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Posts posted by merlin

  1. Divino Wine and Cheese, Calgary

    Outstanding [as always] Butter poached lobster with a grilled scallop on a reversed ravioli with truffled sauce.

    Buffalo tartar

    Numerous glasses of wine and tastings complements of Divino's excellent waistaff and Bin 902.

    Tribune, Calgary

    Risotto fritters with gorgonzola.

    Catch, Calgary

    1/2 dozen malpeques and a 1/2 dozen St. Simon oysters from N.B.

    Mediocre pinot gris.

    Home this evening, back to Calgary Sunday.

    Will try to get back to River's Cafe, maybe Capo, Teatro, Centini or something new depending upon how the wallet is holding up....

  2. Divino Wine and Cheese, Calgary

    Outstanding [as always] Butter poached lobster with a grilled scallop on a reversed ravioli with truffled sauce.

    Buffalo tartar

    Numerous glasses of wine and tastings complements of Divino's excellent waistaff and Bin 902.

    Tribune, Calgary

    Risotto fritters with gorgonzola.

    Catch, Calgary

    1/2 dozen malpeques and a 1/2 dozen St. Simon oysters from N.B.

    Mediocre pinot gris.

    Home this evening, back to Calgary Sunday.

    Will try to get back to River's Cafe, maybe Capo, Teatro, Centini or something knew depending upon how the wallet is holding up....

  3. mikeI:

    Here in Edmonton I bought the drip coffee makers, a yellow can of Cafe de Monde and the condensed milk at T&T so I am sure you can find it there in Vancouver.

    I know there is another brand of coffee and particular condensed milk that others favour that might also be there.

    I will have to leave the recommendations of where to drink it in Van to the "locals"

  4. Will do.

    Had the salmon on hand at lunch at the Wick during our visit. It too was delicious.

    First, did not have to "plead" with the kitchen to undercook it and secondly, did not have that sharp ammonia like aftertaste that often has me deciding on something else when dining here in Alberta. I like my fish to taste like fish, but NOT like that.

  5. Pacific Provider:

    Thank you for the update.

    That is what I heard when out in Tofino in October but could not remember the name of the resort until I read your post.

    Just flipped through their web-site. Looks quite interesting. Another place to visit when we are back out that way next Fall.

  6. Megan:

    I was there a few years ago now during my last visit to Montreal.

    I was casually dressed and felt right at home up at their cooking bar. Chef Picard was in jeans and striped shirt with most of the staff in hockey styled jerseys.

    Around me were locals early, replaced by more tourists as the night went on. You'll feel right at home in my opinion regardless of what you wear but you sure do not have to "dress up".

    Great restaurant. I had a very good time.

    "Real" Montrealers...I am an Alberta transplant now...can chime in with their views but I would be surprised if they disagree.

  7. I was in Ottawa Sunday afternoon and stopped in for a bite to eat at Stella and then Murray Street. Noticed the Ottawa Food magazine in the latter whose cover featured Lepine with an article inside.

    My server was quite interested in seeing the restaurant open.

    Maybe the next time I am in Ottawa it will be open.

  8. I was in Ottawa a couple of weeks ago and enjoyed my time there.

    Murray Ave has certainly expanded. Had a very good lunch and charcutterie at Murray Kitchen-Wine-Charcutterie. Nice chat with the chef and some excellent roast pork. Decent wine list. Nice atmosphere. Friendly folks.

    That nite I crossed the street to Navarra. Spanish influenced dining. Quite enjoyed it. Both have only been open a matter of weeks just down the street from Domus

    If you do not mind going away from the Market, I would recommend the Wellington Gastropub which I posted about further up the list when I was back in Ottawa some months ago. Did not make it back there this trip but certainly will on another occasion as with Beckta.

    Whalebones, Benitz, etc are also good.

  9. I don't think I've ever had real Malaysian food (I enjoy Tropika's... but I suspect that doesn't count) and...

    How so?

    I am not familiar with Malaysian cuisine but do have a couple of Tropika's here [Edmonton] which did advertise themselves as providing Malaysian cuisine. No idea if they are in fact associated with the coastal venture apart from the common name.

  10. Were these the ones that featured those regional winners of the Olympic fund raisers?

    I saw something about it in one of the Toronto ... yes, they may say National ... but they remain Toronto ... newspapers.

    They got the chefs from Toronto, Ottawa [beckta], Edmonton [Judy Wu of Wild Tangerine], Calgary [Rouge] right, but according to the article Bearfoot Bistro is in Vancouver ... must be making great progress on the Sea-to-Sky Highway [it still is in Whistler isnt' it?], Fleur de Sel is in Halifax instead of Lunenburg and the Eastern Townships' Hovey Manor is in Montreal rather than North Hatley in the Eastern Townships.

  11. According to their promo literature, Joaquin Murietta the "Robin Hood of the El Dorado" or something to that effect hence the West Coast Grill moniker

    Mind you Murietta's Well is not too bad either ... a bottle or two of that 16% plus zinfandel "monster" might make you make some strange name decisions as well....

    The staff at our hotel have that annoying Canadian habit of being cheerful, precise, and efficient, that always makes me worry that this country has been secretly replaced by alien beings.

    Are you sure you did not have a Bloody Mary or two too many in Houston and missed your connecting flight and ended up in Switzerland?

    Bye the way, you are in the home of the Caesar...forget the Bloody Mary

  12. Peter:

    Belgo? Really? You are one of the few who has said something positive about the place apart from the hiring policy that brings the same "wink, wink, nudge, nudge" commentary that others smirk about when Earls' hostesses and servers are mentioned.

    Have not been to either St. Germain nor the Raw Bar which I think are the two spots in the Hotel Arts.

    Il Sogno went through a dry spell when their chef Giuseppe Di Gennaro left to open his own restaurant in Inglewood called Capo. Capo is superb and a must go if you enjoyed his food previously at Il Sogno. You will recognize the calamari and some of the other courses plus his outstanding pasta.

    I have heard better things about Il Sogno since the chef formerly at the Belvedere on Stephen's Avenue has the kitchen working very well.

    Cannot say that I have heard of a Calgary restaurant selling Wagyu beef but I am usually not looking for it. Doubt you would find it at Caesar's, perhaps Murietta's, Vintage, Chicago Chophouse [shudder, like Belgo another I think owned by the same or related group. Another Ruth's Chris opened relatively recently to mixed reviews but you can have that fare almost anywhere in the US of A.

    There is an least one Albertan breeder who does produce it. Near Camrose I think. Otherwise I have seen it imported from Idaho's Snake River ranch.

    You probably were referring to the River Cafe on Prince's Island. Does not sound like you had a good time. Too bad. One of my favourites.

    It has been awhile since our last trip to Calgary and we usually end up in our favourites like Capo, Divino and River's so hopefully some Calgarians will chime in with more recent recommendations.

    I have heard good things about Rouge but have not been there myself.

    Not sure where you are staying but Stephen's Ave has a number in close proximity if you work your way west from Teatro you will have Centini, Tribune, Belvedere, Divino Wine and Cheese and many more within a few blocks.

    Yes, it is supposed to drop to the brutally cold climes we suffered through last week so bundle up.

  13. ...First of all, props to Eugenia, the waitress last night. As English-speakers with limited menu French, and with APDC's terse menu descriptions ("PDC's Happy Pork Chop," anyone?), we had lots of questions. At one point, when Eugenia described that pork chop--double-thick, roasted in the wood oven, on a bed of mashed potatoes, with caramelized onions (where she gestured gallically)--my mouth watered, literally. Her enthusiasm for the menu was absolutely infectious. We're more confident in our preferences in wine than our ability to pick it off a wine list, and she steered us to a great choice at the low end of the per-glass price range. So I can't say enough good about her, and we tipped accordingly but she also deserves public recognition. The rest of the staff could not have been more charming. It's a great team.


    I could not agree with you more.

    Over a year ago I was back in Montreal and took advantage to visit APdeC. I wandered up from my downtown hotel and managed to snag a chair at the cooking bar and as luck would have it, was served by Eugenia as well.

    She was a delight adding to what was a very good evening food and wine wise. She put up with my clumbsy efforts with my poor French and I had a terrific time and felt comfortably at home. I wish I could go more often.

  14. mamacat:

    It has been a few years so my information may be "dated".

    One which springs to mind given its location is Danbry's. I think from the decor that it was a former Men's Club or something to that effect.

    Close by is Golf's Steakhouse which is another "throwback". Plush red "bordello" rug, dark heavy furniture, papillon bow tied waitstaff...all things which would ordinarily be off-putting to me but after a long evening walking about Regina looking for a spot to eat on a Sunday evening, it was decent albeit conservative food.

    My favourite spot was The Creek in Cathedral Bistro for interesting, well done food at both lunch and dinner. However, the Cathedral area is a bit out of the Victoria Ave Downtown area but a fairly short cab drive. I either walked or took a cab from the Delta where I was staying.

    Another spot which is even further away is Willow or Willows in Wascana or something to that effect. It is in the Wascana Centre apparently. I did not go myself nor do I know anyone who has but I read quite a good review in the travel section of the local [Edmonton] paper some time ago.

  15. "T"

    Sounds grand. Did much the same thing with the yellow chanterelles I was delighted to find available at Beaches Grocery in Tofino. It is that small, often surprisingly good store in the lot off the highway and turn-off to the Wick and Chesterman Beach that also has Tofino Chocolates, Internet lounge, surfing shop and originally SOBO's "catering" truck. It usually seems to cater to surfers and tourists like us.

    They had a good supply of chanterelles the first few days and then I thought the rains meant no more, but they were there the day before we left and headed down to Victoria on the 19th.

    One of my morning hilights after a walk along Chesterman hearing the roar of the surf was to stand and see the ocean while frying up a big panfull of those mushrooms and adding them to a melt in one's mouth omelette topped with just a little truffle oil. Yummm

    Great price on the matsutakes

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