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vanderb

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    Downtown Calgary overlooking Prince's Island Park
  1. Sorry for the slow response, burried at work these days with very little time at home to check up on things. The above mentioned Kensington area is always good for walking and coffeeing and is easily accessible from Downtown. Otherwise you're looking to head south from downtown (about 10 blocks on average) to 17th Avenue SW. Same idea as Kensington but a much longer stretch of walking and coffeeing. You may also know 17th Ave by it's other moniker... "the red mile".
  2. Merlin's and my previous list are still valid and are all still in business, it's strange with all the loot in town and all the money being made there still aren't any new establishments of note. If you're looking for some outstanding home style Italian and don't mind getting to Kensington I highly recommend Niko's Bistro. It's not high end fine dinning but it is great food, extremely well executed in a friendly and intimate setting. The wine list is a bit irritating but the food more than makes up for it. The Penne a'la crema and the spaghettini Fruiti di Mare are both outstanding and ve
  3. I haven't had much of any time to contribute for the Calgary contingent of late and for that I apologize... but I can say that Merlin's list of great dinning in Calgary would closely match my own. I would add just a block away from Muse on Kensington Cres. NW there is Pulcinella's. They do an outstanding job of Napelitana pizza as well as other southern italian appetizers. Centini downtown on 8th Ave and 1st SE (across from Teatro) is also at the top of my list for fine Italian dinning, but this is likely due to the fact I have not made it to Capo. I recently had the opportunity to try Q Hau
  4. Dinah Sarah, it was a pound cake in the strawberry short cake. It was very good and this coming from someone who does not normally partake of desert. The Reisling icewine was quite good, but I am not the best to judge as sweet wines are not something I normally enjoy.
  5. NYE dinner at Truffle Pigs, Field, BC... you'll have to excuse my lack of forethought in not bringing a pen and paper to write down all the details... I've got most of it but a few of the wine pairings have eluded me. Not that they weren't great I was just so focused on trying to remember the food I didn't have brain power left for the wine. BTW all the wines served NYE were BC wines, which made me very happy especially the 2002 Black Hills Nota Bene. - Fondue and homemade pate with a Bellini - Shrimp Bisque w/ vietnamese style spring roll w/ Okanagan Pinot Gris - Thin sliced muscovy duck sala
  6. vanderb

    New Year's Eve

    I ended very well for 2005 and although I forgot my pen and paper to note all the different wines we had paired with our tasting menu on NYE the top scores were for the Okanagan Kettle Valley Pinot Noir - 2003 and the top of the night 2002 Black Hills Nota Bene. Thank you to Truffle Pigs Bistro in Field, BC, Canada. Midnight was welcomed with a 2004 Blanc de Noir sparkling wine from Sumac Ridge. The Blanc de Noir was very good but I was not as happy with it as I have been with Sumac's Stellar Jay's sparkling. There was an under tone of petrol to the Blanc de Noir, not sure if it was suppose
  7. Dinah Sarah, thanks for the info on the old Strombolis, sounds promising. I haven't been to Merle's yet, with the holiday season I just haven't had time but it is on my list. It will be hard to compare to Alberta King of Subs Montreal Smoked meat which is absolutely the best I've had west of Montreal. Now for NYE dinner at Truffle Pigs, you'll have to excuse my lack of forethought in not bringing a pen and paper to write down all the details... I've got most of it but a few of the wine pairings have eluded me. Not that they weren't great I was just so focused on trying to remember the food
  8. vanderb

    NYE Fondue

    Now I wonder where you got this idea for NYE? I'm not as up on my champagnes as I'd like to be but I'm very fond of Erhenfelser, Auxerois or even a dry Guerwertztraminer (sp) with my fondue. There are people with far greater wine knowledge out here than myself but I thought I'd add my two bits.
  9. Just out of curiosity does anyone watching this thread know what's going into the old Strombolis location in Kensington (Calgary)? I had heard the last new owner was arrested for cocaine trafficing and that the original Stombolis owners had bought it back. The renos are intense, they have completely gutted the place and are starting from scratch (at least on the main floor that I can see when walking by). Still no idea of what will be going in though... it would be great to have an affordable Italian joint in the hood again. I love Osteria de Medici but every day affordable it is not.
  10. Truffle Pigs --- Field is located about 15 minutes west of Lake Louise, so not quite 3 hours from Calgary but it really depends on how you drive. Truffle Pigs is a great little bistro that is also the town grocery store and liquor store. They have about 8 tables with an extra 5 on the patio during the summer. It's hard to describe the menu, some of it is asian fusion, but some is Canadian regional and then they have a little continental depending on the chef's feeling of the day/week/month. What I can attest to is their quality in sourcing ingredients (no small feat in Kickinghorse Pass), p
  11. Quote- vanderb - nice to hear you enjoy the Italian Supermarket, I have purchased many grocery items from there but haven't tried their pizza will give it a go, I believe they had an anchoivy pizza - that's my speed!.... Have you tried the Italian Store at McKnight - behind Westjet.... their prices are much better being in the east - although their dinning area is hit and miss..Lina's and Mercato on 4th are way off on pricing WTH is that... have you been? Let me know about your NYE menu - we like to get away for a weekend - nice to hear more about the place... End Quote - Dinah Sarah, the Ital
  12. Had an excellent Cali Syrah with the bird last night, but the top of the heap was a pre-turkey dinner of Elk pie with hunter sauce... decanted a 2002 Burrowing Owl Merlot (the last of the batch). The merlot was velvetty and full of wonderful fruit, I'm very sad it was the last bottle. The only up side is I still have a few other Okanagan vintages cellaring, Nichol 2003 Syrah, Lake Breeze 7 Poplars Merlot, Sumac Ridge vertial Merlot tasting (2000, 2001 & 2002) and a Hillside Barrel Reserve Gamay to name a few. This winter won't be so bad.
  13. Got to admit I was feeling very lonely here the past many months. It was very rare to see another posting from someone in (or near) Calgary. Perhaps I won't be so shy now there are a few more folks kicking around. Haven't had much time to dine out lately with all the family obligations but did manage a wood fired pizza at the Italian Supermarket (4th St and 20th Ave NE) last weekend. I'm always happy with their pizza margarita. Prior to this it was old school steak at Ceasar's for a business dinner the week before. I don't eat much beef these days (mostly buffalo, elk, lamb or ostrich for
  14. My preferred additions are rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, frozen peas/corn and an egg. I like to whisk the egg a tiny bit so you get bits of egg throughout the noodles.
  15. Friday night just outside Banff, Alberta - 7000 feet above sea level at the Sunshine Inn, Sunshine Ski resort. It's not really so much about the food up here as it is the skiing and the hot tub. I guess if you've got the cash for the Eagles Nest dinning room there are some great meals to be had, but after the cost of the room I'm stuck in the lounge. Did bring along some great Happy Days chevre frais and a very nice Quebecois goat cheese (rolled in vegetable ash) to have post skiing and pre dinner. For dinner stuck to a bowl of the potato leek soup and half a pizza (spinach, chicken and roa
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