoyable dinner at Bonterra. They have a really pretty (and popular) patio if the weather is cooperating. They take reservations for inside but not for the patio. I had the Caprise salad ($14), the carbonara ($16). The Alpha Zeta Ripassa was nice at $45 for the bottle. If you stick with the pastas I think you could keep it fairly reasonable.

      8 Replies
      1. re: Merry113

        Thanks, Merry113, but I've been to Mercato. I would like to try somewhere different. I actually wasn't too impressed with Mercato, although that could be because I went there at lunch by myself and sat at the counter once.

        I do love pasta, but I'm not really sure that's what I want for my birthday. I guess I should have mentioned that in my OP.

        1. re: Lainey1978

          You actually listed pasta as one of the things you liked which led to my suggestions. ;)

          Unfortunately alot of places in Calgary are quite expensive for non-pasta, non-ethnic. Maybe if you could give us a price range so that we know what you mean by "not too expensive".

          1. re: Merry113

            I would suggest Pulcinella's for pizza. Ive been there many times, and only been disapointed once, when we were sat in the lounge. Our server was very busy, so we had a soggy pizza. Every other time though, its been amazing.

            The pizzas are very good, and the appies are also great.

            Its a very fun atmosphere, quite loud, due to some bad acoustics, but it encourages you to have a few more cocktails and have some fun...

            1. re: RodVito

              Meh, I have pizza every week. Thanks for the suggestion, though.

            2. re: Merry113

              Sorry. *sheepish smile* I do love pasta, but like I said, I think I'd rather have "entree-style" stuff for my b-day. Price range...um, probably no more than $25 for one entree. I would like to get out, for the two of us, for under $100. We don't drink, and we'd probably have birthday cake at home, so just appetizer and entree. And pop or whatever for my husband (I only ever drink water at restaurants). But if he feels he's not getting a good deal (like if the entree's are too expensive), he'll just whine the whole time about how expensive they are.

              1. re: Lainey1978

                Perhaps some place like Bistro 2210, or even Brava Bistro?

                1. re: Lainey1978

                  You might want to check out this little bistro that just opened. It's called Petite and across from Community Natural Foods in the beltline area. It's a tiny place (seats approx 24) so I suggest you make reservations. It would be well within your price range. For an appetizer, I really enjoyed the charcuterie.

                  http://www.petiterestaurant.ca/Petite...

                  Here is the CH thread on it..

                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/634601

                  I know in that thread I didn't give a rave review for it... but you may not encounter the same issue I had with the AC, etc as it is quite a bit cooler this coming week. And if you go on a weeknight, you may get better service as well. It was unfortunate that I got the table next to the kitchen on a very hot Fri evening and the restaurant was filled to the brim so the servers were constantly going back and forth to the kitchen next to me and I found that to be somewhat distracting. Had I gone on a different evening or been seated at a different table, it might have changed my whole dining experience. The food at Petite is very good (even though I didn't think it was WOW... but do understand, it takes a lot to wow me as I often travel abroad and eat at many different places... the places/dishes that I consider "wow" have a combination of flavours that would make it the most memorable of that particular dish that I've ever had). The presentation on the dishes is quite nice... the portions may be slightly on the small side but considering the price point, I didn't think it was an issue.

                  1. re: miss.foodie

                    Yes, these kinds of places look like more of what I had in mind. Thanks!

          2. I am with HOJ on Bistro 2210.
            Or, across the street, Fleur de Sel. Share the Foie gras, a Steak frites and another OK priced main dish gets you out the door for around 125.00, incl tip and a glass of house wine.

            It is your BIRTHDAY!