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Fleur de Sel Brasserie, Calgary

Most recently, I ate there a couple months ago; it was alright. I didn't exactly "die and go to heaven". But, I did enjoy the cassoulet (it was wonderful for the winter weather...I had duck added I believe, but it is unnecessary, as there is already more than plenty to eat). It had many layers of flavour, and was seasoned to my liking. Husband's steak and frites was so-so. I hardly touched the chocolate mousse as it was chalky with lumps of chocolate.

On another visit for lunch quite some time ago, the pate sandwich was divine, a very large portion of pate!

Jun 13, 2009
hornvixen in Prairie Provinces

Corporate Catering in Calgary

Devour Catering (catered our wedding) and l'epicerie (makes me want to throw a party just because!). These might not be so much for sandwiches when folks are just working late, but perhaps good to have on the list in general... perhaps for parties etc. It might be good to get a menu or make a phone call though.

Apr 21, 2009
hornvixen in Prairie Provinces

Los Tortillas in NE Calgary

"That said, the family that runs the place has 10 kids to support, so let 'em price a bit high." Calgary will never have the cheap taco trucks of somewhere south - first it's too cold, or at least a bit more sporadically cold. And then everything has to be shipped in from somewhere else....if not the tortillas, then the flour, or sauces it's the only place you can get this exact thing. Not meaning to sound like I want to pay high prices, but it's a pretty good value, in comparison to flying to LA.

Los Tortillas - He has to bring in the flour, and drove the tortilla machinery here himself. Many don't think twice at spending $10 at McD's or similar, but here's $9 (for three...which is real stuff, made by a real person...and will tide you over for a while)....for a local business. A steal of a deal!! (although honestly, I don't even know how it survives at $5.20 a kilo....that's a LOT of tortillas to sell)

Apr 15, 2009
hornvixen in Prairie Provinces

Los Tortillas in NE Calgary

After some searching, it does appear that way.....

The tortillas are FANTASTIC, and the tacos there are very delicious. They keep the pork juicy by placing a pineapple at the top of the spit, and it drips down onto the meat.

Apr 12, 2009
hornvixen in Prairie Provinces

Taco Del Mar - no fish tacos in Calgary

That is too bad.

I was recently at Las Tortillas, and LOVE the place. The beef and pork tacos are both outstanding, fantastic flavours. While not "fish" tacos exactly, they are serving shrimp tacos on Saturdays. It might be worth the trek for you.

Las Tortillas also has a website now:

Mar 29, 2009
hornvixen in Prairie Provinces

Avenue Magazine Food Awards

and Cora's too ;)

Mar 02, 2009
hornvixen in Prairie Provinces

Anybody been here in Calgary

I tried - but they were closed (although I was pretty sure they would be open, although it did look REALLY boarded up and things) Maybe it was just a holiday or something? Are they even open?

Feb 02, 2009
hornvixen in Prairie Provinces

best indian food calgary

Just ate three fantastic dishes from Delhi Darbar, and some garlic naan - and it was all very, very good (especially the chickpeas!). Nice to have in the area.

Jan 30, 2009
hornvixen in Prairie Provinces

Pink Peppercorn Hot Chocolate

Dec 22, 2008
hornvixen in Recipes

Marsala Wine?

The Willowpark Liquor Store (in Willowpark) has a few varieties. It depends what you are planning to create. There is sweet marsala, and dry. Hopefully, if there is something specific you want to use it for, they can help you at Willowpark, as they did for me.

Dec 21, 2008
hornvixen in Prairie Provinces

New Olives Restaurant in Calgary?

I was there on Wednesday too! I like the tiramisu. Very rich and creamy, as one expects, but also not too sweet or overpowering in the soaked lady fingers. Very nice.

Nov 20, 2008
hornvixen in Prairie Provinces

Early Christmas in Inglewood [Calgary]

There were a tonne of people! I hadn't been before, but everything was packed - with busy sidewalks too. I think it helped that it wasn't extremely cold out yet...well it wasn't warm...but there certainly weren't mounds of snow!

Calgary - Rouge or Capo

A comparison might be that a "good" grappa is like a good scotch. (Not the same by any means - but a comparison made by friends who love scotch said after trying grappa that isn't battery acid). Caramel in colour too. There isn't a huge market for it, so finding "the good stuff" isn't always as easy as finding a decent scotch at any corner store. But it does exist.


Yep the porcelana bar is fabulous! So I can only imagine that the hot chocolate made with it is too! I'll have to check out the hot chocolate - mmmmmmm

Nov 11, 2008
hornvixen in Prairie Provinces

Parker House Review

I have avoided nothing. I am not obligated to discuss this with the restaurant, nor do I care to. They can read my review. If they like it great; if they don't great. I did not write it for them. Anyone is entitled to disagree with my review. It is simply my opinion.

At this level of dining, I would fully expect that if I were to send something back, nothing could be done about it, as this was their best attempt, unless the order was wrong (ie. chicken served instead of beef). I think we could all agree, that a forty dollar entree is a premium price and the product, service, room and food should reflect this.

To be more specific, the osso buco was fairly tender, but was one-dimensional in flavour. Perhaps more onion or similar, according to the Chef's preference, could make it more enticing. I received a substantial amount of bison, which made it quite difficult to attempt to finish, considering that there could have been a greater depth of flavour. It has potential, but needs flavour, the bison did not suffice on its own.

I completely understand that risotto in a restaurant is exceedingly difficult to achieve, in the best of circumstances. It can be a tricky endeavour. However, the correct texture could not be achieved, since it did not resemble arborio, carnaroli, or vialone nano rice. Again, I felt that the saffron created a brilliantly beautiful colour, but I also needed a bit more depth of flavour. Perhaps a richer stock, or more aromatics could be used.

The tile in the room is luxurious, but I really just wanted some very good food.

Nov 09, 2008
hornvixen in Prairie Provinces

Parker House Review

Reason's I would send food back:

-if it was cold
-there were bugs in it, or plastic, or something there is not supposed to be
-if it tasted spoiled, or rotten
-if i ordered a steak a particular way, and it came to the table overcooked, or still raw.

Although, watch the movie "Waiting", and you'll think twice about sending anything back...

There is no reason to send any of the food back in this case.

Nov 08, 2008
hornvixen in Prairie Provinces

Parker House Review

---------a Parker House roll is a shape of bread roll made by flattening the center of a ball of dough with a rolling pin so that it becomes an oval shape and then folding the oval in half. They are made with milk and are generally quite buttery, soft, and slightly sweet with a crispy shell." My take…imagine the best tasting dinner roll you’ve ever had…just like the description above…buttery, soft, sweet, warm…now add the flavor of fleur de sel and you have it. Served with a daily flavored butter (we had fennel and sambuca) these sweet yet salty “works of art” will keep me coming back on their own…there’s nothing like them in Calgary. It’s not just a bun; it’s a triumph of baking in our food scene.-------

No it was as hard as a baseball... I could have easily broken the entire restaurant if I threw it in any direction. It was also VERY salty. Excessively so. The shell is not soft, and the inside is more dense than soda bread. Not good.

Nov 06, 2008
hornvixen in Prairie Provinces

Parker House Review

Oh dear - I just went to Parker House last Friday, and it was not good. Bread as hard as rocks. Yes, it's just bread (but not to me!). But nothing else had any flavour at all, the risotto was just absolutely terrible (like broken bits of LONG GRAIN rice).

The amuse-bouche was alright, but it was foie gras! With a kind of jam, it was so-so.

The wine we ordered was good...

I (once again) got suckered into ordering risotto in a restaurant.... and now I will never do that again unless... well... maybe in Northern Italy, or the Risotteria in NYC. Yes, the rice was regular long grain rice, so the texture was off. For risotto milanese, saffron powder was used, so the colour was vibrant and there was no taste. There was no broth used, or it wasn't beef broth, and there was no butter (a necessity in this risotto). It needed parmigiano.

The osso buco was boring beyond belief. No flavour in the sauce. It needed some onions or garlic or something... anything actually.

The mac n cheese was very salty, but not right at all. It tasted like Campbell's soup with penne. Penne is not the right pasta for this dish, and the crust left much to be desired. Lobster mac'n cheese can't be good with lobster, if the mac'n cheese part isn't right.

I paid $40 for an overpriced, and inferior osso buco, and my husband's steak was also $40 and nothing to write home about. It was a steak, and he ordered the most expensive rib-eye, that the server raved about.... It wasn't bad, but nothing more than anything significant. Better steaks from Safeway.

Never going back.

Nov 06, 2008
hornvixen in Prairie Provinces

Broken Plate Greek Restaurant - Calgary

Please don't misunderstand my post - the lamb shank was very good.... but I wouldn't order anything other than appetizers or lamb shank. But there is nothing to write home about otherwise. Except that it is in the South, but I would never venture to Kensington to go there...

Nov 01, 2008
hornvixen in Prairie Provinces

Any good eats downtown Calgary and at Chinook Mall"

alley, I agree, it IS the best za in town!

Broken Plate Greek Restaurant - Calgary

the lamb shank is good - they also have the "art" of the restaurant timing down pat. ie. the kitchen's in the weeds, so they pull out a show breaking distract everyone. When when there is a wait at the door, the music is we'll hurry up and eta. Then, when there is no wait, but you haven't had dessert yet, the music is you'll order more. hehehe. Just an observation - but it was awhile ago since I was there. I've had food I enjoyed more in Toronto's "Greek Town", but Broken Plate is a welcome addition to the south end of town.

Oct 28, 2008
hornvixen in Prairie Provinces

Any good eats downtown Calgary and at Chinook Mall"

The best place to eat near Chinook is Il Centro- homestyle Italian. The BEST gnocchi in town by far (get the tomato sauce), and the pizza is great too. This is a good value since I would otherwise have to make the gnocchi to get anything else decent (comparing price to downtown high-end) - although, if you are ordering only the gnocchi you might need a starter, since it's closer to the correct Italian size. The house wine is decent, and cuts through the richness of pizza nicely.

The Mediterranean Grill is a place I've heard good things about. But otherwise, there is nowhere else I would venture nearby....

New French Deli "L' EPICERIE" Calgary

l'Epicerie is a gorgeous shop. I wish I could make it there every day, to be honest! It isn't the kind of place you go for many things, but for a treat. I find it ideal to buy some ham, a cheese, and some cornichons - perhaps a couple different things every few weeks, and have a dinner without cooking (picnic dinner). It is still far less expensive than eating out.... and I can enjoy some wine, my favourite baguette, and just relax.

Dominique has always been a wonderful host! Service with a smile - and even a wink or two! Super nice, and always offering samples. I am a sucker, and often buy more of each sample. I think the prices are reasonable enough - this stuff is imported and extremely perishable. I can't imagine the cost for the goods alone - never mind keeping the doors of the shop open. I don't find the prices shocking, as it is still less than a trip to France (although I surely wouldn't complain) but it is yummy.

I have only had cornichons this good at a virtually hidden restaurant in Montreal - l'Express. I don't even care about the price of them, as I nearly faint and swoon at every bite. To be savoured, for sure. I've spent more money buying terrible ones and throwing them away after having them sit in the fridge for over 2 years....

In the trips I have made there, Dominique has always had something a bit different to offer - so there is always something new. Sometimes a new cheese, or a new foie gras torchon, or a tasty pastry. I find the atmosphere warm and inviting; it is the perfect little pit-stop for a snack in the middle of a Saturday afternoon between running errands. No I'm not going to buy the entire shop, or go every day, but I enjoy the products and the flexibility it can offer me with serving genuine products to friends or guests. (pics on my blog a while ago - but just go to the shop for a little fun)

Smoked Duck in Calgary?

Bite Groceteria has it in Inglewood - if most anyone else has smoked Rougie duck - they essentially get it from Bite. What a wonderful sandwich!

Calgary: local specialties, must-try dishes?

There are many Vietnamese places in Calgary, of which Quynh's is near the bottom of many lists....too bad too!

A local specialty is a bit tough, in the sense that nearly everything is globally influenced in some way. If I was to move away from Calgary, I would miss the dim sum at Pine Lake Restaurant, Dominique Moussu's adorable shop l'Epicerie, Amato Gelato, Lina's, Sahara (fabulous baba ghannoush and, and and), the falafel at Village Pita Bakery, the Calgary Farmer's Market (lots of things...), Capo, and Canada's one and only Knifewear. I would also greatly miss Bite Groceteria, as I practically live off of their fresh cherry tomatoes & baguettes.

Spolumbo's would be considered a Calgary institution, as would Bernard Callebaut, and Chicken on the Way.

Sep 14, 2008
hornvixen in Prairie Provinces

Nectar Desserts in Calgary

Interesting. That wasn't the case when I was there. The serving size was decent, but not over the top in quality (ie. I don't dream about it)

I don't mind small servings, but then there needs to be multiple courses :) ALL for $12. (if they can do that in nyc, then the price in Calgary can't be more, but i'm biased) AND the quality has to be over the top as justification.

Anyone else been recently?

Sep 14, 2008
hornvixen in Prairie Provinces

New Olives Restaurant in Calgary?

Olives is part of the Hotel Arts Group, but Zia's is independent.

Sep 12, 2008
hornvixen in Prairie Provinces

Piegon or Squab in Western Canadian Restaurants?

Pine Lake Restaurant on 5th ave.

Bite Groceteria in Inglewood

bite is soon to carry frozen entrees from Vij's in Vancouver (apparently they have a little store with the same products next to Vij's). I've never been to Vij's, but I'll take what I can get!

Manuel Latruwe's closed for renos (Calgary)

stuff from Manuel was good, l'Epicerie is to die for! I want to live upstairs, and just eat the crumbs!!! If I could only be so lucky! Try everything, AND the cornichons (little pickles). Those are extremely hard to find, that are any good, that is :) The terrines are absurd, never mind the foie gras torchon, and , and, and and.......GO. NOW. Yes, I'm in love.