Forno Roasted Eggplant – River CaféForno Roasted Eggplant – River Café

I know I can always count on the River Cafe for a solid, vegetarian entree and the forno roasted eggplant on their summer menu does not disappoint! I love how they present it in little roulades, so you get the perfect ratio of meat to skin, with dollops of salty, miso froth on top. Hidden underneath, squares of creamy polenta add some substance to an otherwise light and healthy feeling meal.

$19 (lunch) or $32 (dinner).

— Mallory Frayn, contributor, @cuzilikechocolat

Red Lentil Hummus – River CaféRed Lentil Hummus – River Café

Served with Highwood Crossing Canola Seed Flatbread, this hummus was the perfect start to an early summer evening on River Café’s patio. It’s creamy texture and flavour from the red lentils (as well as a heavy dose of garlic) stirred my appetite. As a bonus, this menu item is part of the Mealshare program so for every hummus ordered, a meal is provided to someone in need. Now, that’s food for the soul.

$14 at River Café , 25 Prince’s Island Park, 403-261-7670,, @RiverCafeYYC

— Laura Lushington, digital media editor, @LauraLushington
Chili Goma – Shiki MenyaChili Goma – Shiki Menya

Shiki Menya make 150 bowls of ramen a day and close when they sell out, usually around 2:00-3:00pm. It takes at least 16 hours to make the broth, so they can’t just rustle up some more! It’s possibly the best ramen in Calgary. The broth is intensely flavourful and there’s just the right amount of home-made thin noodles. Chili Goma contains nego (onion), chopped pork, menma (bamboo shoots), mustard greens, sesame, peanuts and cashews, with extra toppings such as Soft Tomago (boiled egg), corn and garlic for $1 each. It’s a big dish and you won’t want it to end.

$14 at Shiki Menya, 827 1st Avenue NE, 403-454-2722,

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

Bench 1775 2013 ChillBench 1775 2013 Chill

Canadians enjoy two solid months of beach weather – July and August – so let’s celebrate this small window with lively, luscious, and mischievous wines like Bench 1775 2013 Chill. Located on the Naramata Bench, the winery claims talented Valeria Tait as viticulturist / general manager; her double-duty means delicious results. This lightly off-dry blend of pinot gris, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, viognier, semillon, and gewürztraminer is fragrant and lush with a weight to carry it through whatever summer has in store for you – from beach to sunset and beyond. It’s a wine that says hello, select liquor stores

$20. Available at select liquor stores ., @bench1775

— Jeannette Montgomery, contributor, @OkanaganWriting

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