Every year instead of birthday presents, my BF and I take each other to a gourmet restaurant. Having tried Teatro, Rouge, Hy's, and the Belvedere, we felt very disappointed with Calgary's finest.
Then last Monday we discovered The Bear's Den; finally, a place that knows how to show a food-adoring couple an incredible evening out! Our waitress was a star (which tends to be rare in Calgary these days), explaining to us everything from the various cuts of beef, to scotch, to the finer points of duck fat.
The food blew my mind; it was so inspired and well-presented. Also, the prices were very low for the quality of ingredients and large portion sizes.
Bear's Den Delicacy- Fine Game Meats:
Fresh Arugula and Grape Tomatoes Salad: Sounds boring, but had a turkish/cumin flair that is absolutely addictive!
Ribeye Steak - Centre Cut: My boyfriend had this. During the main course he sat in silence, chewing and sucking slowly with a glazed-over look in his eyes. I thought he was going to cry, but he did manage to get out a phrase, "this is the best steak I have ever had". No need for the sauce on this one! the sides were awesome too.
Pan Seared Ahi Tuna: My main course was nothing copared to his steak! But it was beautifully done and I loved the chive cumin aoli. My only complain was that the coco-chili crust was so mild that I couldn't distinguish it.
Apricot Creme Brulee: AMAZING! Comes with apricot reduction to sip on between bites, and apricot sorbet. So fresh and creamy.
That is all. this is my new favourite restaurant, and one that is well worth the drive!
With the common less-than-stellar service delievered in many a Calgarian restaurant, I think it's too easy to forget what impeccable service and food in a restaurant feels like.
I wanted to give credit where credit is due. This is a wonderful place in Calgary to take visitors wishing to experience that perfectly medium-rare Albertan filet mignon (or any other steak on the menu, for that matter.)
I had the filet, perfectly melt-in-your-mouth medium rare, and a granny smith apple pie for dessert (with vanilla bean gelato). Our waiter (and soon-to-be GM), Garreth, was a wealth of information pertaining to Wellington's wine and spirits list. He even went so far as to bring out maps of the various wine regions to show us.
The service style was traditional, classy, and in no way intrusive or overdone.
After dinner we retired to the lounge to enjoy the tail end of the hockey game, where the bartender handed us beers on the house. For three cocktails, three steak dinners, three desserts, a bottle of wine and three appertifs, the total came to under $200.
Thanks for the ideas! All of those places are closed Sunday evenings except for Moti Mahal, so I will try that one.
I was also considering Aida's Mediterranean, "Tibet on 10th", "The gypsy" on 817 1 Street SW, "Marathon" in Kensington.. Can anyone else comment on the food (and noise levels!) in these places? Thank you!
I get all of my Indian spices in bulk at Spiceland on Fairmount Drive. It is a mom and pop operation- a nice family from India.
I know of a few godo ones in Calgary (e.g. the Kasbah), but none that are open on Sundays.