Category Archives: FAB Food & Wine
Weather, weather….what a gorgeous long weekend we just had. I spent the past weekend with my family at the beautiful Lake Newell Provincial Park in southern Alberta. Located only 180 km south east of the city this man-made lake supplies the area with irrigation water for farmland.
On average the temperature is much warmer in southern Alberta, so having access to the water is a lifesaver. I had a wonderful time boating and soaking up rays of much needed sun. If you’re looking for a FAB beach in landlocked Alberta or somewhere for a weekend getaway I highly recommend this refreshing spot. The park includes a quaint camping ground complete with electricity and a group camping area. The east side of the park is lush with large green trees and cabins nestled on the shoreline. These FAB homes all have a view in the straight eye of the sun.
I grew up in southern Alberta, yet I was still shocked by the heat! Temperatures soared from the mid 30’s every day, which made the crystal clear water that much more tempting. Lake Newell is a must see and if you head out that way you can wave to my childhood home where my parents still reside and farm.
Summer in the city and the dining scene is heating up. I don’t know about you but my appetite changes with the rise in temperature. I tend to crave light, fresh meals – like seafood. We live in “landlocked Alberta” so seafood choices are much more limited compared to when I lived in Vancouver. However finding top quality, fresh seafood is not impossible you just need to know where to go. Catch & the Oyster Bar is our neighboring restaurant, located on the corner of Stephen Ave and Centre Street. This award-winning restaurant is the shining light on Calgary’s seafood scene, flying in fresh fish and crustaceans from both coasts. It’s so fresh it even smells like the ocean!
I recently had a FAB dinner at Catch and need to rave about the experience. If you haven’t heard, Catch went under a massive renovation last year adding more of an urban edge, touched with sophistication. The restaurant is broken up into two levels with very distinctive vibes. The Oyster Bar offers a fun, laid-back coastal feel while Catch (the upper level) is filled with warmth and coziness. The aspect that I really enjoy about Catch is the open bar concept which allows you to watch the chefs dance around the kitchen, all while sipping on a glass of bubbly. The energy in through both levels is comfortable and suites an assortment of dining needs.
Besides the amazing food and beautiful atmosphere Catch’s staff are some of the most accommodating and welcoming people I have ever met. From the time you walk through the door the highly trained servers treat you with world-class service. It’s not often that you find a service team with such dedication, passion and knowledge.
Now lets get to the goods – cuisine. I ordered the Beef Tenderloin & Half Lobster. WOW, my mouth is watering just typing the name of the dish. A seafood restaurant that also specializes in perfectly cooked steak! Of course being a local Albertan and growing up on a farm I have a sweet spot for beef. The only way to top a great cut of beef is to add seafood. The combination was divine, cooked to perfection and seasoned in a way that made all of my taste-buds sing. I warn you, they have so many wonderful sounding menu items that it’s difficult to pick just one. Catch is also known for it’s FAB boutique wine menu (presented on iPads) and the servers are truly experts at pairing wines. I highly recommend that you leave the beverage decision in their very capable hands; you won’t regret it.
If you are looking to propose, celebrate a job promotion, host a private dinner party or just want to great meal please check out Catch & the Oyster Bar.
Stay tuned until next week for more FAB stories!
I would like to share a positive recent dining experience while celebrating a friend’s promotion. We chose to spend our evening at Brava Bistro; a quaint little venue located along vibrant 17th Avenue.
When we called to make a booking we were told the earliest we could get in was 8:30pm, however if we could arrive around 8:15pm they could accommodate us. True to their word they were able to quickly clear a space at the end of a long bistro table where we joined a couple (ourselves nestled on one end and them on the other). At first we were a little shocked to be sharing a table, however within minutes the patrons in the corner booth by the window started gathering their belongings, as their dining experience was complete. We had just ordered a bottle of wine and we were soon whisked away to our awaiting booth where our server made us feel right at home.
We went through the appetizer menu and decided on the mussels. WOW! We found ourselves sitting in complete silence as the flavours swallowed us up. They were amazing and so fresh, topped with a surprising cluster of pomme frites and aioli. The server brought over some yummy multi-grain bread, and we dipped every last piece in the mussel broth to savour every last bite.
Time to order the entrées …what shall we have? What a selection – From pasta to crispy crackling chicken, the menu was inviting. My friends decided on the short ribs and papardelle pasta. Well, what shall I have? Yes, the chicken.
If you think fried chicken from down south is good – look out Calgary! A country twist on a classic, this chicken dish was accompanied with horseradish, mashed potatoes and a touch of au jus. Yummmmm…Each dish was cooked to perfection and satisfied everyone’s taste buds. The server brought another Steam Whistle for myself, and checked the ladies’ wine. Each of us sat in full contentment with smiles stretched ear to ear, what an amazing dinner we’d just experienced!
Our lovely host came to our dessert rescue and asked if that was the “next bridge we were going to cross”. That was a big question, should we or shouldn’t we? We were too full to try the dessert, however we will be sure to try it next time.
Please check out Brava for your next restaurant outing, as I can’t emphasize enough the level of service we experienced. I guarantee not one thing will be missed during your dining experience.