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Apr 29, 2010 10:25 AM

Calgary - Petite: A little too warm, but great food

I returned to Petite for the first time in a few months, had an excellent meal. I noticed some recent reviews on other sites complaining about the air circulation, this must be a recent problem, as I did not notice it on earlier visits, but it was definitely over warm in the room. Other than that: everything went fine; the service was friendly, they seated me without a reservation (I took a risk and knew it, this is such a small place and usually busy, I was lucky to get in without checking in advance), and my waitress was helpful and creative in coming up with wine pairings. The charcuterie board was excellent (and paired with 2 half-glasses of wine, one red and one white, which was especially fun), and so was the halibut.

Hopefully they will be able to fix the heating problem - I didn't get around to asking them what was going on. This is still one of my favourite restaurants in the city, the food is consistently great and like the small and intimate feel. I have yet to be disappointed at Petite.

Petite Restaurant
344 17th Avenue SW, Calgary, AB T3C, CA

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  1. the heat isn't a recent problem - it gets much worse in the summer (shoot for a patio table) - i think it's just the result of a small space in an old brick building with an open kitchen...i hope they can fix it too - love it there!

    1. It was quite smokey when I was there - ventilation wasn't very good.

      1. I was also there last week for dinner and ate the same things as you, alley - great minds... :)

        One of the servers took a seat at the table next to us as we were waiting for our desserts. He explained the heat and smoke issue was due to it being a heritage building (is it?) and they weren't able/allowed to "punch a hole in the brick for extra ventilation". There were a few times throughout the evening where it got a little smokey and hot, but it was easily remedied by someone opening the door. I'm very willing to overlook things like this, but I know others on this board aren't and that could be quite a problem for Petite. Surely there's something that can be done...

        5 Replies
        1. re: Chow_Down

          It would appear that Petite is part of the A.B. Cushing Mills building:

          1. re: aktivistin

            Just had dinner tonight! What a treat! Cheese plate was fantastic with all little touches (better than FARM), silky smooth sea bass and delicious (and not too sweet) toffee bread pudding. The wine sommelier recommended the perfect wines... I can't remember having a better night out. Definitely a treat and a must visit.

            1. re: clouie

              Agreed. The food here is really made well and you can taste the quality in the ingredients. They also have Dinner events every few weeks (usually on Sundays) which are a treat to attend. These dinners have a food/wine theme, last time it was Champagne and Truffles....mmm mmm mmm!

              1. re: clouie

                Shhh! One of my favourite places. I also enjoyed the toffee bread pudding - check out pics here:, AB/desc/petite/sort/latest/

                Also have been there for the Sunday set menus which is really good as well.

                1. re: ybnormal

                  Great site! Thanks for the link.

                  I'm going to make reservations for the Sunday set menu. I can't wait for my next visit...

                  Another note - I really enjoyed the concept of fine food in an unpretentious environment.

          2. Bad news ... and good news
            Fire at Petite Monday afternoon
            ... it may move up their renovation plans and their space will triple.

            7 Replies
            1. re: cancowboy

              But it won't be petite! :-)

              Amazing how some tragedies uncover blessings like this- great silver lining.

              1. re: John Manzo

                I drove by il Giardino's and saw a sign that it was going to be Petite. Hard to believe, but true.
                I loved the place but I sure hope it doesn't go the way of Entre Nous - great place when they were in the Antonio's Garlic Clove location but then they moved to the (much bigger) Combo House location and went bust. Which has since been Oceana's, BLVD and now Tilted Grill. Il Giardino was over 100 seats, it definitely won't be "petite" anymore.

                1. re: hsk

                  It's also a bit of a shame. The old location was beautiful.

                  1. re: Leibowitz

                    I'm definitely routing for the new Petit location. Hopefully they're able to fully transform the Il Giardino space.....I was never terribly impressed by the dark, bottom-floor-of-an-office-building feel it had.

                    Anyone have an idea how long it might be until they open the new place?

                    1. re: johnjohnson78

                      I heard on their website that they plan to reopen in October. Check out their facebook page and "like" it, and you are entered to win free tickets for the opening night. I can't wait to go again - I love everything about that restaurant.

                  2. re: hsk

                    I enjoyed Petite, and I'm glad they're reopening soon. But I'm disappointed with the choice of a new location. What I liked about Petite, besides the execution in the kitchen, was the intimacy. You could see and hear and feel everything happen. It was often crowded and it must have been a pain to work in, but it was a great atmosphere. I haven't seen the results of the Il Giardino makeover yet, but I don't see how they can come close to recreating anything with a similar feel in that space. I am sure it will be a good restaurant. I am not sure that it will be special anymore. I guess we only have a few more weeks to wait and see. At least with all of that space they should be able to handle the overflow from Model Milk at the other end of the block - whenever it finally opens.

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