What a treat to have brunch at NOtaBLE last Saturday. Chef Justin Labossiere has created two new brunch dishes showcasing his house-made smoked meats and sausage – a Panini with mesquite bacon, gruyére cheese, free-run eggs and truffle mornay sauce (that sauce is delicious!) and “bisquits & gravy”, with house-made chorizo – but for me, the Eggs Benny still rule; the addition of caramelized onions and crispy guanciale along with a super delicious brown butter Hollandaise sauce, is a winning combination of sweet and smoky, smooth and crunchy, textures and flavours.
We couldn’t wait to try out the new Mission on 4th Street SW, in the old candela spot. You won’t recognise the décor, and the food was a great surprise – there’s a Japanese influence to the menu, and quality teas come in beautiful Japanese teapots. Don’t miss the beautifully plated Elk Carpaccio with black garlic aioli, rice crisps, shiso leaves, and truffle oil or the Lobster Tortelloni plate that comes with crème fraiche, tarragon, lime, and smashed edamame, from the Small Plates menu – they taste as good as they look! And watch out for the cardboard tray of popcorn that arrives when you sit down, it’s full of treats like apricots, wasabi peas and nori!
A lot has been written about Chef Neil McCue’s Whitehall Restaurant, and it’s all true! One of the strongest showings of a new restaurant straight out of the gate, there’s everything to love about Whitehall. It’s a beautiful space and simply stunning food. At lunch we had Sunchoke Soup, that comes with it’s own little pasty filled with potato – both piping hot and delicious, just as you hope they’ll be in your dreams. Then we shared the grilled mackerel with carrot, tamarind and an onion bahji – brave choices but it seems Calgaryis ready for it now; perfectly cooked duck leg confit with quince ketchup on the side and duck fat chips (need I say more?); and Bison Cottage Pie with mashed potatoes and roasted parsley root.