The River Cafe
I can't believe it has been a whole month since I have written a post.
I just haven't been inspired to write this past month, Calgary is kind of smoky and hazy and since moving here my skin has become a wreck and I've packed on some pounds. So needless to say I am feeling a little bit sloth and like I want to hide out.
But if you're looking for a treat, a garden oasis, nestled in Prince’s Island Park is a café set among the foliage evoking the comfort of a hobbit hole but the luxury of a restaurant surrounded by its own exclusive garden. The River Café has been a big player on the Calgary food scene since their doors opened in the Summer of 1991. Focusing on seasonal, locally grown ingredients and connecting directly with farmers and growers, The River Café offers exceptional dishes in a fine dining atmosphere, and their philosophy is rooted in sustainability.
” We believe we can make a difference through deliberate choice and innovation, and are committed to conscious menu selection, purchasing decisions and daily operational practices that sustain the health and well being of our guests, our community and the environment.”
Each season ushers in a host of ingredients that herald the connection to flavours that each season has. Summer evokes light, simple dishes, with bright flavors that dance across the palate; and their Summer menu does not disappoint in the slightest. A season meant for rose’, bringing the outdoors in, or even dining out of doors. Sit on the patio and bask in the warm sunshine, take a seat inside by the windows, or if you’re feeling adventurous you can get a picnic basket to go!
Take a seat and begin with a glass of the 2011 Blue Mountain Brut Rose’, a Canadian sparkling wine that bounce and bubble across your tongue, leaving you exhilarated. For your appetizer I entreat you to indulge in the Kolb Farms Bison Tartare. While the word ‘tartare’ can be intimidating it was the most delightfully tender, soft bison paired with earthy oats and tart Saskatoon berries. After you finish every morsel on your plate, and resist the temptation to bring plate to tongue, David will offer you another glass of wine. Tipsy with glee, I recommend you try another rose’, it is Summer after all! I recommend less bubbles this time, try the Gremillet Brut Rosé de Saigneé.
Just as the wine mixes with the sunshine and everything begins to feel warm, your entrée will arrive. Now I hope you are as close with your friends as I am with mine, because you are going to want to eat off of each other’s plates and share you meals because everything on the menu looked to delicious to choose from.
Naturally Raised Beef: Jungle Farms Barley, Wood Grilled Brassica, Okanagan Cherries, Maple Beer Jus, Hog Wild Boar: Kayben Farms Black Currant Beets, Anise, Spelt Grain, and Heart Rock Ranch Chicken: Garden Tarragon, Fire Morel Mushroom, Beer Glazed House Cured Bacon. Each dish beautifully presented, and so delicious that a church like silence fell over the table.
Finally, when you feel like you might burst with pleasure, the waiter implores you to have dessert. David, new best friend, so sound of judgement, cannot possibly lead you astray! So you order dessert: Dandelion Honey Cake and Bernard and Sons Chocolate, paired with the recommended wines. Both cakes appear with the respective wines, and are the perfect end to a seemingly perfect Summer meal.
My darling friend and mentor Wendy was my dinner date, she kindly took me out to celebrate my graduation! The staff joined in on marking this exciting event! We danced our way with the glow of rose' following us and welcomed the warm Summer air!
Any restaurant than can marry amazing food, exciting wine, locally sourced ingredients, and an ethical and sustainable approach to food has my seal of approval.
The River Café is open 7 days a week:
Weekdays: Monday to Friday from 11am to 10pm (11pm summer)
Weekends: Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 10pm (11pm summer)
Weekend Brunch: Saturday and Sunday 10am to 3pm
You can reserve seats at the River Café online at: http://www.river-cafe.com/contact_us/find_us/