One18 does many dishes that are praiseworthy – the beet salad is notable, the beef tartare is excellent, as is the tuna tataki, but their braised octopus is possibly some of the best you’ll find in Calgary. I quizzed Chef Elliot Senechal how he cooked it so that it was seared perfectly on the outside but moist and tender on the inside, and evidently he braises it for hours and then grills it. Gets my vote! It’s served on a bed of frisee, with poblano peppers and toasted pine nuts – just delicious!
Braised Octopus $18 at One18 Empire
820 Centre Street SE Calgary 403-269-0299 @one18empire
Be warned, the portions are very generous at The Guild; three of us ordered a starter to share and a main course each – and I couldn’t finish mine and brought it home for another meal, which is something I never do! But it was all so good. Steak Tartare has crunchy capers and comes on a marrow bone with Last Best IPA bannock bread, and is perfect for three hungry people. I tried some of the birch-roasted Great Lakes Pickerel that’s covered with steamed clams, atop woodland mushrooms, crushed peas and samphire – love it! The Jacob’s Ladder Bison comes with corn and barley pilaf, corn purée, huckleberries and pickled leeks; and my applewood-roasted chicken comes with poutine and bacon bits with chicken gravy! Talk about upscale comfort food, whatever your tastes run to, our dinner at The Guild was completely satisfying.
Steak Tartare $19, Great Lakes Pickerel $32, Roast Half Chicken $29, and Jacob’s Ladder Bison $38 at The Guild
200 8 Avenue SW, Calgary 403-770-2313 @theguildcalgary