2014 has been an amazing year for the Calgary food scene. It seems like every time I turn on the computer or look at social media there has been a new opening or some fresh buzz about places that are in the works.
It was a also big year for restaurant reviews for Dish ‘n’ the Kitchen. I enjoyed many delicious meals in and around Calgary, Edmonton, and New Orleans and ended up writing 27 posts about my experiences. Also, this year I was fortunate enough to visit many of the newly opened local establishments on or very near their opening day. There is nothing like popping the cherry of a new restaurant and I can’t wait to see what new places open in 2015!
Here were some of my favourite (not necessarily new) restaurants from 2014:
Workshop Kitchen & Culture. Imaginative and consistently delicious food that piques my curiosity and always keeps me coming back for more from Kenny Kaechele and his kitchen crew. The cocktails from Aaron Huizinga are also my favourite in the city. I would love to thank Linda Garson for bringing me along for the friends and family soft opening and Chef Kenny for inviting me back for the big opening party.
Starbelly. Since they opened in November I’ve been here far too many times. I can’t get enough of Chef Trevor Ross’s food. He has a great staff and I can’t wait to see what my future visits to Starbelly bring.
Anju. While I haven’t done a post specifically for Anju since it re opened at the new location on 17th Avenue, we have eaten there multiple times and enjoyed everything. I’m pleased to say that Chef Roy Oh has completely blown my hubby away with his Korean flavours, especially that fried tofu dish. I attended the Anju Pop Up at Test Kitchen YYC and went the following week to the Anju takeover of Test Kitchen YYC with friends.
Black Pig Bistro. They opened in May but I still remember the food like it was yesterday. We were in the area on opening day and managed to snag a table for four. I just have to go back for the Pork ‘n’ Beans dish that my son (and others) raved about.
Market. Hubby and I first visited last year on our anniversary so I didn’t do a post then. I won’t have a problem getting him in the door again because he loved his dinner so much that he has suggested we visit several times since then. I was thrilled to attend the Fresh dinner event in support of Grow Calgary which featured all fresh vegetarian dishes from locally grown vegetables. The first thing Chef Bohati said to me was ‘sorry there was no meat’. Market is generally meat-centric and that is apparently his comfort zone. Kudos to Chef Bohati and the rest of Market kitchen for creating such an imaginative dinner that I didn’t even notice there was no meat involved until Chef Bohati brought it up later!
Tres Carnales. We visited this den of delicousness during a weekend away in Edmonton. I would drive back just for more tacos in a heartbeat (though admittedly I would also visit Duchess Bake Shop while I was there) and so would the rest of the family. While there I was wishing that Calgary would get a similar taco joint and it looks like my wish just might come true. Native Tongues Taqueria is set to open in YYC in 2015!
Deer + Almond. Was I more excited to visit with my in laws or enjoy food at Deer + Almond on our summer trip to Winnipeg? You decide. Tapas style menu so good I wished I had brought the in laws with us so we could have ordered more!
Louisiana Bistro. Crab cakes, crawfish, gumbo, Dirty Bird, Bread Pudding with Bourbon. Enough said. So good we visited twice during our stay in New Orleans.
Modern Steak. Huge thanks to Stephen Deere who invited me to media opening night. I really enjoyed every second. Well, until I sprayed lobster jizz at my dining companions and all over my camera. Anyway, if media night was any indication of the quality of food served at Modern Steak, I am certainly looking forward to visiting again in 2015.
The Nash and Offcut Bar. I have to admit I had mixed feelings about including this in my favourites. I included it because this post is one of my favourites. I went as Terrance Lo’s guest to the huge opening party and I was blown away by the food and cocktails. The next day I brought hubby for lunch and it was a bust. While we loved the Seafood chowder, fresh bread and amazing cocktails, the rest of our meal didn’t show up until an hour and a half later and it was sub par. I learned an important lesson and that is to never bring hubby to a restaurant on opening week. It’s going to be a while before he’ll agree to visit again.
I could probably add a few more to this list but I really have to cut if off at ten. It’s New Year’s Eve and I have so much to do! I would, however, like to honourably mention other other restaurants and provide links to their respective posts. So here they are in no particular order:
Ginni’s Kitchen in Black Diamond (still working on that post!)
So long 2014 and thanks for all the food!