Ikemen Ramen Bar

It’s seriously good food in this unpretentious 10th Street NW ramen bar, you cold be spoiled for choice – I certainly was! It’s easy to love the unagi poutine – but not so easy to stop eating it. Go with a friend to help in you hour of need (then you can order more dishes to share too). Try the chicken broth Shio Ramen or the spicy Green Curry Seafood Ramen (and it IS spicy!), Octopus Capaccio and Truffle Mushrooms – every one a winner!

Unagi Poutine $13, Shio Ramen $11.95, Green Curry Seafood Ramen $14.95, at Ikemen Ramen Bar, 217 10 Street NW, 403-452-2148, ikemenramen.ca, @CalgaryIkemen

CharBar

You’ll probably have preconceived ideas or read how good the food is at CharBar by now, and I bet you’ll still underestimate it. We couldn’t resist the Avocado and Pistachio Bruschetta, it’s everything you hope it will be, rich and creamy, crunchy and luscious, scooped up and spread over a crispy crostini of Sidewalk Citizen’s sourdough. Or treat yourself to the lunch special of a Fugazza (mini deep dish pizza) and a bowl of soup, excellent value! The day we went it was creamy kale soup and a roasted eggplant escabeche fugazza, both of which I’d sell my grandmother for.

Avocado and Pistachio Bruschetta $12, Soup and fugazza $15, at CharBar, Simmons Building, Confluence Way SE, 403-452-3115, charbar.ca, @charbar_yyc

‘Z is for Zillah’ at Pr%f

The new Pr%f Cocktail Bar has a big cocktail menu split by spirit, with three classics and two originals to choose from for each spirit. My taste leans very much gin-wards, and I was intrigued by ‘Z is for Zillah’ – a mix of Tanqueray 10, basil and lemon infused olive oil, black pepper honey syrup, Bar 40 Salt Bitters, and… a whole egg! I had visions of gin-based advocaat (which I would have enjoyed anyway!) but it was a million times better than my imagination – so much flavour in one glass, I’m going back for more!

‘Z is for Zillah’, $14 at Pr%f, 1302 1 Street SW, 403-246-2414, proofyyc.com, @proofyyc

– eats and drinks courtesy of Linda Garson, editor-in-chief/publisher, @vineanddine

Carino Riserva

AAA Alberta beef striploin with seared foie gras, mixed green with yuzu vinaigrette, roasted potatoes & soy-gastrique wasabi sauce. Toshi Karino has created a new dining concept – not fusion so much as hybrid. And he has executed to spectacular effect. This dish walks the sweetness line with the sauce on the beef, while the mixed greens play a perfect counterpoint of zest to the savoury richness of the protein.

$29 at Carino Riserva, 2206 4 St SW, 403-454-7668, www.carinoriserva.ca, @carinoriserva

– Matt Browman, contributor and operations manager at Highlander Wine and Spirits

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