It’s safe to say that suburban dwellers really don’t have a lot of choice when it comes to nearby quality dining experiences. We can either have lackluster, mass produced dinners at large chain type restaurants, go for pizza, or fight traffic all the way up Macleod Trail while heading to a down town core restaurant. Often, by the time we’ve reached our destination, we’ve lost our appetites.
Starbelly shines like a beacon for hungry south-east Calgary suburbanites and it’s great to have this unique gem of a restaurant in our part of the city. There are plenty of gorgeous places to eat in Calgary but I fall in love with the space at Starbelly every time I walk in. I always have a difficult time choosing between a seat at the bar wrapped around the open kitchen or one of the cozy tables in the dining area. The level of service that I receive at Starbelly is always top notch and the dining experience, pleasant.
Starbelly has really come into its own under the direction of head chef Jonathan Sobol, who shares his love for elevated ‘home style’ cuisine with his customers The menu still features some perennial favourites, such as the Starbelly ‘Grilled Cheese’ and Roasted Beet Salad but the updates include some stunning dishes like the Lois Lake Steelhead Trout and Fire Roasted Broek Acres Pork Chop. Starbelly works with local farmers and producers to source the most exceptional local ingredients and it makes a huge difference in the quality of the final dish.
Hubby and I were thrilled to visit Starbelly again for a recent date night. I was so excited, that I left the house in a hurry, and forgot to bring my camera. The following photos do not do Chef Sobol’s food any justice and in no way do they reflect how delicious everything was.
I secretly think that Cosmopolitan cocktails are making a comeback…and so does Starbelly! I loved the ‘Seton Cosmo’ with its suburban twist on a stylish classic.
After reading the menu I insisted that we order the Grilled Octopus Wraps. Octopus is always a ‘must order’ item for me anytime I spy it on a menu. The server warned us ahead of time that it could be a little messy, so we were prepared when the slightly spicy Korean BBQ sauce started dripping down our arms. There was just the right amount of peanut-y slaw and butter lettuce for hubby and I to have two nice sized wraps each.I usually overlook the salad features when I’m out for dinner, but I had a craving for roasted beets and the Roasted Beet Salad seemed like the perfect solution. All the components of the salad; arugula, chevre, toasted walnuts, and roasted beets really come together with the addition of the smoked honey vinaigrette. The Grilled Octopus Wraps and Roasted Beet Salad were light enough that we could enjoy an entrée without feeling overly full. I had no problems eating the whole portion of Wild Boar Gnocchi when it was placed on the table before me. It was so good, I ordered another portion so that I could bring it home for my son to eat. We both loved the soft, pillowy gnocchi and wild boar ragu…we even loved the kale! There was a surprising sweet ‘n’ sour flavour to this dish, brought about by the addition of pickled apples. Both my son and I thought the apples went really well in this dish.
Hubby was still hungry enough to order the Driview Farms Leg of Lamb which came with local carrot and beans, pumpkin seeds, and a cassis jus. We both couldn’t get over how great those mashed potatoes were and, even though I was nearing the ‘overfull’ state of eating, I was able to sneak a couple of spoonfuls of mashed potatoes from his plate.
We were both way too full for dessert, but I was really happy to see that the famous Starbelly Rootbeer Doughnut with Bourbon Vanilla Gelato is still on the dessert menu.
I’m glad to see Starbelly doing well in Seton and really glad that they have brought back the lunch time service because it features my Starbelly favourite, house made Pastrami Sandwich. Huge thanks to Starbelly for hosting date night for hubby and I, we enjoyed our night out immensely.
***This Sunday, February 14th Chef Jonathan Sobol has created a one of a kind, 4 course dinner menu, priced at $65/person with an optional $30 wine pairing. And, since this weekend is also known as Family Day long weekend, Starbelly is also extending the regularly delicious Weekend Brunch Menu to holiday Monday.***