Inspired by prohibition era distillers, this sexy Kensington cocktail lounge is out to raise the level of Calgary’s nightlife with their creative cocktail program. The short menu offers locally sourced ingredients for sharing plates such as Bourbon Candied Bacon, double-smoked in house and topped with Canadian Maple butter. Or try the popular Ploughman’s Lunch, revitalized as a board of aged game meats, pickled quail egg, and fine cheese. Cheers!
Grate & Barrel
Great gourmet grilled cheeses, homemade soups and ketchups – and good beer. That’s what you’ll find at Grate & Barrel in the old Mission Diner spot. And music – country to rock, to Jann Arden – with sandwiches all named after local bands, a fromage-homage! It’s a place to hang out, have good pints and good times.
With four locations in Calgary, Made Foods has launched an ambitious project and plans to open 10 stores here and 10 in Vancouver very soon. Offering healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner meals, as well as snacks and smoothies, for busy people with busy lifestyles, ‘Made’ is proving that it is possible to serve food that tastes good, does you good, and yet is convenient and affordable. Yum!
Little sister to Añejo, in the old Brava Bistro location, Blanco is a casual, fun Tex-Mex with a 50/50 wall of 50 rums and 50 tequilas, Big Ass Burritos and a ‘halfy hour’ from 3:00-5:00 pm when all drinks are 50% off! Generous portions of nachos and poutine are ordered from a build-your-own sheet – try ‘The Works’ with every topping! With seasoned professionals like GM Timo Salimaki (The Block), and Bar Manager Franz Swinton (Añejo) at the helm, this is going to be one busy spot!
The Derrick Gin Mill & Kitchen
In the ex-Eldorado location on 8th Ave SW, The Derrick celebrates Calgary’s two interests – oil and gas, and ranching. Boasting 27 gins (and featuring 100 soon!) and a build-your-own G & T program, bartenders Savanna Beach and Shelby Goodwin serve up cocktails with names like ‘Fracking Good’, ‘Payday’ and ‘Roughnecks Old Lady’. Open breakfast, lunch and dinner. Don’t miss the Smoked Meat Sandwich, Lamb Pot au Feu and Smoked Beef Tartare, with Gin & Tonic Pie for dessert!
Just opening is British chef, Neil McCue’s (of Catch and Oliver & Bonacini, Toronto) new restaurant in the old Il Sogno location. Beautifully refurbished, Whitehall is fresh, light and inviting, and based on the London (UK) dining scene of modern elegance with a casual, unpretentious approach to gourmet food. The menu is a nod to British classics with a little nostalgia; try the Potted Shrimps and Pork Pie, but don’t miss the Braised Beef Cheeks with Salt-Baked Beetroots!
And from Edmonton we welcome Brett Roy to Calgary, in the new Gravity Pope building on 17th Avenue SW. Chocolatier extraordinaire, Roy is offering his stunningly handcrafted chocolates, plus fine teas and coffees (and wine too!) in this lovely space with its 18-ft granite counter that seats 17 people, seven days a week. It’s a great year for Calgary!