Q Haute Cuisine

Q Haute Cuisine’s $20 (2 courses) or $25 (3 courses) business lunch has to be some of the best value in town. It’s always good, and I really enjoy the warm fresh baked bread with herb butter that arrives while you choose your meal. This visit (the always spot-on veloute) was broccoli, smooth and velvety (another plate-licker), and I couldn’t resist the smokey salmon cake that comes with a warm cucumber, caper, and red onion bruschetta, and a prawn on top!
2 course lunch menu $20 at Q Haute Cuisine
100 La Caille Pl SW, Calgary  403-262-5554

Cilantro

Cilantro’s patio is one that you’re drawn to time and time again while the weather holds. It’s enclosed, so you’re not subject to the extreme of the elements, and you can talk and hear your dining companion without straining. There are always tempting daily lunch specials, so we shared the blackened chicken salad, which came with sliced peppers tomatoes, leaves and a sprinkling of cheese (it not only tasted good, but felt like it was doing good inside too) and the regular lunch menu item – lemon conchigliette, with chorizo, scallops, lobster, snap peas, poblano, basil-chèvre, and parmesan cream.

Our beverage editor, Tom Firth, swears buy it and we discovered why. It’s rich and filling, but you just can’t stop eating it. The addition of snap peas is genius to lighten it a little, and the other ingredients are all there and noteworthy in the creamy sauce. Both are generous portions, and we’d already shared the mussels in black bean cream sauce (oh yum!) to start, so unusually we ended up taking home the rest!
Blackened Chicken Salad $18, Lemon Conchigliette $24 at Cilantro
338 17 Ave SW, Calgary  403-229-1177 

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