If you’re looking for a unique restaurant to try in downtown Calgary, my recommendation is to check out Oliver & Bonacini’s restaurant The Guild. It is conveniently located one block down from the Hyatt Regency Calgary along Stephen Avenue and is a great place to dine if you love Alberta meat and great wine. The Guild is exclusive in its mission to demonstrate a contemporary take on the finest traditions of butchery, cookery and bar-keeping. This is achieved through the restaurant’s vintage industrial furnishings that showcase a massive bar area and an open concept kitchen. This look is completed by glass coolers that display the various meat options on the menu. Though I personally found the meat displays to be cool and interesting, I might not recommend this restaurant to a vegan or vegetarian…
My fiancée and I recently dined here and had an awesome experience. We started out with the Crispy Calamari and it was honestly some of the best calamari that I have had here in Calgary. They give you a generous amount of perfectly cooked calamari and serve it with a spiced cucumber and lemon aioli. We probably devoured this appetizer in less than a minute…It was that good!
I ended up ordering the Maple-Glazed Brisket for my main after much deliberation between this and Pan-Fried Organic King Salmon Fillet. I probably couldn’t have gone wrong with either choice but the 10oz house-smoked Beretta Farms brisket served with braised black barley, prairie corn, Saskatoon berries, and pickled leeks was calling my name. The braised black barley and corn was flavourful, and the Saskatoon berries gave it a kick of sweetness that tied the whole dish together. Though the meat could have been a little tenderer, I thoroughly enjoyed the maple glaze flavor on the brisket.
My fiancée ordered the Slow-Roasted Jacob’s Ladder Bison, which came with corn and barley pilaf, corn puree, huckleberries, and pickled leeks. As you can see from the photos, my fiancée and I have very similar tastes. I preferred the maple glaze brisket, but he was more than satisfied with his choice!
In regards to service, we were very impressed with the efficiency and attentiveness of our server. She was very friendly and even recommended both of the entrees that we ended up choosing. From the initial greeting to the final goodbye, all of the staff were extremely pleasant and made our experience an enjoyable one!
Though I wish I could tell you about some of their amazing desserts, we were so full from the first two dishes that we just couldn’t fit any in. Next time I’ll go during their social hour that runs from 2 PM – 5 PM and 9 PM – close every day for drinks and dessert!
Ultimately, whether you’re going out for drink with friends, family, or your significant other, The Guild is perfectly suited for any occasion. The seating is comfortable, the service is friendly, and the atmosphere is busy but still manages to be relaxing. It is unlike any Calgary restaurant I have been to and the décor is a conversation piece of its own. Though the meals are on the more expensive end, the quality of the food makes it worth it! I definitely recommend that you give The Guild a try!
200 8 Avenue SW
Calgary, Alberta, T2P 1B5