So who's first?
It looks really intriguing!
At first glance, this place, its menus (both solid and liquid), look absolutely sumptuous. I do hope to afford it.
There's already been some reviews of this restaurant on the "Opening in Calgary" string.
I went last night, with the bf. I was surprised at how masculine the space was - black walls, leather banquettes, dark tables. For a local-centric resto, it was definitely giving off a more slick lounge vibe. But! That says nothing about the food!
They do a daily menu - and as far as I could piece together, a separate lunch and dinner menu. The bottle service is almost all organized, they were missing one of the draught beers. They offered house-filtered flat and sparkling water, much like Una has.
We started off with two appetizers: the racelette cheese with brioche, and the marrow bones. As I have owned a racelette maker in the past, I was a bit disappointed with how they served the cheese in a deep cast iron pot. It made it difficult to scrape the cheese out without burning your fingers on the pan. The brioche was fantastic. The marrow bones were definitely the best choice - two arrived, with buttered, toasted crumbs crowing in the bones, a lemon-y parsley salad, sea salt for sprinkling and toast points. I would go back for a serving of that alone.
For the main course we noshed on the Charcut board - a selection of cured meats. There was a thin-sliced salami, a pig's head mortadella, duck "ham" with shaved percino, and liverwurst croquettes. It was served with a lemon-y sauce for the croquettes, whole grain mustard with the mortadella, and the cheese. The serving was an excellent size for the two of us. I thought the mortadella was the best on the board, followed by the duck.
For dessert we shared a saskatoon berry cheesecake and americanos. The staff, we were told, had picked and preserved the berries from the summer. It wasn't a cooked cheesecake, rather layers of lightly sweetened cream cheese mixture interspersed with crumbled graham crackers and saskatoon berries. It was presently in a quaint canning jar. I'll admit I made the date polish off most of it, as the mortadella captured most of my attention during the meal.
The staff were really pleasant, and I'll definitely be back to sample other items. They have a lettuce and crispy chicken skin salad. I might die right after eating that, but at least I'll know what it tastes like!
Ok between your review and the blogpost mentioned above I so need to make a reservation! I know DH would be in heaven here... I think I found the place to take him for his birthday (big four-oh this year).
About how they served the raclette - did you mention the trouble with the pan? Sounds like they're eager to please, I'm sure they're receptive to feedback.
We visited Charcut on the weekend and had a delicious enjoyable meal. We started with some appetizers; Raclette cheese served with the sweet little brioche buns, Pigs head mortadella which was shaved thin and served in a pile with mustard (no bread or crackers come with this; you will need to order something), and chicironnes, which was basically bacon puffs without the fake smoke! They were my least favorite appetizer but still good, if you like that sort of 'skin' thing.
I had the prime rib (minimum 6oz @ $4.50/oz), which was first smoked and then rotisseried to medium. It was tender and juicy. Hot Date had the whole fish, a Manitoba lake trout, served with a tomato cocktail on top. It was succulent and moist. Apparently it was grilled but seemed more poached. Both mains were very tasty and cooked perfectly. Because the main dishes are mainly just meat, you need to order a couple sides as well. We got poutine, which was small but excellent with the truffle gravy and very squeaky fresh curds. We added an order of Edgar Farms asparagus.
The service was superb. Our waitress was well versed in all of the dishes and answered all of the many questions we had flawlessly. We were able to linger over our wine and not rushed in anyway.
My only complaint is that they only have 2 single toilets for the entire restaurant. Now I know why there are chairs set up outside the washrooms- for the wait!
We had our date night last night at Charcut. It was simply an amazing meal.
We shared the Shareburger - sausage on a brioche bun with cheese curds and topped with a perfectly done sunny-side up egg. You can order per oz. and we ordered the minimum, 9.5 oz. It was delicious and had a rich, pate-like taste. To be honest, it was a bit big and rich for two people, I recommend it maybe to share between three people.
Next up was a 6 oz. slice of spit-roasted prime rib (local and range-fed). It was probably one of the best prime-rib entrees I've had in this city. It was served up with roasted garlic, a grilled lemon, and maldon salt, and topped with arugula. Different, and made for a delicious taste profile.
Sides were the macaroni and cheese (made with orechetti and ham and to die for!) and sauteed broccolini with hot pepper flakes, garlic and parmesan. Must try for dessert: The Peanut Butter and Chocolate Torte - chocolate-y, dense and rich and oh-so-good. The desserts are a nice size so you don't have to share and you can try two between your dining partner. The PB torte was topped with the most incredible peanut butter crunch truffle that would make angels cry.
Splitting hairs: All the food was brought at once, and some of the dishes could have been warmer. Due to our feeding frenzy, and probably our table being crowded with food brought all at once, our table was a bit messy -- we had to ask for someone to clean the cheese and bits of stray arugula off our table before dessert. I think at this price range they should be automatically cleaning your table after you have finished your meal. The berries in the Saskatoon Berry Cheesecake were slightly woody --perhaps they have been in the freezer a bit too long. The cheesecake part was spot-on and wonderful.
The place was buzzing on a Monday night, which is a good sign. All the dishes going by us looked fabulous (must try the duck fat poutine on our next visit) They give you your bill with the cutest of cute pig paper clip (yes I stole it).
Our waitress , though very busy, was extremely knowledgeable and made enough time for us to chit chat for a few moments, which was appreciated and a nice personal touch. Dinner for us rang in at $110 with tip and without drinks, which I think is quite reasonable for this calibre and amount of food and service.
A total winner. Please make the time to try this place soon!
For those who enjoy the tip-to-tail (or gum-to-bum) ethos of eating ethically raised animals, thoughtfully prepared, this is nirvana. The non-critter menu items are equally as good. Loved the flexibility of ordering wine by 2oz, 5oz or by the bottle.
Very refreshing that they didn't hire supermodels as staff simply because they were ... well ... supermodels. A server is much, much more attractive when they are competent, well-trained, well-versed on the menu and being authentically themselves. In our case, this means Cheryl V. (ask for her)
We're going back to steal one of the cow paintings when they are not looking .........
This is definitely one of my favorite places in Calgary and they are one of the few places that do their own full charcuterie from scratch by buying full/half hogs, etc.
For those with late night hunger pains, go visit their 10pm alley to go burgers they usually have on Saturdays and Fridays. http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Calg...
I had an alley burger on Friday. It was pretty good: fresh bun, saucy patty and cheese. There might have been onions in the patty. My only reservation is that it was a little gamey and funky, with lamb meat and a cheese I didn't recognize. I understand a lot of people love this, but I could have gone for beef myself. Anyway, it was a far better snack than the pizza and hotdogs available in the surrounding blocks.
If you want to try one yourself, you need to be there before 10. They walk through the line at 10 and make exactly enough burgers for everyone in line.
I just took my family to Charcut as an early Christmas present. :) We were not disappointed! The food was wonderful and the service was amazing. The waiter could tell us all about the different beers and recommended one that my family loved... my sister even noted it down for later. He also showed her an interesting way of pouring it. The ambience was terrific and the price was great too! It was 480 for 5 people including alcohol and tip. This place gets an A++ from me!