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Mar 2, 2011 07:24 PM

Dine out Calgary 2011

Anyone going to any of the restaurants posted for this years Dine out Calgary? I've looked at a few of the menus but havnt decided on any restaurants as of yet. Need to get those reservations in asap. Has anyone decided on where they are going to go?

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    1. For dinner, we are trying Home Tasting Room and Muse because we haven't been to either before and use this opporutnity to try new places. We're contemplating going to AKA as well, but we've been there before. At last years Dine Out we went to Chef's Table and Vero Bistro, both awesome.

      I really hate the new name "Big Taste"..Sounds cheesy

      Home Tasting Room
      110 8th Avenue SW, Calgary, AB T2P 1B3, CA

      1. Once again not impressed. Where are the vegetarian options?

        5 Replies
        1. re: Jetgirly

          It took me about 3 seconds to find Cafe Koi's offerings and I'm sure there are others.

          Cafe Koi
          1011 1 St SW #100, Calgary, AB T2P, CA

          1. re: Jetgirly

            I just looked at the "dine out" menu of about 8 restos and 3 of them had vegetarian options. Keep searching and stop giving out wrong info here

            1. re: hclass

              I didn't give out any "information" except that I wasn't impressed. Of course Cafe Koi will have a vegetarian option- I always feel like "The Big Taste" (aka Dine Out) should be about having the opportunity to try new things at new restaurants. I don't think this is just my perception, as the website does say it's an "opportunity to experience new works". I'm going to pick ten restaurants that I've never been to, whose names don't obviously imply they're all about steak or fish, and see what I find for dinner:

              - AKA Winebar: No vegetarian option
              - West Restaurant: No vegetarian option
              - Bistro Piq Niq: No vegetarian option
              - The Belvedere: No vegetarian option (I also checked the lunch menu here as the only dinner option was the Gourmet choice)
              - FARM (I'm getting bored and will now add comments! This sounds like it should have a vegetarian option!): Ooops, no dinners. But neither lunch has a vegetarian option.
              - Rasoi (also should be promising as I can usually find good vegetarian choices when I eat Indian food): Yay! Found my first one!
              - Jaqueline Suzanne's Bistro (sounds like a bodice ripper!): Yay! Found my second one! They don't actually list the vegetarian option but they say it exists, so I'm sure I can look forward to a plate of sides that normally accompany the meat entrees.
              - Laurier Lounge: Menu not provided.
              - Olives Restaurant (with a fruit right in the name!): Gourmet dinner menu was a no-go, lunch menu as well.
              - La Vita e Bella (not for a vegetarian...): Could be made vegetarian with modifications to an appetizer

              So out of ten, I found two (including one mystery dinner) and a probably.

              La Vita e Bella
              401 12 Av SE, Calgary, AB T2G 1A5, CA

              Cafe Koi
              1011 1 St SW #100, Calgary, AB T2P, CA

              Bistro Piq Niq
              811 1 St SW, Calgary, AB T2P 7N2, CA

              Laurier Lounge
              1111 7 St SW, Calgary, AB T2R 0A1, CA

              1. re: Jetgirly

                Jetgirly, sadly you are so right, there are not as many vegetarian options as there should be. I think that excludes many people that would otherwise, like to participate. I was at Thomsen's last week and they were pushing the Big Taste dinner Menu. They do have a veg option, however, the soup does have a topping of bacon but they said that could be excluded. Their main is meat, fish or veg. Thomsen's doesn't seem to get noticed much against the other popular downtown restaurants, but it is consistently very good. I would recommend it.

            2. re: Jetgirly

              A couple of years ago I found the same problem. However, I called the restaurant that my group of friends had chosen (Q Haute) and they were able to create a 3 course veggie menu for me as long as I called in advance. It was the same price as the regular dine out menu and the food was amazing. It mya be worth calling a couple of places to see whether they can do the same.

            3. I booked a table at Blink mainly because the menu offered a few options for each course which isn't the case with many of the other restaurants. For a similar reason, Bistro 2210 also looks good - visited them last year during Dine Out and had a great experience.

              I always looked forward to Dine Out in other cities because the affordable menus were good excuses to try out restaurants and take along friends and family. Not sure if it's just me but I was fairly turned off by this Dine Out Calgary listing because the first 6 places I clicked on were the $85 menu's (Chef's Table, Muse, Rush, Vero Bistro, Teatro, Vintage Chophouse). Don't get me wrong, a couple of these menu's I think are worth the $85 (ex. Teatro's 4 courses with 4 wine pairings) but a few just don't seem all that special (ex. Vintage Chophouse - 3 courses with 1 prosecco). This seems to defeat the purpose of Dine Out. I think Joe Forte's in Vancouver is comparable with Vintage and even Joe Forte's offered a $38 menu this year. With the price tag, I'd much rather: a) go during the regular menu and pay a similar price but avoid the dineout rush, b) not go at all.

              Bistro 2210
              2210 4 St. SW, Calgary, AB T2S 1W9, CA

              Teatro Restaurant
              200 8th Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2G 0K7, CA

              3 Replies
              1. re: foodkarma

                I just looked up the menu's, and Vintage is offering 4 courses plus prosecco to start. Looks great.
                the lunch menu looks even better.

                1. re: pliddell

                  Just checked again reading your comment and I still see: STARTER (3 options), MAIN (2 options), DESSERT (2 options), WINE PAIRINGS (Prosecco)... even had someone look over and maybe we're both missing something?

                  Their meat mixed grill looks good I'll give you that but still I don't see the value for a special event like Dine Out. Let us know what we may not be seeing there... besides the fact I'm always a bit doubtful when someone posts a raving review and it's their only post on Chowhound.

                2. re: foodkarma

                  As mentioned here, we went to Blink for The Big Taste (hate that name btw)... and had a fairly enjoyable dinner. The food was great, the service was meh, but overall it was a good deal.

                  I started with the cheese souffle, had the short rib as a main, and ended with the sticky toffee pudding. My SO ordered the salad to start, the short rib as a main, and the pavlova for dessert... he ended up getting the sticky toffee pudding but since he wasn't totally set on the pavlova he stuck with the pudding.

                  The best part of the dinner was probably the short rib - when I see it on the menu, 90% of the time I order it. Blink did it very well, very tender and flavourful... and accompanied by a creamy scalloped potato and swiss chard. The potato was great, the chard was very cold (as if refrigerated) - not sure if it was purposely that way but it seemed strange.

                  The restaurant was packed and we felt for the serving staff but also found our interactions with our server to be uneventful unlike previous experiences.

                  Overall for a $35 dinner menu it was a good experience.

                3. My fiancee and I will be heading out to Chef's Table. Since we're both shift workers our schedules clash over the next couple weeks we probably won't be able to go anywhere else. We've never been to Chef's Table and have wanted to try it for a while now.