Osteria Chef’s Table
After 27 years, Osteria De Medici has closed its doors, but chefs Giovanni Libnik and Michele Delasare have given life to a new concept, Osteria Chef’s Table. It’s old school but modern, offering classic (and good!) Italian food, in an elegant and romantic space. Enjoy delicious pastas like gnocchi piemontese, ribeye with truffle sauce, or try the popular six-course tasting menu for $75. Open for lunch and dinner.
Hayden Block Smoke & Whisky in the old Yardhouse Kensington space, is serving up Texas barbecue applewood smoked meats (cherry wood for poultry) by weight. Faves are AAA hormone-free brisket, smoked 13-14 hours; 24-hour brined, smoked and flash fried wings; and turkey breast. Add house-made beans and very creamy corn, broccoli salad, and white bread (because you have to!). Insider info: ask for honey butter with the spicy cornbread, and mix espresso sauce and spicy vinegar together!
It’s casual and communal here, with three 16-20 seat tables inside and a 40-seat, front patio picnic table. To drink? Hayden Block has 150+ whiskies, 18 oz local beers, and wine on tap, along with excellent whiskey cocktails. At 10 p.m. it’s meat o’clock and all meats are half price!
Wise and Wright
Bringing a culinary approach and healthy food to corporate downtown, this minimalist, bright space has entrances from The Core and 8 Ave SW. You can eat in or take out very generous portions of dishes such as broccoli, kale, quinoa and feta salad; foraged mushroom stone oven flatbread; coconut chicken bowl; and built-up toasts – and all at great value prices, the most expensive dish on the menu is $13. Be sure to grab a Hot Chai Latte or Beau-Tea-Ful tea with your meal!
The Guild Restaurant
Peter Oliver and Michael Bonacini’s Passion project, The Guild, has opened atHudson’s Bay. Started five years ago, acclaimed chef Ryan O’Flynn’s meat-centric menu pays homage to Alberta with local ingredients and emphasis on live-fire cooking using birch, pine and apple wood. It’s an impressive space with first class service, studded leather chairs, and seating for 174 inside, and possibly the largest downtown patio seating 188 people. Bar bites, such as deep fried Mac ‘n Cheese, are available 4-5 p.m., and a social hour from 2-5 p.m. has special drink features, along with soups and salads, open-face sandwiches, chicken poutine, and smoked Beretta Farm brisket pizza.
Non-meaty dishes include smoky devilled eggs and beefsteak tomatoes stuffed with basil ricotta. You can have half a pig’s head with chacroute of apple, turnip and cabbage, or try braised bison Jacob’s Ladder short rib, glazed with wild tree glaze, maple, birch and molasses – served with Saskatoon wild rice, prairies corn, and pickled leeks. Eat your heart out Fred Flintstone! Don’t miss gin & tonic Haida Gwaii salmon with Irish soda bread, and west coast octopus with chorizo.
Look for the bright yellow door on 4 Street at 10 Ave SW, and you’ll find Rodney’s new fish and chip shack. The small menu has everything you want – choose one or two pieces of crispy, moist and flaky Ocean Wise halibut or haddock (or add more!), hand cut wedges or skinny fries with good house-made dill slaw, or the scallop roll, Caesar or house salad, or classic New England or Manhattan chowder. Call ahead to order and pick up in a rush, or grab a window seat (sign your name on the frame!) or at the bar. If you’re lucky, the only high top table will be free and you can chat with the live lobsters!
Autumn is here, but you can extend the summer feeling at Ricardo’s Hideaway in the old Mercury Lounge space on 5 Street SW. With just 12 seats at the bar, 20 inside, and a large patio with fireplace, windows open to the street, teal and turquoise walls, and bright blue woodwork, you expect to see Ernest Hemmingway in the corner. Borne out of rum evenings at Bourbon Room, this stylish cocktail lounge boasts an ever-changing menu of cocktails and snacks – and some of the best empanadas filled with a mixture of curds, mozzarella, and cream cheese, to be had locally. Try jerk crab or chicken, curry goat with rice and beans, and wash it down with one of Alex Newman’s creative cocktails. Ricardo’s also have a Tot Club where members enjoy a special bi-weekly rum ration like sailors in the Royal Navy back in the day! Welcome touches include purse hooks under the bar, and discover for yourself the flamingos and bananas!
Have you been missing OEB while they’re refurbishing the Edmonton Trail location? Good news! You can get your fix at the new 5 Avenue Place location. It’s a very different look – more spacious, and you can sit in one of two giant waffles or the much-coveted four-seater egg! The focus is the same, local produce and the best eggs. New additions to the menu include Water Fowl Eggs Benny – smoked Peking duck breast, porcini mushrooms, and truffle; The Codfather – black cod, scrambled egg, avocado and Quebec curds, though faves Soul In A Bowl (two poached eggs, herb potatoes, Saint Cyrille cheese curds, and lardons) and French Toast Trifle, are still on offer, along with crepes, waffles, burgers…if you’re in a hurry, there’s a take-away window – call in advance!
17 Avenue SW has a very plush new addition in Teatro Group’s new restaurant in the refurbished Corbeaux space. Classy features include a solid zinc cocktail bar and vintage airplane propellers fans. Executive chef Dominique Moussu’s signature menu includes a fresh seafood station, and an elegant, classic take on French cuisine with dishes like Pate de Foie Volaille, Terrine de Lapin, Cote de Boeuf Pour Deux, and Cote de Porc Normande. Brunch offers a choice of eggs bennies, daily quiche and croque monsieur, to name a few. Check out the eclectic French-inspired wine program, French digestifs, and a variety of cocktails and French beer on tap.
Long-awaited UNA Takeaway is now open next to UNA Pizza + Wine. With a menu mostly the same as dining in, plus salads, sandwiches, and a roast chicken dinner, the take-out also sells Una’s tomato sauce, kale Caesar dressing, home-made harissa, patatas bravas sauce, take-home lasagna, jams, Café Rosso single origin coffee (with a little Frenchie on the bags!), and by request – pizza kits to bake at home. You’ll also find gluten-free pastries and bread made by Leigh-Anne Seto (formerly pastry chef at Chateaux Lake Louise), as well as charcuterie by Empire Provisions. Pre-order online as far ahead as you like for a speedy pick-up, or have it delivered to your location in the SW and outlying areas.
There’s more 8 Ave SW goodness to be found at Earls’ 67th restaurant – reimagined and revitalized, with attention to every detail from lighting to glassware. Try the different areas to fit your mood: Bankers Bar is the dark side, where serious cocktails are created using one of six different types of the clearest ice (try the fave 67 Swizzle!), or the bright Beer Bar with 12 wines and 16 beers on tap. The airy, Canteen has a variety of seating, with a free skewer or dip when you sit at a communal table or if there’s a wait, and a bar where you can gaze at skewers cooking on the Japanese Robata grill. And two patios – the new 34 seat glass-enclosed atrium, and the seasonal outdoor beer patio.
The menu sports familiar favourite salads, bowls and forno choices, and new healthy shareable dishes (don’t miss the pressed sushi!), and you can help yourself to free flavoured still or sparkling water. If you fancy a little wine, you can choose 3 oz, 6 oz, 9 oz or a carafe and for beer, 8 oz, 12 oz, 20 oz or a growler. Phil & Seb coffee is on offer all day. Bites after 9 p.m. are at special prices, and bubbles with gourmet dogs are becoming quite the thing!
So you’re looking for a space to sip organic or biodynamic wine, and nibble on some (of the best!) charcuterie, paté and cheese, and tiny baguettes made in house? Then Frenchie, behind Una Takeaway, is for you. A small 22-seat, romantic wine bar with muted lighting and small flickering red lamps, white brick walls, and eclectic music that changes with the weather – the perfect place for a private party. Currently Wednesday-Sunday 6 p.m.-1 a.m.