Avenue Mar 18

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FIVE-FOOT REALTOR MEETS TEN FOOT HENRY On the hunt for exceptional service? Then you must meet these Calgary Businesses that are looking to satisfy your hunger for food and real estate Dennis Plintz 403.608.1112 Plintz Real Estate | plintz.com Dennis is a third-generation Calgarian whose team has been building relationships across the dinner table for years. “We aren’t just people who sell homes,” he says. “We’re here to do everything possible to make one of the biggest, most stressful transactions in life a little easier and a lot more fun. We make sure that the home-owning experience is the best it can be.” Dennis is also the author most recently of Positively Sold: Buy Smarter, Sell Higher & Push Your Real Estate Agent to Hustle Harder, available at Shelf Life Books, Amazon.ca and other local booksellers.


f you’ve got high expectations, you’re going to want to meet Dennis Plintz and Ten Foot Henry.

Ten Foot Henry opened during one of the most difficult economic times in Calgary’s history, yet they have earned their way into the hearts of this city’s diners. You may as well be entering Aja Lapointe’s home when you step through the door. She’s the owner-operator along with husband and chef Steve Smee. “Our mission at Ten Foot Henry is super simple: it’s to turn every single guest into a regular,” she says. Local real estate associate Dennis Plintz stepped into Ten Foot Henry early on. And he continues to go frequently. Like, a lot. You only need to know one thing about Plintz’s real estate practice and the popular Victoria Park restaurant to see why he’s such a fan. Both service providers have grown their businesses by adhering to one common belief: better is always possible.

Plintz knows magic can happen at the dinner table. Early in his career, he was selling pots and pans doorto-door and part of the strategy was cooking dinner parties, usually for five to 10 people. One evening he made dinner for 100 on a Hutterite colony.

“I burned the cake, ran out of chicken and definitely didn’t have enough potatoes,” he says. “But they filled in the gaps with fresh produce and lots of laughter. By 2 a.m., my host had made bologna sandwiches after we’d been chatting so long we were hungry again.” It led to the biggest order of Plintz’s “Expectations in Calgary are early sales career—and marked higher than ever. Only the the start of many, many more customer-focused businesses will long chats around the kitchen table with clients-turned-friends.

thrive. That means some of the best opportunities to be noticed are happening now. When most people are pulling back, Plintz and Ten Foot Henry are looking to stand out and are leaning in. “We do things better one property at a time,” Plintz says. “Every situation is different and we must customize our approach to make it happen.”

Expectations in Calgary are higher than ever. Only the customerfocused businesses will thrive. That means some of the best opportunities to be noticed are happening now. When most people are pulling back, Plintz and Ten Foot Henry are looking to stand out and are leaning in. “We do things better one property at a time,” Plintz says. “Every situation is different and we must customize our approach to make it happen.” For Plintz, the senior vice-president, sales, with Sotheby’s International Realty Canada, being rigorously focused on providing exceptional service is standard operating procedure. It’s how his team builds client relationships that last years.

Lapointe credits her small-town, East Coast upbringing for her next-level service. And she’s been able to translate that East Coast charm to Ten Foot Henry’s team today with a 12-step program of meticulous attention to detail and amazing, veteran staff. “Anyone can take an order, bring an order and bring a bill,” Lapointe says. “We want to be exceptional and not satisfactory.”

“She’s such a ninja when she works the room,” Plintz says of Lapointe. “And (chef) Steve is like an artist. Even when they’re slammed they seem to have a flow. It’s similar in our business when it gets busy: I’m more focused, more excited and tend to produce my best results.”

Looking to buy, sell or invest in real estate? Call Dennis personally at 403 608 1112 and mention you read this story in Avenue to set up a complementary home consultation or marketing proposal over lunch with Dennis at Ten Foot Henry.

Ten Foot Henry is an every day restaurant. The feel-good, vegetableforward menu is curated with love by chef and owner Steve Smee and served up family style (and meat lovers won’t go without, either). “We’re just serving food and keeping the smiles going,” says owner-operator Aja Lapointe. “We’re offering a great product from service to food for as long as Calgary will have us.” Ten Foot Henry is open from 11 a.m.-11 p.m. daily at 1209 1 Street S.W. For a quicker bite, right next door is their café, Little Henry. Open 8 a.m.- 4 p.m. daily.


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$1,650,000 This exquisite, modern 3+1 bedroom home presents over 3,700 sq ft of living space, top of the line finishing and is flooded with natural light throughout. The main floor showcases wide plank white oak hardwood floors; dazzling chef’s kitchen finished with quartz countertops, custom cabinetry, large island, high end appliances including a 48” Wolf range with double ovens and built-in custom paneled fridge, butler’s pantry and spacious dining area with bar, wine fridge, storage and smoked mirror. The living room with custom fireplace and built-ins is adjacent to the kitchen and dining area, finishing a perfect space for entertaining. The luxurious master retreat includes a custom closet with built-in dresser and spa-like 5 piece ensuite with in-floor heat, dual sinks, freestanding soaker tub and large steam shower with quartz bench. A fully developed basement with in-floor heat features a large family/media room with wet bar and custom built-ins, fourth bedroom with walk-in closet and full bath. Further highlights of this home include roughed-in wiring for sound and roughed-in central A/C. Also enjoy the professionally landscaped and fenced gardens with underground sprinkler system and sunny south back yard with patio, gas line and insulated and dry walled triple detached garage.

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MLS C4162328

$1,550,000 A fully and professionally renovated like-new raised bungalow with front walk-out and impressive curb appeal, located on a quiet and mature street in sought after Upper Elboya. Classic style boasting over 3,100 sq ft of living space, 2+1 bedrooms, 3 full baths and modern flair with quality finishing and nothing left untouched! The elegant main floor showcases a spacious living room with stylish gas fireplace, formal dining room and an impeccably-equipped fully renovated kitchen finished with stainless steel appliances, glass backsplash, lustrous quartz countertops and extended cabinetry featuring wine fridge in the back entrance. The master bedroom includes a generous walk-in closet and stunning 4 piece ensuite. The basement is drenched with natural light from large egress windows and features a family/media room, den area complete with built-ins and barn doors, third bedroom, a 3 piece bath, ample storage and access to the garage and front exterior of the home. Further features that cannot help but dazzle include modern lighting, glass railing, wallpaper accents, central air conditioning, beautifully refinished vintage hardwood flooring, new doors, casings and baseboards. Additional renovations include an entirely new exterior, windows, stucco, eaves, soffits, roof and all new insulation. The double attached heated oversized garage includes full built-ins and epoxy flooring. Also enjoy the large, beautifully manicured backyard that’s perfect for summer gatherings and offers complete privacy and an underground sprinkler system.

109 West Point Way SW

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$1,256,000 Located in the prestigious community of West Point Estates and built by Truman Homes, this breathtaking home offers impeccable finishing and over 3,000 sq ft of opulent living space. Hardwood floors and high ceilings showcase the main level with den/office, study/computer room and living room with soaring ceiling and extraordinary floor to ceiling stone fireplace open to the dining area and impressive chef’s kitchen finished with huge island/eating bar, an abundance of cabinet space and full appliance package. A mudroom and 2 piece powder room complete the main level. An elegant staircase leads to the second level presenting a large bonus room, laundry room, 3 large bedrooms and 5 piece main bath. The master retreat features a walk-in closet and luxurious 5 piece ensuite with 2 sinks, dressing table, freestanding oval tub and separate shower. Further features include a walk-out basement, deck, patio and triple attached front garage. This home has easy access to parks, shopping and all other amenities. A division of 4th Street Holdings Ltd. Each office is independently owned and operated.

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Any other time and three would be a crowd But on Friday April 13th, everyone is invited to the Taste of Bragg Creek. Year round, Bragg Creek wine & food merchants and restaurateurs offer culinary experiences to fit every occasion. Whether it’s after a long day on the trails, to quench a thirst or to impress a significant other, Bragg Creek is the destination for you and your taste buds. Now you can celebrate local foods all in one evening at the 6th Annual Taste of Bragg Creek. For complete details visit tasteofbraggcreek.ca ? facebook.com/tastebraggcreek @ @TasteofBragg

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MARCH 2018 O N T H E C OV E R Ten foot Henry, one of our 25 Best Restaurants. PAGE 49 • PHOTOGRAPHY BY JARED SYCH

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Spring Fashion


Of-the-moment trends that stylish women will want to wear this season, including sheer fabrics, see-through pieces, wild prints and patterns and swishy, flowy shapes.

Best Restaurants

Our 15th annual roundup of the best places to eat in the city right now features an overall Best 25 Restaurants list, as well as even more lists in a variety of categories, including Best Thai, Best Chinese, Best Italian, Best Brewpub and more. We also check in with chef Eric Hendry, the culinary mind behind the tiny-but-mighty Bar Von Der Fels. By Elizabeth Chorney-Booth, John Gilchrist, Andrew Guilbert, Jennifer Hamilton, Käthe Lemon, Jacquie Moore, Gwendolyn Richards, Julie Van Rosendaal, Julia Williams and Alana Willerton 24




Opening a restaurant is not for the faint of heart, yet that hasn’t stopped a burgeoning set of young and exciting hospitality groups from doing it again and again. Take a look at some of the minds that are making the Beltline into the city’s most happening dining district.

Sure, you could wait until the last minute to figure out what you want to do in the mountains this summer, but we say get on it and start planning your alpine adventure right now. For inspiration, we’ve rounded up some things to get excited about.

Risk & Reward

By Gwendolyn Richards

Get On It!

By Shelley Arnusch, Kevin Brooker, Christina Frangou, Fabian Mayer, Gwendolyn Richards and Julia Williams




contents MARCH 2018



Style Statement Salon co-owner Jodi Ohama’s affinity for structured pieces with a dash of “oddball” flair.


Profile Though she’s a pharmacist by trade, Rosemary Bacovsky’s global culinary travels have endowed her with a savviness about food and dining that makes her a sought-after judge for hospitalityranking organizations around the world and a respected figure for local restaurateurs and chefs.

128 Decor

A heritage home in one of Calgary’s oldest neighbourhoods gets a restoration by a local builder and architect whose roots in the area go back four generations.


Detours Who you gonna call when the damn beavers are tearing up the riverbanks? Trapper Bill Abercrombie, that’s who. Plus, a group of industrious volunteers who invent and build unique solutions for local people who are challenged by disabilities. 26



Workout Pro lacrosse player Curtis Manning has figured out how to balance the worlds of medicine and sport, working as a family doctor while playing for the Calgary Roughnecks.


New and Noteworthy Designed-in-Calgary glasses that are an instant style boost, an easy way to update your sleep set-up and a local lingerie boutique that is all about the perfect fit.

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avenue RedPoint Media & Marketing Solutions 100, 1900 11 St. S.E. Calgary, Alberta T2G 3G2 Phone: 403-240-9055 Toll Free: 1-877-963-9333 x0 Fax: 403-240-9059 info@redpointmedia.ca AvenueCalgary.com Facebook: Avenue Magazine — Calgary Twitter: @AvenueMagazine Instagram: @AvenueMagazine

Publisher Joyce Byrne, jbyrne@redpointmedia.ca Editor-in-Chief Käthe Lemon, klemon@redpointmedia.ca Executive Editor Jennifer Hamilton, jhamilton@redpointmedia.ca Senior Art Director Venessa Brewer, vbrewer@redpointmedia.ca Executive Editor, Digital Content Jaelyn Molyneux, jmolyneux@redpointmedia.ca Senior Editor Shelley Arnusch Associate Art Director Sarah McMenemy Assistant Editor Andrew Guilbert Assistant Editors, Digital Content Alyssa Quirico, Alana Willerton Staff Photographer Jared Sych Production Designer Rebecca Middlebrook Editorial Interns Victoria Lessard, Fabian Mayer


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Contributors Aldona Barutowicz, Kevin Brooker, Ellis Choe, Elizabeth Chorney-Booth, Jennifer Dorozio, Jackie Duncan, Christina Frangou, John Gilchrist, Ivan Jimenez, Kait Kucy, Katrina Martinez, Jérôme Mireault, Jacquie Moore, Gwendolyn Richards, Kelly Schykulski, Michelle Truong, Julie Van Rosendaal, Julia Williams,Katherine Ylitalo Print Advertising Coordinator Erin Starchuk, production@redpointmedia.ca Sales Assistant Robin Cook, rcook@redpointmedia.ca Director, National Sales Lindy Neustaedter

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Published 12 times a year by RedPoint Media & Marketing Solutions. Copyright (2018) by RedPoint Media & Marketing Solutions. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher.

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Let’s Eat!

G E T AV E N U E O N YO U R TA B L E T! To get the tablet edition, go to

Our annual restaurants issue has plenty of food for thought.


Käthe Lemon Editor-in-Chief klemon@redpointmedia.ca

While our Best Restaurants coverage tends to focus on restaurants that offer a seated dinner experience, even takeout and fast-casual fare is being elevated in this city by such spots as Cluck N Cleaver and Tuk Tuk Thai, among others. No matter what you like to eat, we’re confident you’ll find something in this issue that suits your particular tastes. As far as where to go in the city to eat, the Beltline is virtually bursting its buttons with amazing restaurants, which led us to wonder about the business minds behind all these great places. Food writer Gwendolyn Richards talked to the people

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running some of the mini restaurant empires operating specifically in this inner-city neighbourhood. That story starts on page 96. While the Best Restaurants issue tends to inspire our readers to start reserving tables, with the worst of the winter behind us it’s also the perfect time to start making reservations and other plans for your summer adventure in the mountains. The best campgrounds and the most coveted tours fill up fast, so there’s really no time to lose. Our Get On It! mountain-adventure planning guide, starting on page 112, is just what you need to kick yourself into gear.

Photography by Jared Sych; jewellery supplied by Brinkhaus. For information turn to page 111.


he best news about dining in Calgary is that we are not starved for choice. And the offerings are not just plentiful, they are high in quality. After consulting with restaurateurs, chefs, food writers and other industry folk, we finalized our list of places you shouldn’t miss eating at right now. In some years past we have divided our picks into lists of 10 Best Overall and 10 Best New restaurants, but this year we compiled a master list of the 25 Best. This is because many of the new restaurants in the city have hit the ground running, removing the need for a separate list. Those new restaurants that made it onto the 25 Best list stand up to the competition of the established restaurants, while the established restaurants on the list continue to have much to offer beyond just being new and exciting. In surveying the dining scene, we noticed Calgary’s restaurants are offering a wider range of global cuisines — if you’re craving something from somewhere in the world, it’s here. And there were so many amazing Italian restaurants they got their own special Top 10 list. Like all the lists in this issue, it’s presented in alphabetical order instead of as a ranking.






CONTRIBUTORS KEVIN BROOKER Kevin Brooker, who writes about electric mountain bikes on page 118, has been a Calgary-based freelance writer since 1979. A resolute generalist, his work has appeared in numerous North American, European and Asian publications. His always-proletarian cycling life began in the construction dirt piles of Forest Lawn back in the ’60s. “Despite the banana seat and ape-hanger bars, my J.C. Higgins girl’s bike was not exactly badass,” he recalls. Nowadays he rides a basic Gary Fisher, but the advent of eMTBs is raising his sights. “I finally understand why you’d pay five grand for a bike.”

KELLY SCHYKULSKI Kelly Schykulski is an Edmonton-based illustrator with a background in fine arts whose work has appeared in several publications in North America and Europe. He studied painting at the Alberta College of Art + Design in Calgary and went on to study illustration at Grant MacEwan University in Edmonton. Schykulski creates his illustrations intuitively, using a digital collaging process that involves a symbiosis of old and new media. His work is influenced by his comprehensive interests in film, music and literature and by his many lengthy travels around the world.



China is a big country and its food

Jared Sych is a Calgary-based shutterbug and when

culture is complex, intriguing and

he’s not working full-time for RedPoint Media as the

regionally influenced. Find out what

staff photographer, he likes to spend his free time with

you need to know to be a savvy

his lovely fiancée Bre, daughter Harlow, dog Joey and

diner in the city’s Chinese eateries.

cat Gomez. His favorite thing about shooting food is getting to eat the food afterwards. Check out his Insta-


gram feed @joeysavestheworld.

See who made our annual list of super-stylish Calgarians.

BEAR WITH US activity in the regional mountain areas. We look at what this means for both humans and bears when it comes to enjoying the outdoors in places like Kananaskis Country and Banff National Park.

JULIA WILLIAMS Julia Williams is a writer-for-hire who works in advertising and editorial. Most of the time she writes about the arts, science and lifestyle, and when she’s very lucky she lands a story about food. When she’s not writing she reads, runs and tries (and fails) to spend less time online. She lives in Calgary with her husband and their two sons. Read more of her work at juliawriter.com or follow her adventures on Instagram @juliawriter.



Chinese food photograph by Jared Sych

Last year saw an increase in bear



RETRO CA LG A RY A look back at some of the gems of Calgary’s past and what those people, places and things are like now. AvenueCalgary.com/RetroCalgary

/avenuecalgary @avenuemagazine @avenuemagazine

Subscribe to our weekly Food, Style and Weekender newsletters to get the latest restaurant and store openings, advice on Photography by Karin Olafson

what to eat and where to shop and our picks for the best things to do in Calgary.



LUNCH | DINNER | BRUNCH OPEN DAILY YEAR ROUND MARKET | PRIVATE FUNCTIONS www.seasonsofbownesspark.ca 403-202-5065 34


While beavers can damage city infrastructure, they’re also beneficial for our urban ecosystem.

Beaver Tales


ander Calgary’s river paths for long enough and eventually you will spot a whiskered face poking out of the water or a rotund mass of fur lumbering along the bank. The city is home to hundreds of beavers and while the iconic critters pleasantly blur the city-nature divide, they can also wreak havoc on their environment and damage infrastructure. Local trapper Bill Abercrombie has been trapping in Alberta for nearly 50 years. His company is regularly hired by the city to remove beavers where they are causing problems. “They cut down all the trees, they will dam up water courses and flood areas, quite often they’ll do things like move into the sewer system,” says Abercrombie. “If we’re going to have beavers coexisting with us, we actually have to take responsibility to [manage these issues] humanely and respectfully.”


To reduce deforestation and flooding Hope Abercrombie says trapping discretely in wraps protective wire around tree trunks and such close proximity to people is the most challenging part of working in the city. Beavers installs pond-levelling pipes through beaver dams. But the beavers help by eliminatcan also become aggressive when caught on ing non-native species, as well. “By carefully land and their long teeth can inflict serious wounds. Abercrombie says everyone on his selecting which trees we leave unwired the crew has had a close call with a beaver and beavers can actually increase the health of he advises Calgarians to keep a close eye on our forests,” says Hope. When such strategies fail, however, the city their four-legged companions at the city’s turns to Abercrombie. He and his team remove riverbanks. “If a dog is in the wrong place the rodents using lethal traps placed underat the wrong time, he’s going to get it,” says water to ensure beavers are the only animals Abercrombie. “Beavers are big; they’re strong. There’s no dog that’s a match for a beaver. “BEAVERS ARE BIG; THEY’RE STRONG. THERE’S “It can be lethal.” NO DOG THAT’S A MATCH FOR A BEAVER.” City of Calgary Parks — Bill Abercrombie, local trapper Ecologist Tanya Hope targeted. According to Abercrombie, his comsays while beavers can cause conflict, they also benefit Calgary’s urban ecosystems. Their pany traps about 50 beavers a year in Calgary. If the animal’s fur is suitable it is used for dams create pond habitat for other species garments while the fat-rich meat is often used and even reduce the impact of small flood as bait for predators, though it can also end events. “Outside of humans they’re the only up on the dinner table. “It’s quite edible,” says other animals that can change the way their Abercrombie, “[it tastes] kind of like turkey if landscape works,” says Hope. “We definitely it’s cooked right.” —Fabian Mayer want to have them here.”



DETOURS Tetra Society volunteers Allan Monk and Ron Marshall in the shop space.


Creating Ability


delle Eshpeter, 74, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1976 and lost the use of her legs in 1981. Her hands stopped responding about 10 years later. Despite losing the use of her hands, Eshpeter was determined not to just sit in her room all day. She acquired a wheelchair with a joystick that allowed her to control the chair by leaning forward to push on the stick. She used this set up for several years until her mobility further deteriorated to the point where she could no longer work the joystick. “When I couldn’t use the joystick any longer I decided to go to Tetra,” Eshpeter says. The Calgary chapter of the Tetra Society is a volunteer-run organization that creates assistive devices for people who are challenged with disabilities. For Eshpeter, Tetra built a wooden holder on her wheelchair for a stick that she clasps with her mouth and uses to type at her computer and press buttons on her wheelchair, as well as two custom cup and water-bottle holders. “Without my stick, I wouldn’t be on the computer and without the computer half my life would be gone,” says Eshpeter. Over the 23 years Tetra has been operating in the city, its volunteers, who operate with no budget or compensation, have built an impressive range of items. Using mainly recycled or donated materials such as steel, plastic and wood, they create cleverly simple solutions to ability barriers in both recreational and day-to-day activities. “We fill in the space between disability and ability,” says Tetra Calgary chair-person Allan Monk. “Everything we do is individual, custom-made design.”



Tetra Society client Adelle Eshpeter, who has multiple sclerosis, typing at her computer.

The scale and design of the projects built by Tetra change depending on each individual case. Projects have ranged from rewiring a toy car for a paraplegic girl so it could accelerate via the horn instead of a gas pedal, to installing a monopod on a wheelchair for a quadriplegic man to use for birdwatching. In 2017, Tetra’s Calgary chapter received more than 100 requests online and were able to fulfill approximately 70 of them (requests are refused only when there is a liability issue or if the technology already exists in the market). The Tetra Society volunteer base is made up of trade workers as well as a “think tank” of general volunteers who work at coming up with solutions and design innovations for the various requests the organization receives. The society bases its operations out of a shop space in Inglewood provided by the Calgary Drop-In & Rehab Centre Society and meets monthly to discuss and assign out the requests. “You’ve got experts inspiring other experts,” Monk says. “We fill in the space between can’t and can.”—Jennifer Dorozio

Steve Rozitis knows guitars inside and out. Having obsessed about guitars, both acoustic and electric, since his early teens, he is currently the repairman for string instruments at Music Centre Canada and a go-to guitar repairman in the city. In addition to repairing guitars, Rozitis also builds them. He aims to one day have his luthier business, R Guitars, be his full-time gig. “We have enough wood to make about 500 guitars,” Rozitis says. “The wood has to be stored in Calgary for a minimum of five years [before it can be used for a guitar]. About 10-per cent of the stock either warps, or cracks or just cannot be used — you don’t know until you let it age. “We’ve been building this company for about five years — anytime we sell a guitar we don’t pay ourselves, we just buy more wood and we turn that wood into four more guitars. We make everything from scratch, the only things we buy are the metal parts: the frets, the tuners, the truss rod.” —J.D.

Tetra Society photography by Jennifer Dorozio; Eric Boudreau headshot courtesy of Eric Boudreau



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Will Ferguson: Q&A

Calgary, Christ and Bananacream Pie




hree messiahs walk into a lab. It’s not a joke, rather, the basis for Calgary au-thor Will Ferguson’s latest book The Shoe on the Roof. The novel follows a Harvard neurology student who attempts to relieve three men of their delusions that they are Christ in hopes of winning back his ex. “It’s your typical boy-meets-girl, boyloses-girl, boy-tries-to-cure-three-men-whothink-they’re-Jesus,” says Ferguson. “Just a classic love story.” We talked with the Giller Prize-winning author about his new book, life in Calgary and the Blackfoot Truckstop Diner.

What exactly is this book about? It’s about the danger of certainty and about the collision of faith and science. Everything kind of came out of the story. Once you’re dealing with Jesus, you have to deal with faith. Once you start dealing with science, you have to start dealing with that [collision between the two].

What surprised you while writing this book? I thought it was going to be more serious. I was surprised at the humour — it wasn’t my intention when I started — but when you put those weird, different characters in the same room, and they start arguing, it’s pretty funny.

The novel’s setting is Boston, but it’s actually a conflation of a few places. Why?


It’s a Calgary point of view in a Montreal setting pretending to be Boston. It’s easier for me to set a book in Calgary, but [for this book] it doesn’t work because you need a rich Catholic heritage. I’m Presbyterian, and Presbyterians don’t have the iconography of the saints and the rituals and the candles. You don’t have those tactile or sensory layers, and as a writer you want that. Catholicism seemed really rich, so it made sense to set it in Montreal. To be honest, I moved it to Boston at the last minute [to make story elements involving private medical practices plausible].

Did Calgary inspire anything in the novel? My first draft, I had this image of scientific labs, all sterile with people walking with clipboards, so I went to the Hotchkiss Brain Institute in Calgary and they showed me around their lab. They’re all cluttered, there are all these refrigerators wedged in every which way, and as an author you want those telling details.

Do you have any favourite spaces in the city? I love the Blackfoot Diner. I told my son there used to be three kinds of pie: apple, lemon-meringue and banana-cream, and these days you can’t find banana-cream anywhere except the Blackfoot Diner. They still have it the way it’s supposed to be, this weird, neon yellow, with a bunch of cream and slices of real banana. When he was 16, I took my son there, thinking this was going to be a father-son moment, and halfway through he said, “I think I know why they don’t make it anymore.� I think I was singlehandedly keeping banana-cream pie afloat in Calgary. —Andrew Guilbert AvenueCalgary.com



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helping albertans for 25 years with serious injury and wrongful death claims

MARCH 2 TO 11 During the annual Big Taste event, restaurants in the downtown areas offer special prix-fixe menus. More than 85 restaurants are involved this year and will be offering $18 to $28 three-course lunch menus, $28 to $40 three-course dinner menus

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and $65 five-course gourmet menus. Various locations, calgarydowntown.com

Maple Festival photograph by Marie-Hélène Bilodeau

Calgary Maple Festival Des Sucres.

FIVE YEARS OF WONDER BEHIND OUR DOOR Celebrate our fifth year of delightful dining.


Our door is open all day.

MARCH 3 AND 4 The French Canadian, First Nations and Metis cultures are at the heart of this annual festival. Each year, thousands of people flock to Heritage Park for activities such as drum circles and finger weaving, art exhibitions, live music, making maple taffy and shopping at the Sugar Market. Heritage Park, 1900 Heritage Dr. S.W., 403.206.9585 | yellowdoorbistro.ca



403-268-8500, calgarymaplefest.com

SP ORT ST. PATRICK’S DAY ROAD RACE MARCH 11 Don some green athletic attire or a fun costume for one of the last races of the winter season. Runners can take on a five-kilometre or 10-km route, then fill up on Irish stew once they’ve crossed the finish line. The race is a fundraiser for the Canadian

Romance lives at Ma Maison Join us for elegant fine French cuisine by candle light

Diabetes Association. Central Memorial High School, 5111 21 St. S.W., calgaryroadrunners.com

mamaisoncalgary.ca | 403.228.3771 | info@mamaisoncalgary.ca Chef de Cuisine

Tobias Larcher


DA NCE CINDERELLA MARCH 14 TO 17 Alberta Ballet brings the beloved fairy tale to life with choreography by the company’s associate artistic director, Christopher Anderson. Follow Cinderella on her journey to find love, despite her cruel stepmother and stepsisters’ best efforts to thwart her. Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, 1415 14 Ave. N.W., albertaballet.com

T HEATRE KING LEAR MARCH 15 TO 31 The Shakespeare Company presents a 17-day run of one of The Bard’s most popular (and tragic) plays. Actor Stephen Hair captures the fictional British king’s fall from grace (and sanity) following a foolish decision to split the realm between daughters Goneril, Regan and Cordelia. The Studio at Vertigo Theatre, 115 9 Ave. S.E.,

Cinderella photograph by Paul McGrath

403-221-3708, shakespearecompany.com

PERFORMING ARTS ALCHEMY FESTIVAL OF STUDENT WORK MARCH 22 TO APRIL 11 Student performers from the University of Calgary’s School of Creative and Performing Arts will be showcased during this new take on the former Taking Flight Festival. From music to drama to interdisciplinary performance, this three-week event will cover the full gamut of artistic expression. University of Calgary, scpa.ucalgary.ca AvenueCalgary.com


Openings THE BRO’KIN YOLK Step up your brunch game with chicken and waffles or an open-face avocado sandwich at The Bro’Kin Yolk’s second location in Mahogany. 1410 7 Mahogany Plaza S.E., brokinyolk.ca

RAILYARD BREWING Grab a pint in the taproom of one of Calgary’s newest breweries. Try the IPA, lager or one of the brewery’s seasonal releases. Unit 121, 10301 19 St. N.E., 403-465-4831, railyardbrewing.ca

RECESS SHOP Spiff up your desk or workspace with stylish notebooks, writing instruments and office supplies from this new stationery store from the owner of Plant in Inglewood. 1323 9 Ave. S.E., 403-462-6230, recessshop.ca

SAKS FIFTH AVENUE Chinook Centre is now home to Western Canada’s first Saks Fifth Avenue store, offering everything from luxury men’s and women’s apparel to jewellery and shoes in a 115,000-square-foot space. CF Chinook Centre, saksfifthavenue.com

A Calgary icon in the heart of East Village set to become a culinary destination in 2019.

403.718.0300 calgarymlc.ca

Recess Shop. 42


Recess Shop photograph by Alana Willerton


daytime. nighttime. anytime.






Contemporary & Stylish Living by


I wanted to broaden my understanding of the different aspects of business in order to be a more effective leader. I found that when it came to building my career, it was very difficult to gain practical experience in all areas of business. The Alberta Haskayne Executive MBA was a great way for me to develop my skillset and knowledge base, while still advancing my career.” Matko Papic, EMBA’11 Vice President, Engineering and Product Development Evans Consoles Corporation

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1920 4818



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PROFILE BY Andrew Guilbert PHOTOGRAPHY BY Jared Sych

Rosemary The respected gourmet and foodie’s foodie has travelled the world on culinary adventures, though she still has love for what’s cooking in kitchens on the local scene.



n a culinary tour of northern Canada last June, Rosemary Bacovsky found herself seated in an Iqaluit park for an outdoor meal — one of two such meals planned over the course of the weeklong tour. She and her husband Bill had only been notified there would be arctic al fresco dining after they’d already left Calgary, so they didn’t pack accordingly. The chill from a nearby arctic river meant that Bacovsky had already swaddled herself with the provided blankets. Though she was able to finish the starter soups, by the time the main course came, her fingers were too cold to handle utensils, so she picked up her meal and left the group to eat in the relative warmth of their tour bus. “Soon enough, the whole bus was full,” says Bacovsky. Asked if this was strictly allowed, she says: “I don’t care. I just do things.” This arctic-dining anecdote exemplifies Bacovsky’s willingness to do what she thinks best, as well as her knack for spearheading change, traits that have led her to successes in multiple domains. Her work as a licensed pharmacist has resulted in important changes to provincial law governing the scope of her profession in Alberta, while her passion for food has gained her a reputation as a knowledgeable gourmet in both Calgary and on the international dining scene, leading to judging positions with a number of renowned institutions both at home and abroad. Bacovsky’s path to gourmet gravitas wasn’t straightforward. Initially, when it came to travel, she and her husband were more inclined toward “eco-adventures”



around the world, from African safaris and exploring the Amazon to seeing elephants in Thailand and orangutans in Borneo. Unfortunately, a car accident in 2001 left her with mobility issues, putting an end to these adventures. “Now I can’t do anything physically demanding,” she says. “I can’t even go on gravel roads most of the time without it impacting my neck.” Still looking for ways to indulge her wanderlust, in 2002 Bacovsky chanced upon an ad for a high-end food-and-wine tour of Italy guided by Peter Blattman, the former food and beverage director at the Fairmont Banff Springs. This tour, she says, allowed her to appreciate Italian cuisine in ways she hadn’t before, and opened the door to a wider world of food. More than a decade later, Bacovsky has visited thousands of restaurants around the world including ones in Spain, India, Japan, Sri Lanka and Denmark. Her farranging culinary travels have led to friendships with industry insiders — both at home and abroad — which in turn has led to opportunities to officially weigh in on the food scene. Bacovsky recalls that her position as a judge with Canada’s 100 Best came about because of such a connection. The setting in this case was a long-table dinner that involved Calgary chefs Connie DeSousa, Darren MacLean and Duncan Ly, among others. “Connie introduced me to Jacob Richler [who coordinates Canada’s 100 Best] and explained that I eat all over the place. When he was looking for people to be judges, he knew that I travelled a lot, including in Canada, and asked me to



ABOVE Photographed on one of Bacovsky’s many world travels, this globe, from El Celler de can Roca in Girona, Spain, presents appetizers representative of tastes from different countries. RIGHT Corn tart with foie gras from Disfrutar in Barcelona, Spain.




participate.” Bacovsky also ranks as the 18th most influential reviewer (and the most highly ranked Canadian) on Steve Plotnicki’s Opinionated About Dining, a foodreview website with an international fan base. Here in Calgary, she has also been a judge for numerous editions of Avenue’s annual Best Restaurants issue. What makes Bacovsky unique among the culinary cognoscenti who tend to influence such lists is her status as a self-described outsider — that is, someone from outside the hospitality industry. This outsider status allows for a different perspective from the chefs, restaurateurs, writers and others who make their living in the food world and are often given complimentary meals and other perks. Bacovsky believes such industry insiders are also apt to receive a level of service and attention that is different than what the paying customer experiences. “Paying for my own things, I wouldn’t get that same level of service, so that’s why I think people who are gourmands or serious foodies should be included in [making] those lists, to provide the client perspective.” Though she often eats abroad, Bacovsky has a fondness for Calgary’s food scene and thinks it has more quality to offer than locals realize. “What they’re producing here in terms of fine dining and casual dining takeout can be exceptional,” she says. “We were in Paris earlier this year, we went to this place called Chez L’Ami Louis. It is a bistro known to have the best roast chicken in Paris, so we

ordered it, and I thought, poor Parisians, they haven’t tasted Nicole’s rotisserie chicken!” (“Nicole” being Cluck N Cleaver co-founder and Top Chef Canada: All Stars winner Nicole Gomes). Bacovsky believes Calgary’s dining scene’s greatest strength is its variety. “When you look at other countries, they don’t have that diversity. When you’re travelling in places like India, all you’re eating is Indian food,” she says. “People who are used to the diversity here just take it for granted.” Bacovsky’s Calgary home is filled with objects that attest to her and her husband’s interests: a shelf with signed serving dishes and cutlery from Ferran Adrià’s elBulli restaurant, a floor-to-ceiling library of cookbooks, many of them signed, and cabinets filled with her collection of mortars and pestles of varying sizes and materials, collected from at least 40 countries. This collection is but a remnant of a much larger one, which Bacovsky donated to the faculty of pharmacy’s dean’s office at the University of Alberta, where she obtained her degree in 1977. Her work in the pharmaceutical industry mirrors her foodie authority, in that she’s successful at wielding her influence in both. She played an integral role in changing provincial health regulations in 2007, which allowed pharmacists to prescribe drugs (excluding narcotics or controlled substances). This change made Alberta pharmacists the first in the country able to do so. In working with the Alberta College of Pharmacists, government officials and her peers, Bacovsky helped develop the framework and standards that provided pharmacists with a greater scope of practice, while streamlining care for patients. “I worked hard, I had to do a lot of advocating with the prescribing aspect, because a lot of people in the profession didn’t want to rock the boat,” she says. Her current work as a pharmaceutical consultant sees her preparing policy reports and serving as an expert witness in federal court cases regarding drug patents and practices. This puts her on the stand, where she must defend her work from intense scrutiny. “The cross-examination lawyers are essentially trying to discredit you. They’re trying to make you waver on what your report has said, or discredit your expertise,” she says. “It’s stressful, because you’ve always got to think ‘where are they going to try and trip me up?’” In these situations, much like the rest of her life, Bacovsky’s tenacity and resolve see her through, as she shows up prepared, with her facts memorized and the confidence of someone who knows her own mind. If asked how she’s managed to do so well for herself, these are the things she would point to, though her actual answer is much simpler. “I go after things. I find ways of getting what I want,” she says. “Hey, why not? If you don’t ask, if you don’t go after it, you’ll never get it.”

Photography by Bill Trefanenko








S T N A R U A T ES Over the 15 years Avenue has published a Best Restaurants awards list, Calgary’s dining scene has evolved to be multi-faceted, diverse and conceptually creative. We responded by expanding our list of the best from 10 to 25 this year. The restaurants aren’t ranked because a) it’s apples and oranges and b) pitting these fine establishments against each other undercuts the highly cooperative and collaborative spirit that defines Calgary’s restaurateur culture. In addition to the top 25, there are top-three lists in a variety of categories and a top-10 Italian list, reflecting how many amazing restaurants Calgary has in that category. Altogether, these results reflect input from chefs, restaurateurs, food writers and other industry insiders, plus Avenue’s editors, for a damn fine list of places to dine in 2018. Bon appétit!

BY Elizabeth Chorney-Booth, John Gilchrist, Andrew Guilbert, Jennifer Hamilton, Käthe Lemon, Jacquie Moore, Gwendolyn Richards, Julie Van Rosendaal, Julia Williams AND Alana Willerton ILLUSTRATIONS BY Kelly Schykulski PHOTOGRAPHY BY Jared Sych

49 AvenueCalgary.com



Small, simple plates to pair with wine.


Glass-pour list is always evolving. Open your mind and listen to your server.


Funky European minimalist. It’s a tiny joint with a buzzy, convival atmosphere.






here are some don’ts at Bar Von Der Fels (BVDF). For starters, don’t order a glass of malbec. There isn’t any. It says so, right on the door: “No malbec, no minors.” Secondly, don’t turn over the menu looking for a longer list of meal options (take a look at the pocketsize kitchen; you will understand). Lastly, please kindly refrain from asking the proprietors, as so many do upon first entering this remarkably small establishment, when they are planning to expand. The answer is: “We are not.” (Although, soon you will be able to get more of Hendry's dishes at the café he is opening with Gareth Lukes in the New Central Library.) 50


Beef tartare with sunchoke and Avonlea cheddar, house-made sourdough bread, Spanish ham and hickory-smoked olives at Bar Von Der Fels.


Reservations are taken only between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m.

Happily, there are far more yesses in the BVDF universe than there are nos. For instance, can broccoli succeed as a tantalizing main dish? Yes. Can one find happiness in a glass of wine from a hitherto unknown region adventurously suggested by one of two full-time sommeliers? (In a 24-seat wine bar!) Also, yes. Can Calgary be convinced that it’s time to toss weary ideas of what fine dining is supposed to look like? We think so. And so, clearly, do BVDF’s owners, who were recently delighted to have their young Beltline spot named in the top three on EnRoute magazine’s influential list of Best New Restaurants in Canada. “I think Calgary is growing tired of faux opulence,” says chef Eric Hendry, who shares ownership with Will Trow and Thomas Dahlgren. “I know I am. Real comfort

doesn’t come from spending a ton of money on surroundings, but from the service and the food and one’s ability to relax and enjoy the wine.” Hendry believes the 100-plus-seat dining rooms that once dominated the local dining scene are becoming “dinosaurs.” “We’re kidding ourselves if we think there’s not a future for small restaurants — I think the size of this place is the best thing about it,” says Hendry. (We think it’s the wagyu beef paired with a Sicilian red, but whatever.) With a now international reputation for punchy, sophisticated food and unique, unpredictable wines-by-the-glass, the wine bar’s only troublesome “no” is the one you may face when trying to book a last-minute table. —J.M.



E From his tiny kitchen, Eric Hendry has made a big impact on Calgary dining.

Eric Hendry sums up his illustrious resume as such: “I was just a young man cooking.” His culinary past (and, he feels, that of most chefs) is inherently boring to talk about. “It’s just a list of places.” Indeed, it is, albeit they’re places where many people would enjoy eating, if not living and cooking: Lake Louise, Vancouver, Jasper, Melbourne, Calgary, Hong Kong. Calgary again. Hendry won’t, or likely can’t, sum up the fragments of strange and marvellous encounters that have resulted in his idiosyncratic take on what makes for an unforgettable meal. Hendry, who took over the role of head chef at Calgary’s darling Bar Von Der Fels when he became partowner of the place more than a year ago, likewise refuses to provide a pat answer to that most predictable of questions, ‘What inspires you?’ Heavy sigh. “Nobody knows how the human brain works, why we think and dream certain things.” He’s not trying to be difficult. Rather, Hendry — a relentless, dazzling light on Western Canada’s culinary scene — prefers to deflect conversation to the widespread crime of over-salting, the magic of umami, and how at home he feels standing still in the middle of Shibuya’s famously busy train station

Chef Eric Hendry in the kitchen at Bar Von Der Fels.

in Tokyo (“there’s a certain umbilical cord every chef has to a place in the world that informs who they are and how they think about food. Japan is that for me”). Hendry is likewise effusive regarding his perspective on where Calgary’s dining scene is going. After four years spent elevating comfort food as executive chef at Model Milk, he decided it was time

to connect more closely to a smaller audience. He has found that intimacy with diners at Bar Von Der Fels. The restaurant’s devotees are happy to be along for the ride as Hendry’s menu, tied to his deftly produced whims and the seasonality of ingredients, changes sometimes daily. Motivated by his faith in a growing collective eagerness in

this city to try unpredictable food with “explosive flavours,” Hendry serves the likes of cauliflower with sea urchin; escargot doughnuts with leek and fried chicken and caviar plated with signature restraint and deceptive simplicity. So, has Hendry “arrived” at the pinnacle moment in his career? (Another sigh.) “No.” Good enough. —J.M. AvenueCalgary.com





hen Alloy opened 10 years ago last fall, its location in the Manchester Industrial area seemed like a huge hurdle to overcome. Who was going to go all that way for dinner, let alone lunch? A decade on, the answer is clear — pretty much everyone who cares about food. The jewel box of a dining room with its balance of wood and white walls and banquettes with hits of bright pink all around makes every meal feel like a mini-getaway, even more so if you are eating on the courtyard patio. The menu is heavily inspired by co-owner/operators Uri Heilik and chef Rogelio Herrera’s travels and heritage with a blend of world cuisines focused on Mediterranean, Asian and Latin American. Where some fusion dishes can become muddied — a frenzied blend of flavours from around the world — Herrera and his team allow each ingredient to shine in dishes that are complex but approachable. More than just the blending of ingredients implied by the name Alloy, what’s created here is more like alchemy — turning simple ingredients into gold. —K.L.

Tuna ceviche with chili popcorn at Alloy. FOOD


Global influences with local ingredients.




With its sleek, cozy atmosphere and menu of well-plated, delicious dishes such as the maitake mushroom with black garlic and maple syrup, you might work your way through the extensive list of more than 175 wines in fewer visits than you’d think.

Airy but intimate and comfortable.




Mid-centuryTuna ceviche with modern California chili popcorn. cool.

Frenchie’s 15 seats are hot properties, frequently filled by oenophiles interested in its curated list of small, unique producers of natural and organic wines, as well as cheeses from Peasant Cheese Shop and charcuterie from Empire Provisions.



The circular booths are intimate but not squashed for up to four people.

Vin Room offers more than 100 bottles by the glass thanks to its enomatic preservation system, which keeps open bottles fresh. When combined with the tapasfocused menu, there are an impressive number of pairings to be had. —A.G.


This Bridgeland favourite has long captured the hearts of Calgary diners with its casual, comfortable vibe, use of local ingredients and dishes like the buttermilk-fried-chicken sandwich and sweet or savoury stuffed French toast.


Deane House’s commitment to regional cuisine extends to the weekend brunch menu with dishes such as Saskatoon berry sourdough pancakes, grilled Bowden Farms chicken and fresh pastries served in the pantry.


Inside Anju on 17th Ave. S.W.


But Oh also takes liberties with the time-honoured recipes of his youth, adding in influences from far-flung countries like Italy, Japan and the U.S. (Korea is known for its fried chicken as much as the Deep South is; Oh mishmashes the two, offering chicken done in a gochujang marinade, served with kimchee cheddar waffles.) Of course, customers can’t get too attached to any particular menu item (other than the aforementioned wings and tofu) as Oh continues to play with flavours and cuisines, coming up with tempting new creations. That is good news, though, as it means there’s always a new dish to explore. —G.R.



rowing up with a mother determined to feed her family the best food possible set the stage for Roy Oh. Bringing traditional recipes from Korea, Young-ja Oh cooked stews and short ribs, and made her own kimchee and all the banchan side dishes served up with meals. At Anju, the dishes chef-partner Oh offers from his own kitchen reflect that upbringing. All the traditional flavours of soy, gochugaru (ground spicy Korean chili peppers) and sesame serve as the backbone for his crispy tofu, the crave-worthy gochujang wings and the bibimbap served in a scorchingly hot stone bowl to crisp the rice.



OEB uses Omega 3 eggs produced by its own freerun chickens to create the dishes on its egg-centric menu, including smokedsalmon eggs Benedict and the soul in a bowl box. —A.W.

Modern Korean. Upscale-casual, energetic. Clean and modern with a dash of Korean tradition. Crispy tofu. Don’t overlook Anju’s brunch (think kimchee and pork belly Benedicts and pancakes with black sesame). AvenueCalgary.com







Bread and Circus chef Kayle Burns.





he fact that you can’t actually see Bread and Circus (B+C) from the street is part of this micro-restaurant’s charm. Tucked in the long narrow space beside Una Pizza + Wine, one has to walk past Una’s takeaway counter to get to B+C, which sits in front of the even more clandestine Frenchie Wine Bar (all three businesses are owned by the BMeX Restaurant Group). And while that’s all a bit odd, it gives B+C the feel of an intimate spot in

Roman-trattoriastyle pasta. High energy and bustling. Eclectic Italian with a whiff of downtown cool. Spaghetti alla bottarga with white wine, garlic, cream, tarragon and prawn bottarga. After dinner, slip back into Frenchie Wine Bar and have another glass. New York, London or other cities where a tight squeeze and an open kitchen are necessities that come with premium real estate. But a cool, covert dining room is wasted without great food to back it up and chef Kayle Burns’ Roman trattoria-inspired menu lives up to the room’s potential. Deceptively simple pastas make up the bulk of the menu, but thanks to the chef ’s attention and high-quality ingredients, the plates of noodles with bits of guanciale, oxtail, or other meats and heaps of cheese are completely satisfying. With none of the pastas coming in at more than $24, the entrees also make B+C relatively affordable for those popping in for a quick bite and glass of wine. Burns’ antipasto menu is no slouch either. The generous portion of chicken liver with almonds and the cacio e pepe popcorn (which comes packaged as an aperitivo with a pre-dinner drink) are customer favourites and the seasonally rotating starter menu is filled with other bites to enjoy with B+C’s small but authentically Italian wine and cocktail lists. All of this, coupled with the added show of watching Burns and his team put everything together behind the tiny kitchen bar, makes for an entertaining evening in a remarkable little hideaway. —E.C.B.



mid-century Scandinavian fireplace hangs from the ceiling at Bridgette Bar. Wide concrete steps lead from a stylish bar area up to an even more stylish, bricklined dining room. The scent of woodsmoke lingers in the air, tinged with fresh herbs and mustards. Diners lounge on banquettes under subtle lamps as servers whisk wood-roasted duck and pepper-glazed carrots to their tables. The latest offering from the Concorde Group (National Beer Halls, Anju, Goro+Gun) is part Mad Men set, part re-born flour warehouse and part uptown chic. It’s also the playground of chef JP Pedhirney (previously with Muse and Rouge) and general manager Dewey Noordhof (formerly at Brava Bistro), both seasoned veterans of the local restaurant scene. Pedhirney’s menu revolves around Bridgette’s huge wood-burning grill and oven where sausages and breads are grilled, cauliflower and ling cod are roasted and where rosemary-laced lamb sirloins are hung over the smoke to slowly absorb flavours. It’s tantalizing to watch the chefs grill, sauce and plate your food. It’s satisfying to taste fresh vegetables, including an astounding tomato salad (when in season), and it’s wonderful to savour braised rabbit on toast and even a simple piece of grilled sourdough bread here. Noordhof ’s wines are impeccably chosen and his bar staff ’s cocktails cling to the mid-century aesthetic. With skilled service and a delightful decor, Bridgette brings the full package. —J.G.

Bridgette Bar. FOOD

Chef-driven, wood-fired cuisine.





Rumpus-room chic.

Historic brick warehouse gone mid-century modern.

Cannibale divides its classic cocktail list into revival, pre- and post-prohibition eras, but it's the original creations, like the crisp One Night in Budapest, featuring pear liquor and pear shrub, that mark the staff here as great modern mixologists.



Lamb sausage with cilantro vinaigrette, labneh and fried egg.

While no slouch in the classic cocktail department, partner Christina Mah’s “True North” cocktails, featuring Canadian ingredients such as Eau Claire spirits, Highwood Crossing oats and maple syrup, set this cocktail list apart.


Wondering about wait times? Text 403-700-0191.


As the more than 300 spirits behind the bar attest, experimentation is key to Proof’s popularity. Drinks like Confessions of a Pocketknife, a spicy riff on an old-fashioned with Tool Shed’s stout and Drambuie, make for great late nights. —A.G. AvenueCalgary.com



Artist and co-owner Maya Gohill designed the interior at Calcutta Cricket Club.




hen Calcutta Cricket Club (CCC) opened in the summer of 2017, the 50-seat side patio off 17th Avenue S.W. was the place to sip a Crushable Gin & Tonic with mango, chili and lemon. Come winter, the restaurant’s interior and warm spices were a welcome pop of colour and flavour. Inspired by Raj-era gentlemen’s sporting clubs, with a menu that spotlights Calcutta and Bengali street snacks and family meals, CCC is part of the Thank You Hospitality group, which includes Native Tongues Taqueria and Two Penny Chinese. Local artist and co-owner Maya Gohill designed the space. It’s a little bit 1960s and a little bit 1790s, with plenty of pink and mint-green, Moroccan tile work, rattan furniture and charming touches like a wall of framed family photos. The eyecatching leopard on the wall behind the bar was salvaged from an old carousel. Chef Rene Bhullar created the menu, which has a large selection of bar snacks such as paneer and honey, fish chop and bone marrow, as well as meat and veggies from the tandoor oven and grill, curries and celebratory meals like a traditional Bengali Sunday lamb-shank dish. Any Calcutta Cricket Club experience should include kati rolls, a Calcutta street food of a paratha wrap stuffed with grilled meat, cheese or egg. Bar director Madeleine MacDonald created a menu of intriguing cocktails with cricket-inspired names like Chin Music, which blends Scotch whisky with chamomile grappa, and the Dibbly Dobbly Bowler with dry vermouth, “rootbeer” syrup and plum bitters. You can also choose from a selection of Canadian draft beers, wines and non-boozy classics like chai and mango lassi. —J.W.




Bengali-inspired street foods and celebratory meals.


Cosmopolitan and lively. Great for a first date or with a group.


Colonial and kitschy.


Paneer kati roll (fresh cheese wrapped in paratha with lime, onions and chilis).


Listen carefully and you’ll hear recorded birdsong in the Wes Anderson-esque washrooms.


With an oven that produces a perfectly bubbled, chewy thin crust to carry toppings like crème fraîche, smoked pancetta, potato and leek, Posto has your pizza cravings covered.


Calgarians flock to Una — a 17th Avenue S.W. staple after almost eight years — to pair thin-crust pizzas like the Beltline, with bacon, fennel sausage and maple syrup, with a glass of wine from the small-but-mighty list.



This upstairs restaurant takes “dinner and a movie” to another level. Enjoy thin-crust pies like the spicy Hutch (topped with mozzarella, pepperonata and two kinds of salami) while cult films and concert docs play on the restaurant wall. —A.W.


Cardinale’s mezza maniche with roasted bone marrow and Hayden Block-smoked bacon.

spacious, and lined with cozy banquettes. There are also two smaller, semi-private dining rooms (or private, depending on the size of your group). Chef Steven Dowdell and his team make everything from scratch, including fresh pasta every morning. The kitchen also makes use of meats that have been fully or partially smoked at sister restaurant Hayden Block in Kensington. The menu is broken down into antipasti, pasta (in half or full servings) and large plates (think veal ribeye and seared sea bass), with traditional dolce (house-made sweets, gelato and sorbetto) for dessert. —J.V.R



he latest Italian joint to take up residence within the historic Defoe building just outside the Stampede grounds in Victoria Park, Cardinale is new-school Italian with an oldschool neighbourhood vibe. Evidence of the building’s history of housing Italian eateries — a requirement of the lease — can be seen in the layers of generations-old wallpaper in the area between the bar and patio. The bar is front and center, enticing the afterwork and late-night crowds with interesting cocktails. The main dining room is small, yet




Modern Italian. Convivial, pre-Flames anticipatory. Comfy and stylish with plush velvet banquettes and exposed brick. Mezze maniche, with roasted bone marrow and Hayden Blocksmoked bacon. Try a cocktail made with kitchen ingredients such as clam brodo and green peas. AvenueCalgary.com




French bistro.


Relaxed with a certain je ne sais quoi.


Simple and soothing.


The charcuterie plate.





Gilles’ maman visits from France once a year and takes over the kitchen for a onenight-only special dinner.

rench food is at its best when done simply. A few humble ingredients are easily elevated with French cooking techniques — there’s a reason after all that this cuisine is the basis for many modern dishes. At Cassis, this is exactly the case: unpretentious local meats and vegetables are transformed into bistro fare that could easily be served in the hometowns of co-owners Gilles Brassart and Dominique Moussu. The pair bring their heritage, passion and flair to this little spot tucked in next to a market and café, which they also own. A true bistro by definition, Cassis serves classic French cooking in a small and modest space. With only a few dozen seats, it’s smart to make a reservation for this busy establishment. Often full, the room is energetic with conversation, music and clinking glasses — few French meals are complete without a glass of wine — while black-and-white movies play silently on the back wall. The well-curated menu never strays from classic French fare; standards such as steak frites, quiche and croque madame are menu staples. The kitchen also always offers daily fish and meat specials and takes advantage of the season by offering local vegetables and other ingredients. ­—G.R. Silent films are part of the decor at Cassis.



algarians love Italian food. Feedback from our recent restaurant survey included so many fantastic Italian eateries that we decided to go for a full top 10 rather than limit the category to three. And because they all have equal billing in our hearts (and bellies) we've presented them here in alphabetical order.


Exceptional contemporary Italian dishes, a beautiful wine room that doubles as a private dining room and one of the nicest patios in the city — a Tuscan-style closed terrace out back — has made Bonterra a solid choice since 2000.


Tucked in between Frenchie Wine Bar and Una Takeaway, Bread and Circus is tiny and trendy, serving up a small menu of antipasti, handmade pastas and cocktails five days a week after 5:30 p.m.


One of the city’s newest Italian joints (in an old brick building that has housed Italian restaurants for more than a decade), Cardinale offers unpretentious, well-prepared pastas, salads and classic but creative large plates. The inventive cocktails are made with Italian spirits and ingredients from the kitchen and make for a great start or finish to any meal.


A pillar of Calgary’s downtown arts district, Centini has served extraordinary, elegant Italian food since 2002, with three private dining rooms and a well-curated collection of contemporary Canadian art adding to the atmosphere. 58



From the team behind the muchmissed Capo, Kensington’s Cotto serves self-described Italian comfort food — modernized versions of traditional dishes for lunch and dinner.


In Mission and out in the city’s west end, Mercato has been a favourite among Calgarians ever since it expanded its fresh market to include a sit-down restaurant experience. Everything is made in-house in open kitchens that are pure gastronomical theatre.


The casual eatery and wine bar next door to sister restaurant Bonterra, Posto makes some of the best pizza in the city and has good deals every night of the week.


Located in a bungalow at the top of the hill on Edmonton Trail, Tavernetta is a hip neighbourhood spot for gnocchi, meatballs and negronis — and a little backyard bocce when it’s nice out.

“ In a city where beef is king, Caesar’s Steakhouse is a Calgary Tradition”


A downtown Calgary institution, Teatro has been a go-to for business lunches and specialoccasion dinners since 1993. With exceptional service and a stellar wine cellar, it’s a trusted fine-dining and event destination.


Family-owned Villa Firenze in Bridgeland has been serving homestyle Italian dishes prepared with recipes from past generations since 1991. —J.V.R.

Downtown | 512 4 Avenue SW | 403-264-1222 Willow Park | 110, 10816 Macleod Trail SE | 403-278-3930 caesarssteakhouse.com AvenueCalgary.com



to make. Charbar shares its space (and some of its menu) with Sidewalk Citizen, which supplies sourdough, and Phil & Sebastian, which pulls all the espresso shots. If you’re thirsty for something stronger, there’s a solid wine list, a selection of craft beers and more than a dozen clever cocktails. Charbar has more than 150 seats on two levels, plus a third level in the summer — a first-come, first-served rooftop patio with a special outdoorinspired menu. The location, a century-old former mattress factory on the RiverWalk in the East Village, has old wooden floors, old-timey fixtures, big wide windows and dark tables dotted with bright blue Le Creuset platters. No wonder it’s become a popular wedding destination. ­—J.W.



ne of Calgary’s most anticipated restaurants of all time, Charbar has been dry-aging excellent beef and mixing ceviche tableside in the Simmons Building since 2015. Charbar is co-owned by Charcut’s Connie DeSousa and John Jackson, but the chef and coowner who runs Charbar’s open kitchen — and its Argentine wood-burning parilla grill — is Chopped Canada winner Jessica Pelland. If you want something beautifully butchered, cured or grilled over a fire, you can find it here, but there’s also a raw bar with oysters and ceviche, plenty of vegetarian dishes and fugazza (Argentinian-style pizza), whose dough takes three days





Bengali cuisine is the highlight at Calcutta Cricket Club, with street-food inspired dishes plus recipes from the owners’ families. It would be seriously remiss, though, not to mention the interior design and cocktail program, which are both fabulous and together with the food form a trifecta of excellence.


The rich and authentic flavours and aromas of Kashmiri food come alive at Moti Mahal, which has a robust selection of vegetarian dishes plus a lunch buffet which will leave you longing for a post-lunch nap. Takeout is also available.


The traditional dining room provides a perfect backdrop for Namskar’s friendly service and consistently excellent Northern Indian cuisine, which includes rich, creamy curries and tender meats hot out of the tandoori oven. —J.H. 60




Argentineaninspired, with dry-aged steaks, vegetarian options and seafood. Casual sophistication. Equally great for business lunches and bestfriend birthdays. Brick, black paint, an open kitchen and massive fir pillars and steel beams. Tableside ceviche mixto. Remember Charcut’s famous alley burgers? You can get ’em at Charbar Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 11:30 a.m. until 2 p.m.



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Red-fife sourdough bread and oysters mignonette with fermented hot sauce. FOOD



he Deane House, a historical home that sits at the confluence of the Bow and Elbow rivers in Inglewood, has been a Calgary landmark for well over a century, but it wasn’t until proprietor Sal Howell (who also owns River Café) took it over in 2016 that the property realized its full potential as a fine-dining restaurant. Howell worked her magic and transformed the historic red house (originally the residence of Captain Richard Deane, superintendent of the Northwest Mounted Police at Fort Calgary) into an elegantyet-homey eatery with a menu that pays homage to the building’s place in Canadian history.



Contemporary Canadian cuisine.


Relaxed fine dining.


Rustic elegance with a sense of history.

Since it is literally in a house, Deane House’s dining area is broken up into several rooms, creating intimate areas ideal for larger groups and a more standard layout of tables for two and four on the house’s veranda. The bar in the middle of the house offers a more casual space — with more casual prices — for those who indulge in the afternoon happy hour (speaking of afternoons, the restaurant also does a fine lunch). Yet, fine dining is undeniably Deane House’s forte and food enthusiasts should make a point of coming in specifically for dinner. Chef Jamie Harling’s tasting menu offers the epitome of seasonal location-appropriate cuisine, as does



Red-fife sourTry the weekend dough (whatever brunch for a more you order, do not affordable way miss out on your to experience side of bread). the restaurant.

his ever-evolving à la carte menu, with offerings like braised TK Ranch brisket and juniper-andbeet-cured trout. An avid fermenter, Harling pulls the best out of Deane House’s backyard garden to create a pantry of preserves and spreads that often accompany his carefully prepared and exquisitely plated proteins and seasonal veg. Howell’s impeccable eye for design, insistence on exceptional service and dedication to superior wines also serve to raise the bar at Deane House. Expect nothing less than a full sensory experience when you walk through the doors — it is indeed a restaurant worthy of its home’s lofty pedigree. —E.C.B.

Pizza , Pasta , Repeat

UNA • 403.453.183 • UnaPizzeria.com | Bread & Circus • 403.476.3615 • BreadAndCircusYYC.com Neighbouring locations at 616 & 618 17th Ave SW in Calgary Alberta AvenueCalgary.com



Leisurely lunches in an upscaleneighbourhood.


Cool and stylish, but comfy, too.


Roasted lamb sirloin with wild mushroom-andhoney baklava, lemon-thyme carrots and olive tapenade.



Contemporary Canadian with robust flavours.

Hit the deck on a sunny day.


Even elevated pub fare like the Albeerta burger with bacon jam and bone-marrow aioli can’t distract from the main act — Last Best’s slate of craft-brewed beauties, including showstoppers like the Dirty Bird Black Lager and Show Pony Ale.


Trolley 5’s southern-inspired fare, like its barbecue-beefbrisket sandwich, shares the menu with more eclectic offerings like dim sum dumplings. These flavours are as varied as the beers on offer, including the citrusy First Crush white IPA and Derailed Pale Ale’s toasted malts.


The Wild Rose taproom menu plays with traditional pub food, putting Montreal smoked meat on pizza and converting spaghetti squash into carbonara. All menu items come with suggested pairings — the perfect excuse for a pint of Electric Avenue or Velvet Fog. —A.G.

Elbow Room.



ritannia has become a hot new dining destination, and Elbow Room is one of the key players elevating this area’s culinary appeal. The two-storey, Sarah Ward-designed restaurant sits in a new building on the site of a 64


former gas station, and it’s packed daily with Britannians and other Calgarians looking for a taste of chef Ryan Blackwell’s food. Blackwell, a young chef originally from Cochrane, studied at SAIT and then worked in Vancouver’s restaurant scene before returning to Calgary to open up his own place. Working with business partner Josh Brennand, formerly of The Nash

and Notable, Blackwell launched Elbow Room last summer and it became instantly popular, especially the second-floor deck that looks over Elbow Drive. The menu ranges from a cornand-crab bisque with queso fresco and tiger prawns with gochujang mayo to Icelandic cod with apple purée and bison short rib with candied cipollinis. The menu is bolstered with many gluten-free

and vegetarian options. It’s richly flavoured, skillfully prepared food that jumps off the plate, well served from an open, mainfloor kitchen in a comforting, sunny blue-green setting. Elbow Room is a marker that suburban restaurants are no longer second-rate. Add on free parking and easy access and they can be very attractive destinations for the dining crowd. —J.G.

Thank you from our entire Char-Team! #eatlocalyyc



Alberta trout (cha ca la vong) with dill, tumeric and confit scallion. 66



Alberta trout cha ca la vong with dill, turmeric and confit scallion.



or Duncan Ly, 2017 was quite a year. The talented, affable chef opened his first restaurant — Foreign Concept — shortly before the New Year and it quickly became one of the hot spots around town. But it wasn’t all smooth sailing. Delays with liquor licensing and ongoing construction around his restaurant proved challenging to his clients. (Who needs a porta-potty parked right in front of your entrance?) But there were highs, too, including Ly’s executive chef, Jinhee Lee. She followed Ly from Hotel Arts and has emerged as one of Canada’s most talented chefs, winning both the Canadian Culinary Championship in Kelowna and the Garland International Chef Challenge at P.E.I.’s Shellfish Festival in 2017. That talent, along with Ly’s and that of sous chef Michel Nop, is on display daily at Foreign Concept

in the crispy preserved-lemon chicken, char siu-pork and foie gras steam buns, the cashew-satay roasted eggplant and the pandan crème brûlée. Flavours jump off the colourful plates, with textures from crisp-and-crunchy to smooth-and-velvety. The team cures its own beef jerky, Vietnamese mortadella and duck prosciutto, and pairs the charcuterie with house-made apple mustard and Asian pickles, crossing cultural and culinary boundaries along the way. There’s no mistaking that Foreign Concept is deeply rooted in Asia but there’s a Western sensibility to the plates, too. The ingredients may sing Asian but the technique behind many dishes is very French. Foreign Concept’s rectangular space continues the east-meets-west tone in a blend of historic photo murals and moon cake moulds set among long banquettes and a cozy corner bar. It has a bit of a colonial hotel feel to it with food that bestrides the continents. —J.G.



Contemporary pan-Asian. Bright and lively, just like the food. Modern-colonial Asian.

The honey-butter potato chips with lemon aioli are a must-order for the table.

H V I C T O R C A R A C C I OL O h 1937



Victor shared his passion for life through his love of food, wine and hospitality. It’s with this same passion that Mama Cathy and the Mercato family will continue to celebrate his memory, treating each guest the way Victor would —with a warm greeting, a big smile and of course, a delicious meal. So please, the next time you raise a glass of Italian vino, think of Victor. He would have wanted it that way. m e r c at o 2224 4th St SW


873 85th St SW AvenueCalgary.com





s Calgary continues to sprawl, it’s inevitable that great restaurants will extend their reach, catering to communities beyond the city’s core. While Airdrie may seem far afield (it’s a different municipality, for Pete’s sake), the pleasant drive up to Hayloft is well worth the 20 minutes or so it takes from the north end of the city. Designed to appeal to both nearby farm families and locals yearning for a higher-end experience than one would typically find in a bedroom community, Hayloft’s brand of prairie chic is a perfect fit for Airdrie. The brainchild of owner/general manager James Hoan Nguyen, working with chef Jason Barton-Browne (who get their chops from restaurants such as Teatro and River Café), Hayloft takes its mandate of creating quality dishes made with seasonal, locally grown food very seriously, while still creating a comfortable experience. Barton-Browne’s menu overlaps fine dining with comfort food — he can put out a perfect plate of braised rabbit agnolotti but does just as well with an order of Finnish pancakes with eggs and prairie preserves. Hayloft finds that sweet spot between uptown and down home and executes with both style and heart. —E.C.B.



Hayloft. FOOD

Elevated prairie comfort food with a focus on local producers.



Refined, but cozy.

For some of the best Cantonese dishes in town, including the ginger beef hot pot and the panfried prawns, you can hit up the Golden Inn until 3 a.m. on weeknights and 4 a.m. on weekends.


Vintage prairie chic.


Serving Shanghai, Sichuan and Cantonese cuisines, this sparklingclean and efficient restaurant uses the freshest ingredients for dishes that are as appealing to the eye as they are to your taste buds.


Butcher, Baker, and the Preserve Maker charcuterie board of items made in-house or by local partners.



Hayloft serves breakfast daily until 3 p.m. along with its lunch menu.

Best known for its dim sum, Silver Dragon has more than 200 items on the menu, expertly prepared by 15-plus chefs (all trained in Hong Kong) and served by speedy staff. —J.H.

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Sure, the food at Thai Sa-On is great, but what makes this restaurant exceptional is the way proprietor Sam Chanhao works the room with his welcoming hospitality and encyclopedic knowledge of his large and quirky wine list, which is a perfect fit with Thai food.


This fast-and-friendly mainly takeout restaurant perfectly captures the big, fresh flavours of authentic Thai street food, while offering great value.


They don’t take credit cards or reservations, the hours are limited and the location in The Point Inn is off the beaten path, so it’s a testament to the quality and authenticity of the food (ingredients are flown in bi-weekly from Thailand) that White Elephant is always packed. —J.H.

Model Milk chef de cuisine Blair Clemis preparing fried chicken.




nce the new kid on the block, Model Milk is now the anchor for a stretch of 17th Avenue S.W. that is home to several bustling restaurants. But by no means is Model Milk any less busy than when it opened to so much fanfare back in 2011, when the former dairy was reborn as a hip spot with high ceilings, music on vinyl and dishes that bring together traditional comfort foods with modern techniques. 70


Comfort food gone upscale.




Industrial revival.

While Model Milk is stalwart in its ambiance and decor, the menu is an ongoing evolution as executive chef-owner Justin Leboe, with chef de cuisine Blair Clemis, continues to explore local and seasonal ingredients, combining them into dishes both playful and refined with just the right touch of familiarity. About the only consistency on the menu is the burger, with its earthy morel ragu and rich cheese curds, and the Southern fried chicken, which has gone


Fried chicken (any way they’re making it).


Sit at the short row of seats facing into the kitchen for dinner and a show.

through numerous iterations, from a take on Nashville-style hot chicken to a version that replaced the side of waffles with savoury donuts. Both echo Model Milk’s refined-diner approach to cooking, which is balanced by dishes with a more fine-dining bent, like foie gras parfait or sustainably sourced fish with seaweed butter. —G.R.

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hese days, the city has plenty of historic buildings experiencing new lives as restaurants — and many of them are celebrated in this issue. There are also plenty of restaurants and chefs who get involved in community work. But there are few doing as much, as consistently in every facet of their work, to not only serve their patrons but to build their community as The Nash and more specifically chef-owner Michael Noble. First, Noble worked with the building owners to restore the historic National Hotel, which sat vacant for many years before he took over most of the main floor space to become the Nash and Off Cut Bar. Then he established The Nash as a strong supporter of local businesses and charities through projects such as the Cheers to Inglewood cocktail collaboration (where The Nash worked with neighbourhood businesses to create cocktails that raised money for the Alex Youth Health Centre) and the Off Cut Culture Club (which gave a different local artisan or designer a pop-up sales space on Saturdays through the fall). But while laudible, what gets The Nash recognized here is the gourmet comfort food, the juicy rotisserie meats, the can’t-put-itdown hamburger, the inventive desserts and the quick and thoughtful service. The Nash, and its lounge The Off Cut Bar, is a spot where you could easily linger all day and well into the evening, watching the who’s who come and go, enjoying yet another round of cocktails, perhaps some more of those Josper roasted prawns, until the live music dies down and they politely ask you to leave. —K.L.

The Nash anchors the restored National Hotel building in Inglewood.




Wood-fired rotisserie meats and gourmet comfort foods. Upscale urban charm. A bright and modern space that nods to the building’s history. You have to try the Happy Chicken (here or to go) but it would be a shame to miss the carrot tartare. On a cool day, sit near the fire (just be prepared to smell a bit like smoke afterward).


This petit French bistro takes the best ingredients and turns them into classic and uncomplicated dishes with robust flavours that will transport you directly to the French countryside.


Dining here will have you sitting up straighter and minding your manners more than usual as you politely tuck into the very classic French fine-dining menu and extensive wine list.


Savoury galettes (gluten-free buckwheat crepes) dominate the menu but there are other excellent choices as well, including fish en papillote and the must-order salted-butter and caramel dessert crepes. —J.H.


B E E F C A R PA C C I O peppercorn-crusted, dijon aioli, capers, grana padano, crostini






hen Native Tongues Taqueria opened in summer of 2015, it was an instant hit with the hipster set, with its realistically weathered Mexi-chic decor designed by Amanda Hamilton. But that is not to say it doesn’t take taco traditions seriously, as this taqueria is as much about substance as it is about style. The debut restaurant for Cody Willis of Thank You Hospitality group, Native Tongues puts an emphasis on authentic cuisine in a lively cocktail-friendly setting. While Native Tongues makes an unexpectedly delicious burger and serves a nice ceviche plate, the restaurant’s calling card really is its tacos. Served de guisado (braised meats or veg plated individually with ingredients piled onto small corn tortillas) or al carbon (grilled ingredients presented family style with a packet of tortillas), chef Rodrigo Rodas has selections ranging from locally cultivated mushrooms with kale to slowroasted lamb neck. All of the above demand to be washed down with one (or two) of Native Tongues’ signature Mezcalgaritas. Consistently busy at both lunch and dinner (and with no reservations), Willis and company offer the user-friendly option of take-out antojitos (starters) and tacos de guisado during all open hours, including until 1 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Because what’s better than ending a night out with a flavour-packed street taco in hand? —E.C.B.



Lamb neck tacos at Native Tongues. FOOD

Modern Mexican inspired by the street and market foods of Mexico.


Loud ’n’ lively.


Rustic Mexicana.


Barbacoa de cordero (lamb neck) tacos.


Yes, Native Tongues does a burrito! (But only for takeout.)

A True Classic. Redefined. A nod to the past, with a tip of the hat to today.

Meet Wei. Pasta Maker, 30 years.

338 17th Ave SW • cilantrocalgary.com






Inventive small plates with international flavours.


Sociable, buzzy and welcoming.


Modern comfort meets Parisian bar.


Ricotta dumplings with black truffle.


On Mondays, caviar and a bottle of bubbles is $100 with the money going to Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids.


Chef-owner Justin Leboe presides over the bar, restaurant and open kitchen at Pigeonhole.



he mismatched, vintage china plates at Pigeonhole could serve as a metaphor for the delicious food served atop them as well as the restaurant they’re used in. After all, they are beautiful, carefully crafted and, while similar in style and shape, they are not a matched set. 76


Eclectic is the running theme of this highly acclaimed dining destination that shares a building with Model Milk, also run by executive chef-owner Justin Leboe. At Pigeonhole, Leboe and chef de cuisine Douglas King create food that defies categorization, melding Asian and European cuisines into singular dishes designed for sharing. This dishes-without-borders approach visits Russia with a full-meal-deal caviar service, stops by Asia with octopus and XO sauce and nods to Canada with walleye and

kohlrabi on a menu that changes regularly, offering something new to try with every visit. An unconventional wine list focusing on unexpected regions or particular styles echoes the cosmopolitan theme, reflecting the restaurant’s name — nothing here can be pigeonholed. Settle into one of the seats along the long marble bar or on the benches backed with leather cushions and feast your way around the world while discovering why Pigeonhole was named EnRoute magazine’s best new restaurant in 2015. —G.R.

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At this Mission restaurant, wash down the crispy tilapia, chorizo, beef, chicken, pork or vegetarian chili tacos with one of the more than 200 tequilas on Añejo’s menu.


With its casual vibe and tasty margaritas, slow-roasted-porkleg tacos and enchiladas, Los Chilitos on 17th Avenue S.W. beckons on a night out with a group of friends.


Though perhaps best known for its corn-tortilla tacos filled with everything from beef brisket to slow-roasted pork belly, Native Tongues’ hamburguesa al carbon is another delicious reason to visit this stand-out Mexican restaurant. —A.W.




Neighbourhood Italian.


Rustic modern. Pizza with potato, crème fraîche, leek and smoked pancetta.



onterra is a longstanding favourite special occasion restaurant for many Calgarians, but sometimes something more casual is in order, which is where Posto shines.

invites pizza lovers to try something new, with potato, almond pesto and figs all appearing on various pies. The trick is to trust the kitchen: even if the toppings seem odd, every combo on Posto’s menu works beautifully. If that isn’t enough, Posto’s collection of cured meats and cheeses and small plates of pasta, meatballs or Humboldt squid can turn a simple pizza night into a special meal. To top it off, Posto has a keen eye for the happy-hour crowd, with early and late-night deals on beer and wine for budgetconscious diners. —E.C.B.

Posto sells its chili oil and finishing salt to-go for your homemade pizzas.


The restaurants share a wall, a chef (Benjamin Mills) and a general food philosophy (fresh contemporary Italian fare), but little sister Posto is more suited for a quick weeknight indulgence. While Posto’s small-plate menu is surprisingly extensive, the pizzas really are the main attraction. The dough is thin yet pillowy, the toppings are generous without being excessive and the crust is never weighed down with gloppy sauce. While there are familiar toppings like prosciutto, salami and fior di latte on offer, the restaurant also

Pizza and Italian small plates.


Posto chef Benjamin Mills cutting pizza.


This luscious, unfiltered, Strong Pale Ale is back and here to stay! It boasts tropical hop aroma and hemp flour gives a velvety mouth feel — the cotton mouth cure for any farmer with a hefty budding harvest.

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ollowing the success of River Café on Prince’s Island Park, the City of Calgary built a restaurant structure in Central Memorial Park in 2010 as part of the park’s redevelopment. Boxwood resided there for five years but when the lease came up, owner Sal Howell decided to concentrate on her new Deane House instead. So Provision, under the direction of Kirk Shaw and Jackie Cooke, who also own Avec Bistro, moved in. They did a few renovations, making the space a bit cozier and more lodgey. Since opening in December 2016, Provision has become a popular Beltline destination for dining inside at a quiet table or lunching on the patio, surrounded by the park, on sunny afternoons. Chef Daniel Pizarro works with a small but talented team preparing a vegetable-forward menu of charred cabbage with garlic ginger crumb, celery risotto with truffle essence and roasted haloumi cheese with heirloom tomatoes and eggplant. Meats and fish appear, too, with duck breast served alongside kabocha squash rosti and Alberta lamb saddle plated over a chickpea purée. Pizarro applies the same thoughtfulness to the desserts, which change often but are consistently worth saving room for. It’s a tight, cleanly executed menu that suits the setting and satisfies the crowds. And Shaw and Cooke’s wine, beer and cocktail selections skillfully match the food. —J.G.



Carrot cake - vanilla cream cheese icing, carrot cream cheese mouse, carrot chips and powder. FOOD

Vegetableforward contemporary Canadian.


This sister-run take-out spot has mastered the art of well-seasoned and crispy-skinned chicken. Choose between Southern-fried or rotisserie chicken, then pair it with potato and egg salad, buttermilk biscuits and a couple of soft Skor-and-pecan cookies.


Friendly and cozy.


Upscale lodge in a park setting.


Order a Happy Chicken from Notable or The Nash’s Gourmet 2 Go menu and enjoy restaurantquality, wood-fired rotisserie chicken at home. (Ask about the Let’s Go Home loyalty program.)


Roasted Brussels sprouts with guanciale, pecorino, candied walnuts and aioli.


At Tuk Tuk Thai, dishes like pad Thai and red or green curry are delightfully showcased in takeout containers that unfold into pretty lotus flowers. Watch for new locations in Kensington, Signal Hill and Evanston-Creekside in 2018. —A.W.


Try to get out on the patio on a summer day.


KITCHENWARE WITHOUT COMPROMISE Hutch Kitchen is Canada’s newest kitchenware company and its mission is simple: provide premium European-inspired kitchenware at an affordable cost. With kitchenware essentials as well as unique items, Hutch Kitchen offers an array of products. Short on storage space? With collapsible silicone colanders and bowls, Hutch doesn’t compromise on size even in tight spaces. Need to multitask? Their unique and exclusive AL-P Series cookware also offers a revolutionary combination of both an 18/10 stainless-steel pan, as well as a non-stick frying pan; two pans in one. Want a conversation starter? With its sleek design and two-tone harmonica whistle, the Tammi kettle doesn’t just whistle — it sings! Visit us at hutchkitchen.com to see all the products we offer.

“We’ve set out to create a brand that doesn’t sacrifice quality for affordability, and we’re proud that Hutch really is kitchenware without compromise.” — Jacky Yim, Co-Founder

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Blink’s warm, inviting decor, nicely spaced tables, fine service and consistently excellent Alberta regional cuisine make it a perfect choice for a business lunch or romantic dinner.

CHARCUT ROAST HOUSE A carnivore’s delight, this modern, stylish roast house has been a favourite among locals and visitors since it opened to critical acclaim in 2010. For a midday meal, order the express lunch and get warm cookies and coffee to go!


or a restaurant to survive for more than 25 years is a commendable feat. To not only survive but to flourish and maintain relevancy is something that only comes with the leadership of a restaurateur like River Café’s Sal Howell. The success of River Café is partially due to Howell’s hands-on vision that can be seen in the 82



Hog Wild boar with seasonal vegetables.

The elegant, stately dining room provides the perfect backdrop for Teatro’s contemporary Italian menu. Complemented by a massive wine list and very professional servers, lunch or dinner is more than just a meal here; it’s an experience. —J.H.

Relaxed elegance. Upscale woodland lodge.


he limits the use of anything that can’t be sourced from Canada) is impressive, but never comes off as a stunt. Be it a dry-aged duck with buttermilk parsnips and barley or a bowl of greens with a sumac Try the chef’s vinaigrette, the flavour, quality and tasting menu for River Café chef Matthias presentation are never sacrificed in a truly seasonal Fong plating a dish of wild boar with hakurei turnip. the name of going local. experience. And, of course, the setting on Prince’s Island Park, accessible by footbridge, carefully curated decor, which, like the menu, should not be ignored. Though it may be a chalis designed to reflect the restaurant’s unique lenge for people with mobility issues, walking natural surroundings. But Howell’s willingness or cycling to the restaurant is part of the experito foster kitchen talent like current execuence, and the quietness of the park allows guests tive chef Matthias Fong is what keeps River to focus on the food and wines from River Café’s Café exciting. Fong’s creativity in working with cellar. It’s like stepping into a different world. sustainable and local ingredients (other than —E.C.B. a few key imports like coffee and chocolate,


Hyper-local fine dining.








Foreign Concept’s innovative approach to pan-Asian cuisine produces beautiful small plates like butternut squash and green mango slaw with crispy taro and great large plates like Alberta trout cha ca la vong with dill and confit-scallion rice noodles.—A.G.



be, pushing lightly on traditional techniques with local ingredients and flavours. Rogalski also incorporates light touches of inspiration from elsewhere, especially for special-event menus. The food and feeling at Rouge ventures closer to formality than most Calgary restaurants these days. You will find not only cloth napkins but tablecloths as well, for example, and Rouge’s menu features a charcuterie plate and also a foie gras terrine. But by focusing on service and fresh ingredients — many from its own garden in season — Rouge stays on the comfortable side of fussy, with carefully executed dishes in a beautiful space giving every meal a sense of occasion. —K.L.



ince it opened in the historic Cross House in 2001, Rouge has received more than its share of accolades — in Avenue and in publications near and far, as well as being recognized by the S. Pellegrino list as one of the top 100 restaurants in the world in 2010. Chefs in Calgary seem to have been playing a game of musical chairs of late and when the music stopped most recently — at the end of February — Darnell Japp was in the chair of chef de cuisine at Rouge, joining chef/ co-owner Paul Rogalski to lead the kitchen. Rouge plays with the idea of what a fine French restaurant can


Melding Japanese and Italian cuisines, Carino Riserva has garnered a reputation for creative dishes like campanelle with wagyu meat sauce and truffle oil. Owner Toshi Karino’s past experience as wine director for Teatro means there’s always good wine to be had, as well.




Rougie duck breast at Rouge.

Chef Roy Oh’s modern take on Korean cuisine results in small plates infused with original flavours, like Koreanfried-chicken sliders with spicy gochujang sauce.

French dishes prepared with local ingredients and flair. Formal, yet comfortable. Upscale heritage home with local artwork. Rougie duck breast. Have breakfast for lunch any day — both eggs Benedict and a sublime daily quiche are on the menu.






Chill, with modern tech conveniences.



Contemporary Japanese.



and you can order chicken-skin chips, if that’s the part of fried chicken you like. The drinks menu is balanced between classic and contemporary. Order sake or shochu for a traditional tipple, or turn to the cocktail menu for themed plays on classics, such as the Shiso Julep, which turns the Kentucky Derby archetype on its head, using muddled shiso leaves for an herby hit very different than mint. As he did with his former restaurant, Downtownfood, MacLean prides himself on making many base ingredients in-house, such as the XO sauce, and offering ingredients like real, freshly grated wasabi, that are hard to find elsewhere. Late nights are where Shokunin really sets itself apart in Calgary’s restaurant scene. Swing by after 10 p.m. to grab a bowl of shio ramen as the music turns to hip-hop and the spot stays open until 1 a.m. to satisfy late-night cravings. —G.R. Scallop isoyaki, grilled tableside at Shokunin.

Tokyo underground. Chicken-heart yakitori. Put yourself in MacLean’s hands and choose the omakase — a multi-course menu using the best ingredients of the day.



or all the tradition that goes with Japanese cuisine, there is still room for creativity. Chefowner Darren MacLean finds the line between custom and creation with Shokunin, his contemporary Japanese spot in Mission. Yes, there is ramen, sashimi, charcoalgrilled yakitori and chicken karaage — Japan’s answer to fried chicken — but the tataki is made from bison, not beef, the tuna crudo is topped with spiced popcorn


HY’S One of the city’s grandest and most opulent dining rooms is also one of the best destinations for steak. All the usual steak-house suspects are on the menu, as they should be, including a damn fine prawn cocktail.


Since it opened back in 1972, Caesar’s, which is still owned by its founding families, has been a dining institution. Meat is broiled over charcoal and the Caesar salad is prepared tableside.

VINTAGE CHOPHOUSE With its mahogany and leather interior and live music in the lounge on weekends, the ambience is just right for a cookedto-perfection steak dinner with decadent and delicious sides, served family-style. —J.H.







Willow Park Wine & Spirits Bookstrucker Photography Q&Co Graphics







Brunching or lunching on the patio at this Priddis estate is a glorious summer experience. Equally glorious is the chef’s table experience — a multicourse menu designed by chef Yoshi Chubachi, that can be prepared for a large group or as a romantic dinner for two.


The Loft Lounge is one of a trio of CRMR eateries located within the bustling new market just south of Calgary (the other two are the Loft Kitchen and the Loft Bakery, which offer counter service). The modern-rustic space features a casual, comfort-food menu, a well-curated libations menu plus an expansive view of the surrounding landscape. Standout dishes include the CRMR bison burger, the Urban Butcher’s meatloaf and a 32hour broth, a dark chicken broth with fresh noodles and roasted pork belly shavings.


One would expect a great steak dinner in the heart of cattle country. Longview Steakhouse delivers in spades, serving the finest beef, cooked to perfection, in a friendly space that’s full of small-town charm. Plan well ahead as reservations here are hard to come by. —J.H. 88



et in an arts and crafts-style home on Edmonton Trail N.E., Tavernetta is rather easy to miss. It’s neither trendy nor flashy. In fact, it’s not even immediately recognizable as a restaurant from the outside. The inside, however, is another story. Warm and unassuming with the casual authenticity of an Italian country eatery, there’s a timelessness to the decor that suggests you’re in for a hearty, rustic and lively meal. And you are. Chef and co-owner Keith Luce, who most recently ran Lina’s Market, has designed a menu of seriously good food that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Antipasti includes house-made bread with “good olive oil.” The spiedini (skewers) include a bright-tasting beef with salsa verde. And the piatti e ciotole (plates and bowls) list includes a rigatoni with tomato sauce that will have you wondering how it’s possible to coax so much flavor out of the humble tomato. Tavernetta co-owner Tony Migliarese, who also co-owns Proof, serves negronis and house wine by the litre (or there are great wines by the bottle if you want to be all fancy) and is apt to offer some grappa to finish, as is the Italian way. There’s a welcome patio, a bocce court and all kinds of fun to be had indoors and out. —J.H.

Grilled beef skewers with salsa verde at Tavernetta. FOOD

Quirky, rustic Italian.


Friendly, casual, devoid of pretension.


Farmhouse-meetscountry tavern.


Polpette (meatballs, with tomato and cheese sauce).


There’s a vegetarian dinner menu on Meatless Mondays.

Could this meeting get any longer lashes!

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ccording to chef Steve Smee, Ten Foot Henry is an “everyday restaurant.” If, by that, he means sublime, relatively affordable, veg-forward food in an enchanting setting, well, then, we’ll let him have that one. It seems safe to say, however, that “everyday” is not the first word that comes to mind when one is faced with a buoyant dish of warm tomatoes, whipped feta and fresh herbs on toasted Sidewalk Citizen sourdough or a perfectly turned out hanger steak with truffle Dijon mustard and greens. If only we ate like that every day. There is something inherently comforting about Ten Foot Henry, opened

cacio e pepe (classic silky pasta with cheese and pepper). Says Smee: “Our customers dictate what we serve — we serve what they love.” This spring, there will be yet more to love when Little Henry (the tiny café adjoining the restaurant) adds a toast bar to its grab-and-go selection of treats, which includes dark-chocolate-avocado tarts and cherry-stuffed doughnuts. “We want our customers to be able to experience our food in a grab-andgo capacity even when the restaurant is closed,” says Smee. More everyday fare — without the ho-hum. —J.M.

Butterscotch pudding topped with sponge toffee at Ten Foot Henry. 90







by Smee and his wife, Aja Lapointe, in March, 2016. The insouciant namesake character himself — all levity and nostalgia — adds to the warmth, but it’s more in the room (a rare feat of airy elegance in a square, windowless space) and, most certainly, in the menu. In an era when restaurants’ offerings change as frequently as their table linens, Ten Foot Henry is abiding in its devotion to what Smee sums up as “not extremely elevated comfort food.” Indeed, while inventiveness and freshness underpin the kitchen’s madeto-share output, Smee all but promises that a few items will never disappear from the menu. The aforementioned tomatoes, for one, as well as the yam tortilla with sumac, the yellow fin crudo in chimichurri and the bucatini

Vegetableforward with plenty to satisfy carnivorous cravings. Spirited, hip and homey. Hanging ferns bring the outside in, and lend warmth and freshness to this “rightsized” space. The potatoes are ridiculous, fried with lime, herbs, jalapeno and green goddess sauce. Don’t skip dessert. The butterscotch pudding is sublime.

ITALIAN BORN. JOEY EMBRACED. Introducing our newest menu item, The Pasta Pomodoro. Now available at all JOEY locations.

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he opening of Una Pizza + Wine heralded a shift in Calgary’s culinary scene from expense-account fine dining to contemporary casual. At Una, owners Jayme MacFayden and Kelly Black found the perfect formula for a great night out for anyone from families to first dates and kitchen crews seeking a drink and a slice after a long shift. Chewy, thin-crust, California-style pizzas, small plates, a kale Caesar salad that has become legendary in this city and a superb wine list are all combined with their hospitality-first approach — all good reasons this spot is always hopping. Una doesn't take advance reservations, so getting in can be an exercise in patience. The pizzas — which range from a classic margherita, to Una's take on the highly divisive ham-and-pineapple, to contemporary creations such as the Beltline with bacon, sausage and maple syrup — are the draw. But the energy in the room, the welcoming vibe and casually impeccable service are what keeps everyone returning time and again. And since Una serves until 1 a.m., it’s a staple stop for a night out. —G.R.



Kale salad and margherita pizza at Una. FOOD

California-style pizzas and creative veggie sides.


Close-quartered and lively.


The epitome of Canadian comfort food. Global influences, refined technique and the best quality ingredients make this Canmore restaurant a perennial favourite mountain dining destination.


Clean and white with light-wood accents.


Park does rustic dining right, serving contemporary campfire cooking out of an open kitchen with a wood-fired grill as its centerpiece. The decor is midcentury/classic Canadiana with just the right amount of kitsch.


Margherita pizza.



Download the No Wait app to get your name on the list without having to wait at the door.

Set in one of the world’s most scenically spectacular areas, the Post Hotel lives up to its surroundings with its world-class wine cellar and haute-cuisine game-forward menu, skillfully prepared by longtime executive chef Hans Sauter. —J.H.

Reservations:(403)250-8894 1002 Edmonton Trail NE







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ALL THE BEST RESTAURANTS (and where to find them)



Alloy 220 42 Ave. S.E., 403-287-9255, alloydining.com Añejo 2, 2116 4 St. S.W., 587-353-2656, anejo.ca Anju 344 17 Ave. S.W., 403-460-3341, anju.ca Azuridge 178057 272 St. W., Priddis, 403-931-0100, azuridgehotel.com Bar Von Der Fels 1005A 1 St. S.W., 587-349-2656, barvonderfels.com Blink 111 8 Ave. S.W., 403-263-5330, blinkcalgary.com Blue Star Diner 809 1 Ave. N.E., 403-261-9998, bluestardiner.ca Bonterra 1016 8 St. S.W., 403-262-8480, bonterra.ca Bread and Circus 616 17 Ave. S.W., 403-476-3615, breadandcircusyyc.com Bridgette Bar, 739 10 Ave. S.W., 403-700-0191 (text only), bridgettebar.com Calcutta Cricket Club 340 17 Ave. S.W., 403-719-1555, calcuttacricketclub.com Cannibale 831 1 Ave. N.E., 403-454-5808, cannibale.ca Cardinale 401 12 Ave. S.E., 403-264-6046, cardinale.ca Carino 2206 4 St. S.W., 403-454-7668, carinoriserva.ca Cassis Bistro 105, 2505 17 Ave. S.W., 403-262-0036, thecassisbistro.ca Centini 160 8 Ave. S.E., 403-269-1600, centini.com Charbar 618 Confluence Way S.E., 403-452-3115, charbar.ca Charcut Roast House 101, 899 Centre St. S., 403-984-2180, charcut.com Cluck N Cleaver 1511 14 St. S.W., 403-266-2067, cluckncleaver.com Cotto 314D 10 St. N.W., 587-356-4088, cottoyyc.com Crazyweed 1600 Railway Ave., Canmore, 403-609-2530, crazyweed.ca Deane House 806 9 Ave. S.E., 403-264-0595, deanehouse.com Elbow Room 802 49 Ave. S.W., 403-460-8128, elbowroombritannia.ca Foreign Concept 1011 1 St. S.W., 403-719-7288, foreignconcept.ca Frenchie Wine Bar 618 17 Ave. S.W., 403-453-1183, frenchieyyc.com Golden Inn,107A 2 Ave. S.E., 403-269-2211, goldeninn.ca Great Taste 123 2 Ave. S.E., 403-265-9880, greattastecalgary.com Hayloft 5101, 403 MacKenzie Way S.W., Airdrie, 403-980-8123, haylofton8th.com Hy’s corner of 8 Ave. and 3 St. S.W., 403-663-3363, hyssteakhouse.com Julius Caesar’s Steakhouse and Lounge 512 4 Ave. S.W., 403-264-1222 and Willow Park Village, 403-278-3930, caesarssteakhouse.com Klein / Harris 110 8 Ave. S.W., 403-262-8100, kleinharris.com La Chaumière 139 17 Ave. S.W., 403-228-5690, lachaumiere.ca Last Best 607 11 Ave. S.W., 587-353-7387, lastbestbrewing.com The Loft Lounge at Granary Road Market 226066, 112 St. W., Foothills, 403-219-2704, theloftcalgary.ca Longview Steakhouse 562076 Highway 22 West, Longview, 403-558-2000 Los Chilitos 1309 17 Ave. S.W., 403-228-5528, loschilitos.ca Mercato 2224 4 St. S.W., 403-263-5535 and Mercato West 5000, 873 85 St. S.W., 403-263-6996, mercatogourmet.com Model Milk 308 17 Ave. S.W., 403-265-7343, modelmilk.ca Moti Mahal 1805 14 St. S.W., 403-228-9990, motimahal.ca Namskar 202 16 Ave. N.E., 403-230-4447, namskar.ca The Nash 925 11 St. S.E., 403-984-3365, thenashyyc.com Native Tongues Taqueria 235 12 Ave. S.W., 403-263-9444, nativetongues.ca Notable 4611 Bowness Rd. N.W., 403-288-4372, notabletherestaurant.ca OEB Breakfast Co. 824 Edmonton Tr. N.E., 403-278-3447; 222 5 Ave. S.W., 587-352-3447 and 2207 4 St. S.W., 587-356-6323, eatoeb.com Park Distillery Restaurant + Bar 219 Banff Ave., Banff, 403-762-5114, parkdistillery.com Pigeonhole 306 17 Ave. S.W., 403-452-4694, pigeonholeyyc.ca Post Hotel 200 Pipestone Rd., Lake Louise, 403-522-3989, posthotel.com Posto Pizzeria & Bar 1014 8 St. S.W., 403-263-4876, posto.ca Proof 1302 1 St. S.W., 403-246-2414, proofyyc.com Provision 340 13 Ave. S.W., 403-263-0766, provisionyyc.ca River Café 25 Prince’s Island Park, 403-261-7670, river-cafe.com Rouge 1240 8 Ave. S.E., 403-531-2767, rougecalgary.com Shokunin 1, 2016 4 St. S.W., 403-229-3444, shokuninyyc.ca Silver Dragon 106 3 Ave. S.E., 403-264-5326, silverdragoncalgary.ca Suzette Brittany Bistro 2210 4 St. S.W., 403-802-0036 and 829 49 Ave. S.W., 403-719-3343, bistrosuzette.ca Tavernetta 1002 Edmonton Tr. N.E., 403-250-8894, tavernettayyc.ca Teatro 200 8 Ave. S.E., 403-290-1012, teatro.ca Ten Foot Henry 1209 1 St. S.W., 403-475-5537, tenfoothenry.com Thai Sa-on 351 10 Ave. S.W., 403-264-3526, thai-sa-on.com Trolley 5 728 17 Ave. S.W., 403-454-3731, trolley5.com Tuk Tuk Thai 636 17 Ave. S.W., 403-455-0999, tuktukthai.com Una Pizza + Wine 618 17 Ave. S.W., 403-453-1183, unapizzeria.com Villa Firenze 610 1 Ave. N.E., 403-264-4297, villafirenze.ca Vin Room 2310 4 St. S.W., 403-457-5522; 8561 8A Ave. S.W., 587-353-8812 and Calgary airport international departures area, vinroom.com Vintage Chophouse 320 11 Ave. S.W., 403-262-7262, vintagechophouse.com White Elephant 1808 19 St. S.E., 403-457-1172, whiteelephantcuisinecalgary.com Wild Rose Brewery 4580 Quesnay Wood Dr. S.W., 403-720-2733, wildrosebrewery.com Without Papers 1216 9 Ave. S.E., 403-457-1154, wopizza.ca



A rising generation of restaurateurs is making a big impact in the Beltline district right now. But opening a restaurant is not for the faint of heart, and to do it over and over takes nerves of steel (and perhaps a belief in magic). BY Gwendolyn Richards ILLUSTRATIONS BY Kelly Schykulski

L 96 avenueMARCH.18

ast October, Two Penny Chinese unlocked its doors and welcomed diners into its main-floor restaurant and basement Tea House bar. Servers hustled from the kitchen with the restaurant’s playful takes on Westernized Chinese food, dim sum and Hong Kong barbecue: steam baskets hiding soup dumplings, the pleated folds of dough enveloping pork morsels and a rich broth; small dishes of bright green cucumbers garlanded with droplets of chili oil; platters of bronzed barbecue-duck ready to be tucked into soft milk buns; while the bar shook up cocktails incorporating Asian ingredients such as peanut and soy. Just one week earlier, the City of Calgary had finally given Two Penny Chinese owner Cody Willis and his team the go-ahead to open in the space on 1st Street S.W. They had been in a holding pattern since the previous August due to weeks of back-and-forth discussion with the City over permits. Only after a restaurant gets its final occupancy permit can it get its business license. And only after that can it apply for its Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission permits. With all permits in hand, Willis could finally retrieve wine and spirits he had cached at various locations, put in food

orders, set up the payment terminals and give staff their uniforms. Though the time from inception to opening had been 18 months, the final week before opening saw things amp up considerably. “We had an eight-day schedule to open, for getting the space organized and cleaned, staff into place, running the friends-and-family soft openings,” says Willis. On that night last fall, the room full, tables laden with food and drinks, patrons downstairs in the Tea House checking out the dim sum cart rumbling around the room while sipping cocktails, Willis recalls casting an eye round and, in that moment, feeling washed with a sense of relief. “To have everything operating smoothly is an organizational feat. Six, seven months of construction with all the little things adding up — the plumbing in, fridges actually working, we have water — the space itself, lights dimmed and the room how we want, staff in uniforms, all your visions now reality. It’s amazing,” he says. To an outsider, opening a restaurant may look exciting, but those supremely satisfying visions-become-reality moments such as the one Cody Willis had at Two Penny are few and far between.

Kelly Black and Jayme MacFayden, owners of BMeX Restaurant Group, have inspired many of the new generation of restaurateurs in the Beltline.



—Jeff Jamieson, Hangry Panda Hospitality Behind the scenes are a steady stream of headaches involving permit issues, equipment problems, staffing and the moving target of opening dates. Opening a restaurant is not for the impatient — or the faint of heart. Even so, for the handful of local restaurateurs creating smallscale hospitality empires in the Beltline district, the memories of the pain and hassle of launching a new project tend to fade in light of the challenge and excitement of what’s next. Down at the other end of the Beltline from Two Penny, new restaurant Donna Mac also opened its doors last November — also months later than its originally intended summer 2017 launch. Donna Mac is the latest addition to the Hangry Panda Hospitality group headed up by Jeff Jamieson and Jesse Willis (Cody Willis’s brother), founders of the Vine Arts Wine and Spirits shops and co-owners of Proof cocktail bar on 1st Street S.W. The duo hadn’t planned to add another establishment into their group, even after the landlord of a new building going up in the western end of the Beltline approached them back in 2015 to ask if they would consider opening a Proof-like concept in the street-level storefront space. But when veteran restaurant manager Amy Turner (formerly with Anju and Model Milk) came to them with an idea for a casual, neighbourhood restaurant with an approachable, non-themed menu, they told her about the location. Together, along with Proof ’s original chef Justin Longpre, they brought Donna Mac to life. Jesse Willis and Jamieson are majority owners in Donna Mac (Turner’s grandmother’s nickname) with Turner and Longpre rounding out the ownership. Getting chef Longpre in as an owner was important to Jamieson and Willis, as was providing Longpre with a kitchen larger than the postage-stamp-sized space he was working out of at Proof. “Seeing what he could do in the small space of Proof — he did it out of a closet,” says Jamieson. “We wanted to give him a real kitchen with equipment and space.” Jamieson also believes you get more from people who have something at stake in a restaurant. “I don’t think anyone can create something truly great unless they feel it’s theirs.” 98


According to Jamieson, he and Willis didn’t set out to have Hangry Panda (a joke name that stuck) become a mini-empire. The company’s growth has been more organic than the label “restaurant group” would imply. After opening the first Vine Arts store, they weren’t planning to grow any further. They said the same after they opened Proof. Now they have a second Vine Arts, Donna Mac, plus an online retail business called Fifth & Vermouth, which sells barware. Those early opportunities were hard-won, though. They clawed to get the first Vine Arts open, using what Jamieson calls “blood money” from friends and family to fund the boutique liquor store. And while each subsequent success has brought more opportunity to the Hangry Panda crew and their peers, no matter how solid a track record a business may have, the restaurant and retail-foodand-beverage industries can hardly be considered a slam-dunk for investors. Just ask Jayme MacFayden, co-owner of BMeX Restaurant Group with Kelly Black (the duo are romantic as well as business partners), which includes Una Pizza + Wine in Calgary and Saskatoon, Frenchie Wine Bar and Bread and Circus. The couple are also partners in Cody Willis’s Native Tongues Taqueria. “Banks don’t want to touch restaurants,” MacFayden says. “You have to rely on private investors and beg, borrow and steal.” This pretty much describes how MacFayden and Black brought the first Una to life back in 2010. Part of their funding involved taking out a line of credit on Black’s mother’s house and when they went over budget, they applied for every credit card they could and used them to pay for the construction. Needless to say, there was some stress involved with a tactic that would fly in the face of any right-minded financial advisor. “Every morning, I vomited,” says MacFayden. Getting Una open was only one in a series of struggles for the fledgling business. Initially, there were problems with the pizza dough and the restaurant was exceedingly understaffed considering its immediate popularity, with only MacFayden, Black and then-chef Stephen Smee handling all aspects of service for an often-packed house. “It took a year to catch up with staffing correctly,” says MacFayden. “It was lightning in a bottle.” But being popular — even too popular for what they could handle — was a good problem to have, and when the dust settled, MacFayden and Black began considering their next project. “Once we opened Una, it was addictive,” MacFayden says. “We get that adrenaline rush, even though I say I’m never doing that again.” Next came Ox and Angela (which rebranded in 2017 as Ox Bar de Tapas, after BMeX sold a majority stake in the restaurant), followed by Una Saskatoon, Native Tongues and Frenchie Wine Bar, a secret-speakeasy-style spot tucked in behind the original Una. With a number of successes under their belts, it seemed BMeX had the magic touch for creating buzzworthy restaurants with good food and a cool vibe. But even a run of successes can’t protect hospitality groups from failure. Few restaurants survive the first year or two, and that’s true not only for those entering the game. For MacFayden and Black, that lesson was learned through Una Takeaway, which they first opened in June 2016. Their concept for turning the space adjacent to Una Calgary into a grab-and-go






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spot for Una pizza, as well as pastries and sandwiches, charcuterie and condiments, didn’t exactly go as planned. Customers came only for pizza and the signature Una kale salad, leaving the other offerings untouched. Hemorrhaging money in payroll and wasted food, MacFayden and Black thought they could push through the end of the year, but eventually realized that could cost them everything. So, after only six months in business, they cut their losses and drastically reduced the size and offerings of Una Takeaway, running it as a small takeout counter operation at the front of the space and repurposing the remaining space as an altogether new restaurant. Just shy of a year later, BMeX has launched the Romaninfluenced trattoria Bread and Circus. Tucked into the space between Una Takeaway and Frenchie Wine Bar, this thriving new restaurant proves their tough decision was ultimately the best one. Many of the new generation of restaurateurs in the Beltline credit MacFayden and Black for forging a path that has allowed them to open their own spots. The duo is seen to have brought about a new focus to hospitality in local restaurants rather than just the bottom line. This may be because MacFayden and Black, as well as many of those they’ve inspired, started their restaurant careers as servers and hosts and, as such, set about to create the kinds of operations that they themselves would have wanted to hang out in at the end of a shift. “They deserve credit for starting a shift in the restaurant scene,” Jamieson says. He adds that the fact that MacFayden and Black were young and took a big risk in starting a business inspired him and Jesse Willis to open Vine Arts. Prior to starting Vine Arts, Jamieson also had experience in the hospitality industry. He was general manager at the downtown steakhouse Saltlik, and subsequently stepped in as acting chef when the chef at the time fell ill. Running the front and back of the house simultaneously, Jamieson was working 12-hour days, seven days a week. Burnt out, his marriage suffering, he left the restaurant world to work in oil and gas. But he couldn’t let go of hospitality fully. To keep his hand in the game and his knowledge of wine fresh, he started working at Bin 905, the boutique wine store on 4th Street S.W., where he met Jesse Willis. Working Sunday shifts together at Bin 905 led to Vine Arts, which led to Proof, and so on. Bin 905 has been an unintentional business incubator of sorts; it is where Karen Kho and Dave Sturies, the pair behind local charcuterie business Empire Provisions, met. Cody Willis worked there for a time, as well. Cody Willis also worked at Una before going to culinary school, and he turned to his former bosses when looking for funding to open Native Tongues. More than just investors, MacFayden and Black have been mentors to freshmen restaurateurs, sharing timetested systems for training staff, operation manuals, service standards and restaurant governance — along with their philosophy that service is the pinnacle of the restaurant experience. They installed Willis as a manager at Ox and Angela, during which time he gained valuable experience that would inform how he ran Native Tongues when it opened. “Kelly and I said the biggest accomplishment would be to use Una as an incubator for others to do their thing,” says MacFayden, adding they are flattered when their staff go on to establish their own spots. “It’s almost like being a parent. 1 00


—Jayme MacFayden, BMeX Restaurant Group

You teach them things and they take that and create their own.” In Cody Willis’ case, that means creating his own mini-empire — Thank You Hospitality — which has succeeded Native Tongues with Calcutta Cricket Club and Two Penny, all Beltline-based hotspots offering modern takes on classic ethnic cuisines. MacFayden and Black have also been happy to see their former Una chef Smee and his partner Aja Lapointe find success with their 1st Street S.W. restaurant Ten Foot Henry, which opened in February of 2016. “I take a lot of pride in seeing that happen. It came out of one little 1,800-square-foot restaurant,” MacFayden says. The connections and paths between this new generation of restaurateurs intertwine and cross over and over — they work together and push each other. If MacFayden and Black are the nexus of these connections, Cody Willis is perhaps the most common connection. In addition to his professional association with BMeX, as Jesse’s brother, a former roommate to Jamieson and former co-worker with Smee, he’s just one degree of separation from most of the Beltline’s new restaurants. For Cody Willis, the name of his company, Thank You Hospitality, echoes his philosophy when it comes to restaurants: hospitality comes first. It’s an ethos he learned under MacFayden and Black, who hold that they and their staff are there for the clientele, not the other way around. “Someone is choosing to eat with us,” says MacFayden. “It could be a special occasion, it could be that someone saved for a year to come have dinner at Una. You don’t know what sacrifices they’ve made to dine at one of our restaurants.” Just about a month after Bread and Circus opened, breathing new life into the space that housed the initial iteration of Una Takeaway, the energy in the new restaurant is palpable. Patrons crane their necks for a glimpse of chef Kayle Burns tossing hot pasta in the well of a massive cheese wheel, while others, tucked into corners, are busy feasting on silky-smooth chicken liver with almonds, oxtail rigatoni or the cacio e pepe. MacFayden circulates in the space as servers weave between the tables efficiently, pouring wine, setting down plates, whisking away empty ones. There’s a sense lightning may have once again been captured in a bottle, not only here, but at the bright spots throughout the Beltline they’ve inspired.

The best tools for the best kitchens. Knifewear congratulates the winners of the Avenue Magazine Restaurant Awards.

1316 9 Avenue SE • 403-514-0577 • @knifewearYYC • knifewear.com




Alexie black top, $530, from Holt Renfrew; Tavani statement earrings, $115, Hillberg & Berk.

Whether you use them to create of-the-moment looks or work them into your existing wardrobe, the spring trends are all about being bold.

102 avenueMARCH.18

Bias-stripe midi dress, $250, by Michael Michael Kors; double-quartz cluster ring, $130, by Kate Hewko; Repetto Fayza shoes, $315, from gravitypope; Breeze highback outdoor chair, $1,820, from Maria Tomรกs.



Alexander McQueen top, $295; DKNY bra, $40; Ellery pants, $1,245, all from La Maison Simons; boots, $140, Pounce bag, $40, both from Aldo; handbag strap, $89, by Kate Hewko.

1 04


Marc Cain top, $600; Marc Cain pants, $270, both from La Chic; Bristol handbag, $398, Michael Michael Kors; watch, $15, H&M.



Rain jacket, tweed jacket, crystal bracelet, crystal necklace, all by Chanel. Prices on demand.

1 06


Greenwich. Everything and more. Greenwich is living, working, dining, shopping, parks and more. Everything you need. More than you dreamed. Urban Living, Mountainside. Register Now GREENWICHcalgary.com AvenueCalgary.com


Denim dress, $580, from gravitypope; Versace sunglasses, $530, from Nordstrom.



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Vin Room YYC Airport

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Self-portrait dress, $690, from Holt Renfrew; trench coat, $99, H&M; Gucci Texas boots, $2,855, from Holt Renfrew; black tourmaline raw gemstone ring, $98 by Kate Hewko; earrings $15, Aldo.

1 10


SOURCE FASHION Aldo, multiple locations, aldoshoes.com Chanel Boutique at Holt Renfrew, The Core, 403-232-6240, chanel.ca gravitypope, 1126 17 Ave. S.W., 403-209-0961, gravitypope.com H&M, The Core, CF Chinook Centre, CF Market Mall, Sunridge Mall, and CrossIron Mills, hm.com Hillberg & Berk, CF Market Mall, 403-202-6277, hillbergandberk.com Holt Renfrew, The Core, 403-269-7341, holtrenfrew.com Kate Hewko Concept Store, 106, 908 17 Ave. S.W., 587-356-1229, katehewko.com La Chic, Bankers Hall, 403-269-4775, lachiccalgary.com La Maison Simons, The Core, 403-697-1840, simons.ca Maria Tomás Indoor and Outdoor Living, 6051 Centre St. S.W., 403-454-6051, mariatomas.com Michael Kors, The Core, 403-264-4981, CF Chinook Centre, 403-537-0093, and Southcentre, 403-225-1943, michaelkors.com Nordstrom, CF Chinook Centre, 587-291-2000, nordstrom.ca


Fabergé Palais Yelagin earrings and egg pendant set in 18kt white gold with round brilliant diamonds and green guilloché enamel, $16,860 (earrings) and $12,290 (pendant); Panerai Radiomir 1940 3 Days Acciaio 42mm handwound mechanical watch with green leather strap, $9,600. All available from Brinkhaus, 823 6 Ave. S.W., 403-2694800, brinkhaus.com

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Kananaskis Country Golf Course.

! t I n O t e G Amazing mountain adventures are out there just waiting to be had, so get excited and start planning what you’re going to do this year. One of the greatest things about Calgary being so close to the Rocky Mountains is that it allows for spontaneous alpine adventuring. Who among us hasn’t woken up one bright, sunny day, looked westward and decided to heck with whatever was originally planned; let’s drive out to the mountains instead! But as great as these off-the-cuff adventures can be (and as lucky as we are to be able to have them), sometimes you want the kind of experience that requires a bit more forethought — whether it’s getting a reservation, getting the right gear, or getting yourself in shape first. See what we’re excited about, then get set and go start planning your own amazing adventure in the mountains.

112 avenueMARCH.18

BY Shelley Arnusch, Kevin Brooker, Christina Frangou, Fabian Mayer, Gwendolyn Richards AND Julia Williams

5 MORE MOU N TAI N GOL F COU RSES TO PL AY THI S Y EAR The Fairmont Banff Springs Golf Course BANFF, ALTA. Bookings year-round online and by calling 403-762-6801. Special


rates for Alberta residents (proof of residency, such as a driver’s license required at check-in). fairmont.com/banff-



algary golf lovers had their hearts collectively broken in June 2013 when flood waters breached the Evan Thomas and Kananaskis Rivers and tore up their beloved Kananaskis Country courses. In grounds-keeping terms, it was a massacre. The pristine greens were left a wasteland of silt and gravel piled with boulders and uprooted trees. No mere cleanup would suffice in this case; the 36 holes of the Mount Kidd and Mount Lorette courses required nothing less than a full-scale restoration. That restoration began in 2014 with $18 million in funding from the provincial government. Things were put on hold in 2015 when the government changed hands and the Alberta New Democrats reassessed the entire project, though the incumbents would ultimately decide to continue.

P L AY A ND S TAY The Kananaskis Country Golf Course isn’t the only thing in the area that has undergone a major renovation. Following its purchase by Alberta-based Pomeroy Lodging, the Delta Hotels Kananaskis Lodge Kananaskis photograph by Robert Berdan; Trickle Creek photograph by Raven Eye Photography

has undergone a $33-million overhaul. There’s new decor, new dining options and an expanded two-storey wall of windows in the lobby. The hotel is even getting a new name, the Pomeroy Kananskis Mountain Lodge, and will be part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection series of unique hotels. —S.A.


Now, nearly five years since the flood, the course is set to re-open to the public this spring. The entire 18-holes of the Mount Lorette course will be ready to play in May, with the Mount Kidd front nine opening June 1 and the back nine open by August. The restoration has allowed for overall improvements to the courses. Drainage and floodwater-management features have been bolstered and the course design has been updated to fall more in line with the modern game, which tends toward playability and flow rather than the trickery and difficulty-fordifficulty’s-sake approach that was trending when the course first opened in 1983. There’s a cool new set of stairs accessing the elevated back tee on Mount Kidd’s hole No. 6, and the clubhouse has been renovated to feature an expanded sundeck. Of course, some things are not to be messed with — Mount Kidd’s famously photogenic hole No. 4 is as pretty as it ever was. Course fees will be at pre-flood rates for the month of May and though the rates are set to rise after that, the much-appreciated local’s rate for Alberta residents isn’t going anywhere (the discount is actually being increased to $30). It’s a gesture that means everything to the dedicated regulars who return year after year to “play the K” and enjoy a world-class golf experience amidst the alpine grandeur in their backyard. Those dedicated regulars are already well aware that individual tee-time bookings for 2018 will be available online starting at 8 a.m. on Monday, March 12 at kananaskisgolf.com and by telephone starting Wednesday, March 14 at 1-877-591-2525. If you, like them, want to play the K-Country courses this summer and welcome back one of the province’s muchmissed recreational gems, you’d best mark those dates, too. —S.A.

Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge Golf Club JASPER, ALTA. Bookings year-round online and by calling 780-852-6090. Special rates for Alberta residents. fairmont.com/jasper/golf Greywolf Golf Course PANORAMA, B.C. Bookings year-round online. Locals rates on Sundays after 1 p.m. greywolfgolf.com

Trickle Creek Golf Resort KIMBERLEY, B.C. Bookings year round online, or by calling 1-888-874-2553. tricklecreek.com Wintergreen Golf and Country Club BRAGG CREEK, ALTA. Semi-private club. Group bookings (eight or more) taken year-round; individual bookings taken when the course opens for the season in May. wintergreengolf.com AvenueCalgary.com






he Alpine Club of Canada (ACC) operates more than 25 backcountry huts, the overwhelming majority of which are in Alberta and B.C. These one-of-a-kind structures provide warmth, shelter and community in some of the most remote and lovely places in the country, and anyone willing to make the trek is welcome. Like all great outdoor adventure experiences, a hut stay is better if you’re prepared. Here’s a handy list of what to pack.

Booking Confirmation

Food There are cooking

You’ll need to present this

facilities and implements at

to the hut caretaker when

the huts but there’s nothing

you arrive. Choose a hut at

to eat except what you carry

alpineclubofcanada.ca and

up. Freeze-dried camping

book your spot in person

meals and high-calorie hik-

at the ACC Clubhouse in

ing snacks work well.

Canmore (201 Indian Flats Road) or by calling 403-678-

Garbage Bag Be prepared

3200. You don’t have to be

to remove every scrap of

an ACC member to book

trash and leftover food from

a hut, though membership

the hut when you leave.

does have certain benefits. First-aid Kit Stuff happens. Wilderness Pass If your

Be prepared in case it does.

hut is in a National Park, you’ll need to buy one of

Water Purifier If you leave

these from the ACC when

this at home, you’ll have to

you book. It costs $9.80

boil your water.

for a night or $68.70 for an annual pass.

Hut Shoes Hiking boots or shoes aren’t permitted in

Camera It’s beautiful where

the huts, so make sure you

you’re going.

have clean hut booties for walking around indoors.

Sleeping Bag, Pillowcase Huts have mattresses but

Ear Plugs In most huts you

no bedding.

sleep dorm-style.


Creature Comforts

It’s hard to visit the out-

Chocolate and whisky

house (or find your bed)

(self-explanatory); a book,

after sunset without a light.

e-reader or playing cards (huts don’t have Wi-Fi) and

Toiletries It’s good form

make sure to have comfy

to take deodorant, tooth-

clothes and clean water

paste and toilet paper.

waiting in your car upon your return. —J.W.

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ANOTHER WAY TO ROLL Calgary-based Wheel Estate is a peer-to-peer rental facilitator for travel trailers and RVs that launched last summer in Alberta and has since expanded its reach across Canada. It’s essentially an Airbnb-style service allowing those who own RVs to monetize the times it isn’t in use, while giving those who don’t own — either because they don’t have the space or the cash or just don’t want the hassle — another option for experiencing the RV-camping lifestyle. The online hub allows potential renters to search out trailers and RVs located nearby and filter results by price, availability and features, while owners get the peace of mind of a $1,000,000 protection policy with every reservation. List or browse for free at wheelestate. ca.—S.A.

CEL EBRATI N G SU MMER SOL STI CE Canmore-based hiking guide and naturalist Ronna Schneberger has 25 years of experience leading groups in the outdoors and her approach to hiking goes beyond simply getting from A to B. “That inner journey is just as important as getting your arse up to the top of a mountain,” she says. “I see them as equal weight.” With the 2018 summer solstice falling on Thursday,


June 21, Schneberger’s advice to mark this seasonal and spiritual milestone in the mountains is to be outside to experience the dusk on the longest day of the year. “Some people like going up Ha Ling Peak on the summer solstice, but on a smaller scale you could go up Tunnel Mountain in Banff, Grassi Lakes, Yamnuska shoulder. Stanley Glacier would be a fabulous hike at solstice. You just want to plan ahead to make sure you’re not coming down in the dark,” she says. “Once you’re up there, take a pause and be quiet for five or 10 minutes; just sit and take it all in. Maybe you light a candle, or do something else

Fernie photograph by Nicole Matei, courtesy of RCR

that is meaningful to you — you can read a poem, or some people are musical, maybe they’ll sing — just something to mark the occasion. Those moments are very precious because we tend to fill them


assist with tent set up and campers eat dinner and

Fernie Alpine Resort’s lift-accessed mountain camp-

breakfast at the nearby mid-mountain Lost Boys Cafe

ing lets you sleep out in a tent up on a mountain

(there’s a bar there for evening beverages as well).

while skipping the hard part of hiking up there with

Lift-accessed camping is offered on Saturday nights

food and gear. Instead, campers ride up to the site

throughout the summer months. Secure your spot by

on the resort’s Timber Chairlift. Hosts are on hand to

calling the resort at 250-423-2435. —S.A.

up with our talking and then we miss the sanctity of it.” —S.A.





Yeti Tundra 45 Cooler $450 It used to not be possible to spend

This stuff is not cheap and whether

$450 on a cooler, even if you wanted to.

or not the average weekend warrior

Thankfully, we now live in a world with

needs it is debatable, but nevertheless,

rotational-molded, dry-ice compatible

here are three undeniably awesome

and Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee

gear items that you may feel inclined

certified (seriously) grizzly-resistant cool-

to invest in this year.

ers. Yeti coolers are nearly indestructible and, with two inches of insulation, will retain ice for about a week depending on conditions. Useful for hunting or longer escapes from civilization, it might be overkill for your camping six-pack, unless of course there are grizzlies nearby. Available at Atmosphere, MEC and other retailers, atmosphere.ca; mec.ca

Camp Chef Portable Sequoia Propane Fire Pit $160 Spending $160 on a campfire when you can build your own for next to nothing may seem a bit extravagant, but all the wood in the world won’t help you stay warm if burning it is banned. Portable propane fire pits are permitted during fire

1 16

bans and guarantee your camping party

Treeline Outdoors Tamarack Constellation Roof Tent

the essential experience of gathering


around an open flame. Clean burning

If you aren’t quite ready for the #vanlife but still want a taste of the dirtbag dream,

also means you avoid face fulls of smoke

a roof-top tent, such as this one by Turner Valley-based Treeline that features dual

while still being able to roast a mean

skylights for optimum stargazing, is where you’ll want to lay your head. Conveniently

’mallow. The propane flame may not

quick to set up, the tent mounts to the roof rack of your vehicle and expands

have the same woodsy whimsy as

upward, providing an elevated sleeping surface out of the dirt and away from

a crackling campfire but it sure beats

creepy crawlies. Exponentially pricier than the standard tent, you should probably

sitting around in the cold and dark.

be planning to use it more than one or two nights a year. —F.M.

Available at MEC, mec.ca




Jasper National Park

Photo by Chris Wheeler

At the heart of it.



Glacier National Park


Yoho National Park

Mt. Revelstoke National Park

Head to Golden, B.C. for the ultimate mountain experience.

Banff National Park

Kootenay National Park Bugaboo Provincial Park

Located in the heart of the Canadian Rockies and surrounded by six of Canada’s most stunning national parks; Yoho, Glacier, Banff, Jasper, Kootenay and Mount Revelstoke, you will find Golden. Stay in Golden to experience an authentic mountain town vibe, and proximity to the spectacular scenery, iconic hiking trails, waterfalls, lakes, and heritage sites of the nearby national parks. Enjoy the abundance of unique experiences that Golden has to offer. Raft the wild rapids on the Kicking Horse river, or enjoy a float through the Columbia Wetlands. Experience the thrill of a tandem paraglide or skydive. Let a local guide take you hiking or fishing. Wildlife enthusiasts can even take a walk with wolves, or visit the Grizzly Bear Interpretive Centre. Whatever you decide, make sure you stay and play in Golden, B.C.

lovethenationalparks.com AvenueCalgary.com


Sorry, purists. Electric mountain

power when you turn the cranks. Governed to 32 kilometres per hour and approved for city-pathway use, eMTBs exist in stark contrast to souped-up e-bikes with throttles, the kind that are unwelcome — and even illegal — in many settings.

bikes (eMTBs) aren’t just coming

The surprising outcome,

to a trail near you, they’re already

Franzky discovered, is that you

there. And they’ve cleared some

end up pedalling more due to the

significant hurdles, according to

fun factor. “I compare it to redis-

Bow Cycle & Sports co-owner

covering the joy of your first bike,”

John Franzky.

he says. “Last year I put on over

Franzky is the sort of hardcore

3,500 km, often just doing back-

rider who wasn’t enthralled by

alley, skiddin’, little-kid-neighbour-

early iterations. “They sucked,”

hood-adventure riding. Also, I can

he says, for both rider and

actually keep up with my team

retailer. But the game-changer

riders now on the uphill.”

came when electronics giant

For those wishing to drink the

Bosch entered the drive-train

Kool-Aid, as Franzky puts it, Bow

market, inserting up to a 500-

Cycle rents eMTBs for around $95

watt power plant in the crankset

a day. Alas, they remain forbidden

of otherwise normal mountain

in national and provincial parks

bikes from numerous builders.

until wiser heads prevail (which

Notes Franzky, sagely, “If you pay

might happen soon; you’ll recall

five grand for an e-bike, you want

it took snowboarders a while to

to know the company will still

win over the haters). Meanwhile,

exist in two years.”

simply head for somewhere out-

More importantly, the future

side of the park system, like West

of eMTBs relies upon their status

Bragg Creek, or just go hit Nose

as pedal-assist, often referred

Hill and turn a big 25-km day into

to as pedelecs, which only adds

50 — ergo, double the fun. —K.B.

Modern electric mountain bikes look more like their non-electric counterparts than like motorized dirt bikes.


1 18






ucked into the pleats of the Lizard Range, Island Lake Lodge makes an idyllic alpine escape. Although only a half-hour’s drive from Fernie, it’s remote enough to meet all the conditions for a backcountry getaway — albeit one with great dining and an onsite spa. While you can easily incorporate lunch at Island Lake Lodge into a day hike, you need at least a night or two to fully appreciate the culinary talents of chef Keith Farkas. This verdant, forested landscape is his pantry. Here, he finds inspiration and ingredients in the plants most of us would pass by — stinging nettles, spruce tips, dandelion greens, fiddleheads — and transforms them into elevated dishes. Those who like feasting with a view will want to time their visit with the second annual Untamed Kootenays Culinary Weekend, happening this year from June 8 to 10. The foodie festival focuses on the ingredients and produce of the Elk Valley, including greens foraged by Farkas who, after 12 years of leading the Island Lake Lodge kitchens, certainly knows where the secret spots are. Untamed Kootenays sees Farkas joined by guest chefs to present two multi-course dinners with wine pairings. Of course, you’ll want to stay up there so you can follow dessert with a soak in the hot tub, gazing up at the stars before crawling into bed. Keep in mind that with only 26 rooms available, reservations are snapped up quickly. In the time between meals you can go for a paddle on the titular Island Lake, join a foraging session with the chefs or take part in an interpretive hike to learn more about the unusual ecosystem of the area, a pocket of temperate rainforest spiked with old-growth western red cedar. —G.R.

Untamed Kootenays Culinary Weekend photography by Mike McPhee @mcphoto99/Island Lake Lodge


Chef Justin Leboe was one of the guest chefs at last year’s Untamed Kootenays food festival.

the most delicious destination in the Canadian Rockies

Reservation: 1.800.661.1586 www.posthotel.com



The Raging Elk Powder, Pedal, Paddle Relay race is held annually in April in Fernie, B.C.




1 20



Banff Marathon With marathon, half-marathon and 10-km

5 Peaks Race Series

course options, runners journey through

The 5 Peaks races are well-supported trail

town and along the Bow Valley Parkway.

runs with lengths between 6.8 and 20.2 km,


plus shorter races for kids. The series features two events at the Canmore Nordic Centre,

Raging Elk Powder, Pedal, Paddle Relay

plus events at parks in and near Calgary.

An end-of-ski-season Fernie tradition,


this four-part race requires competitors to ski or snowboard, bike, kayak or canoe,

Rundle’s Revenge

then run back up the ski hill to finish.

Another race held up at the Canmore


Nordic Centre, this one has a day of mountain biking followed by a day of trail running.

Prospera Granfondo Axel Merckx Okanagan

Competitors have the option to do both

This mass bike race winds through beautiful

events or just one.

British Columbia wine country.



Skiing and canoeing photography by Robin Siggers, courtesy of Fernie Alpine Resort; biking photograph courtesy of Fernie Alpine Resort


acing in the mountains is becoming increasingly popular in Alberta and British Columbia right now. (It’s one of the rare times you’ll hear that stopping to take in the view is not advised.) Pick a weekend — or even a week for some events — during the spring and summer seasons and you’ll find all manner of beginners to elite athletes in numbered bibs on the trails and roads. The allure is obvious: majestic settings, fresh air, terrain that’s anything but boring and the justification to luxuriate post-race at an alpine resort. But racing in the mountains presents a whole other set of challenges than racing in the city. Delays on courses due to wildlife? It happens. A trail washed out by floods? That too. Athletes who compete in mountain races say they’ve learned to expect the unexpected. The weather at higher elevations is notorious for changing quickly. It’s not unheard of to experience sleet, rain and wind on a day that starts under a bluebird sky. At last summer’s 24 Hours of Adrenalin, a popular mountain-bike race at the Canmore Nordic Centre, an otherwise scorching day gave way to heavy rain for the first eight hours, leaving trails so muddy that they were near impossible to ride. “Riders started calling it peanut butter,” recalls Kara Lilly, who has completed the race three times as a soloist, twice finishing as the fastest female. For running races, distance and terrain determine what athletes need to carry, says Jacob Puzey, a Calgary-based coach and runner who competes in trail races around the world. Water, a cellphone, bear spray and layers of clothing are must-haves in an alpine environment. “Most races have aid stations every five to 10 kilometres but that could be over an hour for some people. Every time you’re going to be out in the mountains for more than an hour, you want to have more than you think you need.” When it comes to training for a mountain race, while spin classes are great, Puzey says the best thing you can do overall is log as many mountain miles as you can. Running on mountain trails is a different game and many runners make the mistake of trying to maintain the same pace on a mountain trail that they would on a city road. “It will require greater effort to sustain the same pace as at a lower elevation,” Puzey says. “Slow down a little bit and just be prepared.” —C.F.






Teresa Spinelli President of the Italian Centre Shop

THEATRE CALGARY INVITES YOU TO EXPERIENCE A MASQUERADE UNLIKE ANY OTHER IN A MAGICAL SETTING THAT WILL DELIGHT THE SENSES. THE GARDEN UNLOCKED FUNDRAISING GALA SATURDAY, APRIL 7, 2018 Dine, drink and dance in honour of the secret magic that exists around us, and the power of theatre to unearth it. Join us as we wander away from the mundane into an evening of hidden beauty and entertainment programmed exclusively for this event by Theatre Calgary’s own Artistic Director, Stafford Arima.

For Teresa Spinelli, food, family, community and business are inextricably intertwined. Since taking over the Italian Centre Shop in 2000, she has grown the business her father started half a century ago into a chain of stores in Edmonton and Calgary. Learn more about Teresa at MacEwan.ca/AllardChair.

Established in 1985 by MacEwan University and the Allard Foundation, the Allard Chair in Business is an honorary teaching position that recognizes a distinguished business and community leader.



To purchase tickets visit: THEATRECALGARY.COM/ THE-GARDEN-UNLOCKED or contact Lauren Gilley at lgilley@theatrecalgary.com for more information.

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Curtis Manning This pro lacrosse player made it to the big leagues while still in medical school and continues to balance the worlds of sport and medicine, playing for the Calgary Roughnecks while working as a family doctor. BY Christina Frangou PHOTOGRAPHY BY Colin Way


n Friday afternoons, after his last patient appointment, Dr. Curtis Manning puts his stethoscope away and leaves for his other job — defenseman for the Calgary Roughnecks. For nine seasons, Manning has sported number 10 for the local National Lacrosse League (NLL) team. In those years, he has played more than 100 regular-season games and 19 playoff games, and AvenueCalgary.com



tied the club record for most caused turnovers in a single season. Over that same period, he completed medical school and residency training, joined a family medical practice in Calgary, got married and became a dad to a baby girl. It hasn’t been easy to have a medical career and play pro lacrosse, too, “but, at the end of the day, if you can do something you love, it’s worth it,” Manning says. Lacrosse has been a part of Manning’s life since before he was even born. His father, Steve Manning, played in the Western Lacrosse Association and was coaching when his son arrived into the world in 1987. Raised in B.C.’s Fraser Valley, the younger Manning would go on to play university lacrosse as an undergrad at Simon Fraser University. In 2010, he won a silver medal with Team Canada at the World Lacrosse Championship. 1 24


Family doctor and Calgary Roughnecks player Curtis Manning at the Canadian Sport Institute Calgary.

That same year, Manning joined the Roughnecks and also began medical school at the University of British Columbia. For the next four years, whenever it was feasible, Manning would fly from Vancouver to join the “Riggers” (the nickname for the Roughnecks) wherever they were playing. He was adamant about his priorities: medical school came first, lacrosse second. Even so, he managed to play the majority of regular season games that year and through the rest of his medical schooling as well (the exception being 2011 when Manning missed all but two games as he focused on his studies). “The team was really understanding and that’s why it worked,” he says. The medicine-lacrosse balancing act is a bit easier now that Manning lives in Calgary. He currently trains three evenings during the week, either with the team or on his own. NLL games

are played on Fridays, Saturdays or Sundays and the team reconvenes the day prior, either to practice before home games or to board their flight when they’re playing away. Lacrosse is a speedy, dynamic game, often described as a combination of basketball, soccer and hockey. Players never stop running and change direction on a dime. As far as training goes, in the lead up to the season, Manning (known to his teammates as “Manno”) and the Riggers focus on lacrosse-specific workouts by lifting lighter weights, performing explosive moves and practicing skills. Once the season starts, they shift their focus to maintaining strength and preventing injury. As one of the longest-serving veteran players on the team, Manning has to work harder to keep his 30-year-old body in game shape — at

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least compared to when he was 22. “When you’re young, you just show up and play and you don’t pay the price if you aren’t doing anything else,” he says. These days, he stretches carefully before and after games and works out at home with resistance bands and massage balls to improve his mobility. Manning and his wife Monique cook most of their meals at home, preferring fruits and vegetables, good-quality protein and whole grains. “It’s more a Mediterranean-style [diet] but it doesn’t follow any rules or structure,” he says. His approach to fitness and nutrition seems to be working: the Roughnecks’ strength and conditioning coach Jamie McCartney ranked Manning’s among the top three standout performances by a veteran player in the team’s pre-season fitness testing. For the most part, Manning keeps his lacrosse and medical worlds separate. He’ll take the odd medical question from a teammate, but the team doctor usually handles any medical issues for the club. Most of Manning’s patients don’t even know that their doctor is on Calgary’s pro lacrosse team. On his clinic’s website, he lists skiing, hiking and cycling as hobbies. “I don’t really bring it up or talk about it a whole lot,” he says. His less-talk-more-action approach extends to the turf as well. Last year, for the first time since the Roughnecks’ inaugural season in 2002, the team missed the playoffs, so Manning and crew have their sights set on making the 2018 playoffs and a return to the NLL’s Champion’s Cup, which the team last brought home in 2009. “We have high expectations to do much better,” Manning says.


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The co-owner of RedBloom Salons sports a style inspired by art and architecture. Describe this outfit and why you love it. It’s fun and happy, and it speaks to my style aesthetic. I love the colours and structure of the blazer — the masculine cut with the floral design is a good juxtaposition. As for the outerwear jacket, I love the cut and flow of it and the grey neutral tone goes with everything!

Describe your everyday style. My personal style is structured, comfortable with a little oddball thrown into the mix. Favourite local restaurant? There have been so many great ones opening lately, but Ten Foot Henry always feel like home. The food is consistent, delicious and balanced. Service is perfect. And they serve food late, which is great for me because I often work late. What is your greatest extravagance? Probably dining out too much; art for sure (although I see it as more of a need) and extravagance with time is probably checking out everyone’s social media.

Drink of choice? Seventy-Four K red wine from Road 13 or Oban single malt. And Nikka Japanese whisky. 1 26


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History in the Remaking Restoring an inner-city 1930s home was a labour of love that brought together a family whose own history is steeped in the neighbourhood.

1 28




rchitect Ryan Schmidt knew he had stepped into an exceptional house in Bridgeland even before he found out a Stanley Cup champion had lived in it. “It was immaculate,” says Schmidt, owner of Ryan Schmidt Architecture Studio and Ironwood Building Corp. “It was built really well with very high-quality lumber.” Long-time Bridgelanders call it the “Sweeney Schriner House.” “My dad knew [the house] right away,” says Schmidt, who is in the fourth generation of his family to call Bridgeland home. David “Sweeney” Schriner was one of hundreds of GermanRussian immigrants who grew up in the inner-city neighbourhood, just like Schmidt’s own great grandfather. Schriner was a left-winger for the Toronto Maple Leafs and Hockey Hall of Famer and owned the one-and-a-half storey property back in the 1930s. The home changed hands only once before Schmidt took ownership. Schmidt credits the second owners of the home for leaving the original art deco window casings, brass door hinges, crystal doorknobs, light fixtures and hardwood floor in mint condition. “There’s no gapping in the original one-inch oak hardwood — it’s remarkable,” says Schmidt of the floor, which was preserved in part by decades of being covered with carpet. “We didn’t have to modify a lot to make it beautiful,” he says. “We just cleaned it all up and brought it back to life.” That cleanup involved a year of gutting, updating and expanding the 900-square-foot space to 1,700-square-feet by converting the attic into the main bedroom suite. But even though Schmidt has lots of experience with renovations, this one, like many, came with some pricey surprises. “You prepare for the worst-case scenario,” says Schmidt. “In a reno, you’re uncovering unknowns right down to the electrical, the mechanical and the services.” The Schmidt family’s To start, a remediation crew Bridgeland roots go back removed asbestos from the house. five generations. Ryan Schmidt also had the electrical Schmidt (right), who lives in the neighbourhood with updated to replace the original wife Meghan Drennan hazardous knob-and-tube wiring. and their kids, is the fourth And he replaced the old gravity generation to live in the furnace with new ducts and a highneighbourhood (making efficiency furnace. After Schmidt his kids the fifth). His father Lyle Schmidt (left) was discovered there was no insulation raised in Bridgeland in a behind the old plaster, he decided home next door to Ryan’s to rip out all the exterior walls. great-grandfather, who is But because he wanted to preserve remembered for his skills all of the original fir wood trim as a carpenter, despite only having one arm. around doors, windows and floors, AvenueCalgary.com



CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE The original fir trim around the windows and doors was one of many details the homeowners chose to preserve. Although the kitchen is brand new, its whitewashed rift-cut oak cabinets and farmhouse sink are consistent with the home’s heritage aesthetic. The dining room has a Niels Otto Møller table and chairs and a light fixture by Lambert & Fils of Montreal.

everything had to be very carefully dismantled and then equally fastidiously refinished and reinstalled. Schmidt says he couldn’t have done this project without his wife Meghan Drennan’s artistic eye and his father Lyle Schmidt’s sweat equity. “[My dad] took on an epic amount of work,” says Schmidt who practically grew up on construction sites thanks to his father. “I was there every day,” says Lyle Schmidt who was in the commercial and residential construction industry for more than 40 years. [Lyle was the founder of Ironwood Building Systems, which is now run by his son under the name Ironwood Building Corp.] “It’s just a passion. I love the business, and Ryan’s the same way. We have a passion for what we do.” That passion is evident in the care the Schmidts put into restoring historic details and the thoughtful inclusion of modern amenities and services throughout the home. An original brass thermostat is juxtaposed next to a 21st century digital model. Original scalloped brass door hinges, skeleton keys and heat vents live among the modern conveniences of a Vacuflo system and speakers built-in flush to the ceiling. Reclaimed fir planks from the attic clad a new wall between the kitchen and dining area that incorporates a pantry. The Schmidts replaced the home’s ornate wallpaper and busy drapery with white walls and sleek blinds, exposing the rich 1 30


caramel fir trim around windows and doors. The beauty of the art deco wall sconces and pendants also came into sharp focus after being cleaned and retrofitted with new wires and LED bulbs. “When you get rid of the clutter and just focus on these key pieces, all of a sudden the old is gorgeous again,” says Schmidt. “That’s what kept me ticking; I didn’t want to erase that history.”

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5 RESTORATION TIPS FROM RYAN SCHMIDT 1. Keep in mind what’s out of sight. “It’s really the unromantic part of the project,” says architect and builder Ryan Schmidt, “but check services like water, sewer, gas and electrical lines, because if that stuff is out of date, it is huge money [to fix].” 2. Check for hazardous materials. “If a house has asbestos, you have to remediate it or cover it and not do anything with it. Knowing the era of the home is so important.” 3. Be realistic about what to keep and what to give up. “We wanted to keep the fireplace but couldn’t because it fell apart,” says Schmidt. “I wanted to reconstruct it but it was too tedious.” 4. Find experienced trades. “The right carpenter for a house like this was critical. Do your homework and find someone who is patient. Our finishing carpenter was a miracle worker,” says Schmidt. 5. Expect the unexpected. “If you’re going in with a mindset that you’re going to have to gut [the place] and you know what that means, then that’s okay,” says Schmidt. “But if you think you’re just going to touch up, that’s where the budget goes out the window.”

The formerly non-functional attic space was gutted and transformed into an 800-square-foot bedroom suite with a view of downtown Calgary, complete with walk-in-closet, ensuite and washer and dryer. To expose the beams of first-cut fir the drywall had to be cut, mudded, taped and sanded around each beam — a job that architect and builder Ryan Schmidt described as “rigourous,” though the result is “the one detail that captivates everyone.” Schmidt also scoured the continent to source fir flooring that would match what was original to the home. He found it at a family-owned mill near Kalispell, Montana, that specializes in niche wood products. 1 32


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SOURCE DECOR Architect, Ryan Schmidt, Ryan Schmidt Architecture Studio, 261211 Wagon Wheel Way, Rocky View, 403-266-7292, rsarchitecture.ca Builder, Ironwood Building Corp, 261211 Wagon Wheel Way, Rocky View, 587-230-1970, ironwood.ca Exterior stucco by Final Touch Decorating, 403-475-6214, finaltouchdecorating.ca Exterior window and door trims by Red Earth Contracting, 778-908-3893, redearthcontracting.ca Address letters from Banbury Lane Design Centre, 1301 10 Ave. S.W., 403-244-0038, banburylane.com Asphalt shingles, aluminum gutters and downs by Meerkat Roofing & Exteriors, Bay 135, 2710 3 Ave. N.E., 403-226-2700, meerkatroofing.ca Front porch by Ironwood Building Corp and Red Earth Contracting Wood and vinyl windows and aluminum-clad exteriors by Lux Windows and Glass, 6875 9 St. N.E., 403-276-7770, luxwindows.com Interior fir trims refinished by Foothills Woodworks, 403-901-3012, foothillswoodworks.ca Interior lath and plaster archways by Final Touch Decorating Vertical-grain rift-cut maple millwork on main and upper floors by D & D Contracting Calgary, 4619 6 St. N.E., 403-230-4570 Fir flooring in attic supplied by RBM Lumber, Columbia Falls, Mont., 406-892-4208, rbmlumber.com; installed by Hason Hardwood, 76 Berwick Cres. N.W., 403-605-8977 Attic-suite bed by Mash Studios LAX series from Kit Interior Objects, 725 11 Ave. S.W., 403-508-2533, kitinteriorobjects.com Teak desk and chair in attic suite from Mid-Century Dweller, 1221B 9 Ave. S.E., 403-918-4475, midcenturydweller.ca Desk lamp from EQ3, 100, 8180 11 St. S.E., 403-212-8080, eq3.com Wall and floor ceramic tile in kitchen and bath from Daltile, 3201 Ogden Rd. S.E., 403-255-2566, daltile.com; installed by Red Earth Contracting Glass shower enclosures and mirrors by Great Choice Glass, 403-796-5485, greatchoiceglass.ca Caesarstone counters by D & D Contracting Calgary Main-floor oak hardwood refinished by Hason Hardwood Main-floor gas fireplace from GasTech Heating and Fireplace, 17, 4703 Bowness Rd. N.W., 403-319-2363, gastech.ca Living-room sofa from West Elm, 868 16 Ave. S.W., 403-245-1373, westelm.com Knoll Bird Chair, wire-mesh side table and Hay puff coffeetable all from Kit Interior Objects Living-room rug and circular mirror from EQ3 Credenza from Pomp and Circumstance, 1204 12 St. S.W., 403-244-4211, pompandcircumstance.ca; painting above credenza by Samantha Walrod from Newzones Gallery of Contemporary Art, 730 11 Ave. S.W., 403-266-1972, newzones.com Hardwood on bulkhead at kitchen/dining room by Foothills Woodworks and Final Touch Decorating Dining-room light fixture by Lambert & Fils from LightForm, 1005 9 Ave. S.E., 403-508-9980, lightform.ca Dining-room table and chairs Niels Møller originals from Mid-Century Dweller Custom Indian paper tapestry table runner from Ten Thousand Villages, 220 Crowchild Tr. N.W., 403-270-0631 and 8318 Fairmont Dr. S.E., 403-255-0553, tenthousandvillages.ca Dining-room custom trivet by Ryan Schmidt Architecture Studio Dining-table vase and green glassware in kitchen from EQ3 Tagine on kitchen stove from The Cookbook Co. Cooks, 722 11 Ave. S.W., 403-265-6066, cookbookcooks.com Succulent plants and ceramic pots from Plant, 1327 9 Ave. S.E., 403-585-4226, plantshop.ca AvenueCalgary.com


BRAT OP I A When you have a strap-


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finally get to take it off. Like the foot pain associated with high heels, bra discomfort is often seen as the price women must pay to look the way they want to. A bra that ticks off all of the boxes — quality, comfort and style — is an elusive find, indeed. But Calgary’s BraTopia lingerie boutique has taken the guesswork out of bra shopping with onsite fit experts and a wide selection of beautiful undergarments ranging in band sizes from 28 to 48 and cup sizes from A to N. Each customer is professionally measured and provided with a curated selection of bras that meet their needs, so that finding the ideal combination of fit and look is much less uncomfortable.

Matchstick Wax Co. It is often said that scent is the sense most strongly related to memory. That concept is part of the inspiration for the husband-andwife candle-making team of Shaylea and Tyler Tessier, owners of Matchstick Wax Co. “While we are entrenched in the physical art of candle making, we also like to think of ourselves as memory makers,” says Shaylea. If wafting scents of jasmine, peppermint, neroli, balsam and tobacco all evoke certain memories or moments for you, Matchstick Wax’s sweetly fragranced candles (starting at $17) will certainly assist you in creating magical new ones. The Calgary-based candle brand currently offers nine decadent scents with names such

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Endy Sleep Co-founded by two Calgarians, Endy is an online-only retailer that promises a new way to find the perfect balance of comfort and support in your bedroom. The company’s first product was The Endy Mattress (starting at $675) and was the result of CEO Mike Gettis’s quest to make a mattress that was designed and manufactured entirely in Canada. Since then, Endy has developed two other products — The Endy Pillows (starting at $80 each) and The Endy Sheets (starting at $120). The pillows feature removable pieces of bamboocharcoal memory foam so that you can adjust the height for comfort. The sheets are made from 480-threadcount, sateen-weave cotton and are available in soft white in six sizes. As with similar companies, such as Casper, Endy offers its mattress on a 100-night trial. If you don’t like it within the trial period, Endy will pick up the mattress and provide a full refund. Available at endysleep.com 1 36 avenueMARCH.18

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“Fat Frames are an expression of character and uniqueness in a classic eyewear style.” His first prototypes looked great, but were too heavy. Switching to a higher quality, more flexible plastic allowed McKinley to make Fat Frames, well, thin and more importantly light weight while being very sturdy and of course stylish. McKinley believes that a great pair of glasses can add an extra bit of punchy panache for anyone and that his Fat Frames “surprisingly, look great on everyone.” Based on the images of stylish Calgarians wearing

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WORK OF ART CURATED BY Katherine Ylitalo

TITLE: Untitled [Home Fire] ARTIST: Tamara Lee-Anne Cardinal

[Home Fire]


tand facing the mountain with the Grey Eagle hotel behind you and Glenmore Trail to your right, then walk toward the small stand of spruce trees. As you ascend the slope, notice the stones placed carefully on the ground. Two concentric rings of rocks encircle a central cluster. Eight small circles each surround a group of five or more stones. Heftier rocks form a perimeter. Tamara Lee-Anne Cardinal (Mahihkan Acahkos Iskwew) led guests of Making Treaty 7 Cultural Society’s Common Ground Dinner Series to this site after supper on a May 2017 evening. For the dinner series, participants had been assigned to one of eight tables, each with an artist and an Elder and a topic to consider. The theme at Cardinal’s table was “borders” and together the group wrote a statement of hope. She positioned stones and created a setting for a closing gift of bundles of tobacco seedlings to honour Mother Earth and all those who had worked together. 1 38


What remains now is an ephemeral piece of art sitting gently on the land. At first the work was untitled, but Cardinal added the words [Home Fire] to underscore two things: the layout of the stones (“the innermost core refers to children; radiating out from that are the Elders watching them, and outside of that are the adults,” Cardinal says) and the reflection that “if we do not bring teachings home with us, if they are not felt by the heart, then they won’t work.” Cardinal is an emerging artist who brings a sensitivity to materials, an understanding of plants and growing knowledge of Indigenous traditional ways to multi-media works, performances and engagement with the community. Born and raised in Lloydminster, Sask., she earned a BFA from the Alberta College of Art + Design in 2015 and was named the national winner of the 2015 BMO 1st Art! Invitational Student Art Competition. She then attended Emily Carr University of Art + Design’s Urban Access to Aboriginal Art program and the 2016 Indig-

MEDIUM: Stones. (Cardinal acknowledges Soloman Chiniquay and Neil Fleming for their help in building the formations.) SIZE: Approximately 60 feet in diameter. LOCATION: West of the northwest parking lot at Grey Eagle Resort and Casino on Tsuu T’ina First Nation, accessible from the southwest corner of 37th Street and Glenmore Trail S.W.

enous Visual + Digital Arts Residency at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. Her handmade paper star blanket was featured in “for the time being: 2017 Alberta Biennial of Contemporary Art” at the Art Gallery of Alberta and she installed a window project at the Centre Street CTrain platform for the City of Calgary at the end of 2017.

Photograph by Soloman Chiniquay







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