Charred Whole Squid - Raw BarCharred Whole Squid – Raw Bar

I can’t walk into Raw Bar at Hotel Arts (or poolside, only a week left for that outdoor dining situation, folks!) and not order this squid. It’s always got a nice char on it and that lime vinaigrette really knocks it out of the park. So wicked!

$18 at Raw Bar by Duncan Ly, 119 12 Avenue SW, 403-206-9565, rawbaryyc.ca, @RawBarYYC

— Dan Clapson, contributing food editor, @dansgoodside

Tendil & Lombardi NV Brut Champagne, FranceTendil & Lombardi NV Brut Champagne, France 

A small, almost unheard of producer making a stunning bottle of bubby. Crisp, with plenty of citrus and lighter toast characters. Start to finish, it’s light, ethereal, and understated. I’d drink this all day if I could.

$60 at select liquor stores.

— Tom Firth, contributing drinks editor, @cowtownwine

Saffron MantraSaffron Mantra

You might be spoiled for choice with the new Saffron Mantra’s fusion menu. We tried so many really tasty dishes this week that I’d suggest you take a few friends and try them all. Come hungry, the photos show only small portions of the dishes! Top left is Roasted Cumin Lemon Prawns – a great intro of slow cooked tiger prawns in wine and lemon scented glaze on a bed of Saffron’s house mash ($10.95). Top right – Saffron’s Coconut Calamari with homemade coconut and lemon grass curry glaze ($10.95). Bottom left, is a very yummy Chicken Pate Naan Bruschetta of Saffron’s homemade chicken liver pate with smoked garlic, cracked pepper and cognac on grilled Naan with citrus herb aioli ($9.95), and bottom right includes the superb Tandoori Chicken Flat bread, which could have been dinner all on it’s own! ($11.95)

Entrees are equally delicious too. We didn’t have too much room left after the appetizers, but we made a valiant attempt at the gigantic Cod and Chips and took the rest home. The fish is dipped in Himalayan beer and spiced chickpea flour and served with mint tartar, tamarind chutney and pickled fennel ($13.95). We also tried Saffron’s classic Butter Chicken ($16.95) and their homemade Paneer and Zucchini Kofta ($14.95) as they share the same Makhani Sauce – both very flavourful and both to be recommended.

Saffron Mantra, 6219 Centre Street NW, Calgary, 403-475-1999, saffronmantra.ca, @SaffronMantra

— Linda Garson, editor-in-chief/publisher, @vineanddine

Sumac Ridge Steller’s Jay BrutSumac Ridge Steller’s Jay Brut

All about the excellent Steller’s Jay Brut from Okanagan these days. Sumac Ridge is British Columbia’s first estate winery. They have been operational for 31 years and their Steller’s Jay Brut is my most preferred Canadian sparkling wine. Try adding a little Cassis (available at all boutique liquor stores) to make a classic Kir Royale.

$35 at select liquor stores. sumacridge.com, @SumacRidgeWine

— Tarquin Melnyk, contributor, livelikeburning

Serendipity Devil's AdvocateSerendipity 2010 Devil’s Advocate

New world wines are often inspired by the winemaking styles of old world regions like Burgundy and Bordeaux. While they have rules around what grapes to use, new world regions get to experiment. Naramata’s Serendipity Winery offers their version of a Bordeaux-style blend in the 2010 Devil’s Advocate: earthy and leathery, with deep, rich flavours and a juicy profile. This might be a new world wine – but it’s standing on the porch of the old world, ringing the doorbell.

$35 at select liquor stores.

serendipitywinery.com, @Winespiration

— Jeannette Montgomery, contributor, @OkanaganWriting

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