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2 nights in Calgary - recommendations please

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Dan G Oct 15, 2009 11:27 AM

planning my annual trip to Calgary in a couple of weeks and wondering where to eat this time. Have been to Teatro, Capo, Il Sogno, Blink... places I am thinking of are Rouge, Muse, River Cafe and Chef's Table. So, some questions:

Will be there for 2 evenings, so which 2 should I choose? Are any too similar that it wouldn't make sense doing back to back?
Does River Cafe have a tasting menu (not mentioned on their website)?
How flexible are the others in terms of substitutions on their tasting menus (my wife can't eat any seafood)?
Is there somewhere I'm missing and should consider instead, or go back to something we've been to?

  1. k
    katidyd Oct 15, 2009 01:52 PM

    It sounds like you're staying pretty central in Calgary. In the past few months, we've enjoyed wonderful dinners at The Belvedere and Centini.
    I haven't been to the River Cafe in about a year...but have never been disappointed there. Another little new spot - Taste. It's not very fancy/dancy...a little more casual,,,but it caters to tasting/sharing and the food was great.

    1. i
      ilovealbertabeets Oct 15, 2009 04:29 PM

      Yep I'd second that recommendation of River Cafe. I'm vegetarian and they have been quite accommodating in the past. Not sure about a tasting menu.

      2 Replies
      1. re: ilovealbertabeets
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        cleopatra999 Oct 15, 2009 05:20 PM

        what about St. Germain? they have a tasting menu and that free corkage deal going on...if that appeals to you.

        1. re: cleopatra999
          d
          Dan G Oct 15, 2009 09:51 PM

          St Germain menu looks good, but actually, the idea of bringing a bottle of wine to a restaurant doesn't appeal to me. I prefer to choose wine to accompany each course, so if I took a bottle I'd have to pick food (and my wife would also have to pick hers) based on that bottle. Yes, it is less expensve but for 2 people too limiting and we'd rather really enjoy good pairings than save a few $$$.

          Might still go to st germain though...

      2. John Manzo Oct 16, 2009 09:38 AM

        We had a great meal at Petite last night! It's a little off the beaten path on 10th Ave east of 14 St SW in the Beltline in a tiny room and has loads of charm. I had rainbow trout (a pan-fried filet, not the whole animal I'd grown up with) on risotto and it was excellent. Very good value too- four apps, four mains, four deserts (three with wine pairings), two house reds and one Belgian beer all came to $240.

        2 Replies
        1. re: John Manzo
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          Gobstopper Oct 16, 2009 09:44 AM

          River cafe absolutely does tasting menus - they just never want someone to show up and ask for it, but rather to reserve with that in mind - one of the benefits is you can set your price point and any specific dislikes (i.e. hate chicken) without having to do the negotiating at the table.

          1. re: Gobstopper
            d
            Dan G Oct 16, 2009 10:06 AM

            thanks for that - I'll give them a call and discuss it with them.

        2. c
          ChrisA Oct 16, 2009 10:17 AM

          I would recommend Rush or Chef's Table if you're looking for tasting menus. In my opinion, these are the two best restaurants in Calgary. I can't imagine either would have a problem with substitutions, but it couldn't hurt to call first and find out (and forewarn the kitchen).

          River Cafe has a pleasant location, but the food is a notch below those two. Rouge and Muse also have good but lesser food, but without great locations (Muse is a bit cheaper to compensate). Without meaning disrespect to other posters, I would specifically recommend against St Germain---there's a good reason they have free corkage and basically have to give their food away.

          3 Replies
          1. re: ChrisA
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            cleopatra999 Oct 16, 2009 10:53 AM

            How far ahead would someone have to book Rush? for weekend? weekday?

            1. re: cleopatra999
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              cancowboy Oct 16, 2009 12:40 PM

              Just an experiment and not necessarily indicative of anything in general.
              I just checked (1:30) for tables for tonight and tomorrow for 2 @7 and @8 on OpenTable.com.
              Rush had availability in all cases.

              Weekdays would probably be equally available.
              Although the Christmas party season is not that far off.

            2. re: ChrisA
              h
              Hart50 Oct 16, 2009 10:02 PM

              I would concur.

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