Thursday, October 15, 2009

Cattle Baron - October Dinner Club

Reminder that our next Dinner Club get together is at the Cattle Baron in North Calgary Friday, October 16 at 7:00 PM. See you there!

3340 - 26 Street N.E.

Kulinary Kids

Wow, I must say that Kulinary Kids was a blast, we got to make most of our own food, and I must say we did a fabulous job!

I learned how to make yams tolerable, woohoo! The tenderloin was seasoned just right and I enjoyed every bite! The blueberry reduction was outstanding and simply the best I've ever had! Everything was amazing...we are truly great cooks!!! Chef Stephanie and Kim did a great job with our menu, thank you, thank you! I enjoyed it so much I have booked my step daughters birthday party there!

We are still waiting for the recipes, I have spoken with Chef Stephanie and apparently the recipes were emailed to Canda a while back! HINT HINT Canda, please pass them along!

I give Kulinary Kids 5 Shazams!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Kulinary Kids

We had a blast at Kulinary Kids!! Everyone was relaxed and having fun and enjoying the experience. For all the food and the educational aspects I thought $30 plus tip was very reasonable. Of course eating earlier would have been preferable but the wine helped with the hunger pains.

Chef Stephanie planned a menu of beef tenderloin with mashed potatoes and yams, sauteed zucchini and roasted carrots and parsnips served with a blueberry reduction sauce. Dessert was a no bake pumpkin pie (baked crust). The food was simple yet tasted divine...I do admit I had a second helping of potatoes and I would have taken home all the leftover spuds if it would not have made me look greedy. Although we did not leave with recipes in hand I believe they are to be forwarded to us soon.

Chef Stephanie is a big fan of sushi, Vietnamese and Indian food. Her favourite restaurants in Calgary and area are Inn on the Lake Bonavista, the Banff Springs Sunday Brunch, Sushi Kinjo, Glory of India and the Oriental Phoenix.

A big thank you to owner and former teacher Kim and Chef Stephanie for the great evening and all their hard work.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Kulinary Kids - September Dinner Club

This should be a fun one. Instead of our regular routine picking a restaurant to eat at, we will be making our own dinner and dessert at Kulinary Kids. Hope we don't get into a food fight!!!

224 - 12100 Macleod Trail SE
Calgary, AB T2J7G9, Canada
(403) 276-2433

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Sans Fungi for this Fun Girl!

Escoba was my favourite dinner club yet! Maybe it was the fact that we started an hour early with a wine tasting where we sampled the Ruffino Ducale Chianti.... or perhaps it was the oh so cheesy Three Cheese Chick Pea Dip we shared! Then again, it may have been the Linguini Fresca pasta that I ordered. Can we say D-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s! Linguini, spinach, baby roma tomatoes, olives, artichokes, white wine and garlic! The linguini was supposed to also have mushrooms, but it was "sans fungi for this fun girl"! Just when I thought it couldn't get any better, I shared the Chocolate Mousse (whipped with rhum and citrus creme fraiche) with Crystal and it was to die for! Great wine, great food, great friends make it a 5 out of 5 Shazams for me!!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Good Pizza, Good Wine, Good Fun!

I give Escoba 4 ½ Shazzams. I had the Carne flatbread which was basically their version of a meat lovers pizza (awesome for us O-blood types!). It was fabulous. I traded a slice of mine for a slice of Allison’s (Eon? Flatbread). It was equally yummy with goat cheese and artichokes. A few of us were there at 6pm for the complimentary wine tasting, which was really fun. The Wine Guy (or the Sommelier if you’re being all fancy) was very informative. We liked the Chianti he served so much, we split a bottle 4 ways and shared an appetizer (Chickpea dip) before the rest of the gang joined us at 7pm. It’s true that the menu is limited and some items were pricey, but this is a Wine Bar after all. I loved the service, the food and the wine. Escoba is pretty great! I can’t wait to go back again sometime.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


Escoba was excellent. I had the Linguini Fresca pasta along with Debbie and Joc (sans mushrooms). A nice fresh vegetarian pasta with a hint of heat that filled me up and left no room for dessert. Glad I came early for the wine tasting as I enjoyed the Ruffino Chianti (sangiovese) provided by Darren the sommelier (not sure if was actually a sommelier but he gave a nice run down on the wine and the region where grown). The service was good and our waitress was spunky and had a great personality.

The hand painted artwork was a nice touch, as were the antique architectural pieces hanging on the walls.

Allison was prepared bringing her over large calculator...but did it get used? Nope, not necessary, as the restaurant divided the bills up individually. My meal was very economical coming in at around $22.00 including 18% gratuity. Wine was free as we had a pre-arranged wine tasting before dinner. I would definitely come again and try more of the appies. I noticed the menu was not extensive (its all about the wine) and there were not a lot of dairy-free options. Even the pasta I choose, which I thought would be dairy-free as per the description, came topped with parmesan. I wish the server would have come around asking if you wanted parmesan on top and then freshly grate it for you, like they came around with the pepper, so I could have avoided the cheese.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Friday, August 21 @ 6:00 PM (Wine Tasting), 7:00 PM (Dinner)

Reminder that our next Dinner Club will be at Escoba Bistro on Friday, August 21. There will be a wine tasting at 6:00 PM with dinner to follow at 7:00 PM.

403 543 8911
624 8 Avenue SW
Calgary, AB
T2P 1G4

Friday, July 31, 2009

Mango Mouse? What was I thinking....

I’m giving the King & I 3 ½ shazams. Can I do that?? It’s better than a 3; not quite a 4. I loved the spicy Pad Kai Long Song and the banana spring rolls which Lisa and shared. The Chu Chu Seafood dish was also quite tasty. However the Mango mouse was a disaster! What was I thinking? I could’ve ordered a chocolate silk pie or the chocolate pate (damn yours looked good Nicole), but nnooooo I had to get all fancy and order the mouse, which was like an old leather jelly-like barf-fest, with mangos on the side. Yuck. The service was good, the prices were decent. I was sorely disappointed with my choice of dessert and I wish I would’ve known about the Tiger beer, Allison, that sounded good! 3 ½ shazams kids; You just can’t beat the ‘O’.

The King & I - 3 Shazam's

We went to the King & I this month for dinner club, I hadn't been there for many years. The restaurant was tastefully decorated but other than the coconut rice there was nothing that triggered any memories for me. I loved seeing the gong and would have enjoyed hearing it's hauntingly beautiful echo! Perhaps in the past, there are others like me, that took advantage of an opportunity when it presented itself, because the mallet was nowhere to be seen??? The service was great and the wine was pretty good. This one only gets 3 Shazam's for me, should maybe be 4 ish but...they lose 1 for not having the mallet for the gong!

Ok, on to the food! My favourite, of course, being a seafood lover, was the seafood dish that only 3 of us shared! Yum yum! Thanks to the other 4 for not liking seafood. I also really enjoyed the salad rolls, loved the cilantro in them and the sauce was much lighter than most salad roll sauces. The coconut rice was just as I remembered it from years gone by. There was only one dish that I found a bit too warm for my palate, but please don't ask me which it was, it was in mixed in with everything else that was heaped on my plate! It may have been the beef with spinach dish, but not sure and wouldn't want to condemn a good dish unnecessarily. Brandi & I shared desserts (as usual, thank god for sisters!) we had the banana spring roll with coconut ice cream, it was amazing! The ice cream was super good and had bits of coconut in it, very tasty! The other dessert we tried was a mango jello like thingy, which looked beautiful but didn't quite deliver on taste.

Many thanks to Nicole for the great pics and having the foresight to write down the names of the food we ate!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Dinner at The King & I

I rate dinner at The King & I 4 Shazams. Everything was very tasty and the "sharing" experience was fun. Seven of us each ordered an entree and each had a bowl of coconut rice (although there was plain and brown rice options) which seemed just the right amount of food, with only a bit left over. I recommend the salad rolls as well which were very fresh. I would stay away from them if you do not like cilantro. The first entree pictured was the Galanga Cashew Chicken, then Bernadette's stirfry, then my plate all loaded up with goodies. I was especially fond of the Chu Chi Seafood (tiger prawns and scallops are stif-fried with seasonal vegetables in our chili jam and basil coconut milk-infused sauce), Buddha's Delight (snowpeas, asparagus, shiitake mushrooms, carrots & water chestnuts stir-fried with mushrooms sauce) and Pad Kai Long Song (tender chicken sautéed in spicy peanut sauce and served on a bed of spinach).

I have never seen the Dinner Club order so many desserts before. I only wish I had not eaten so much so I could have finished my Chocolate Pate with Raspberry Sauce. Yum! Ok, yes I was very organized about our order...haphazard can be a lot of fun next time the Blackberry is only coming out for pictures. :)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Baby, I love your nuts! moderation

Where do I start?....It didn't blow me away...that's what he said! ZING! Maybe it was the "organized" (yes, Nicole, you) fashion of ordering we performed last night, or maybe it was that I was only offered one Tiger (roar) beer...You know I love my booze!

We shared 7 entrees between us ...except Bernie...thanks for not sharing ;) My favourite was, of course, the one I ordered - the Galanga Cashew Beef - I tell you, any meal with a cashew is worth its weight in gold! Maybe this is why I feel like I shouldn't share and just order for myself.

As per usual, Dawna and I split dessert(s): the deep fried banana spring rolls and the chocolate pecan pie. Loved the deep fried bananas but felt the pecan pie was okay. I never thought I'd say this but it had way too many nuts...that's what he said! ZING!

Overall, I'd still give it a 4 out of 5 shazams as I feel it's just as good as the Gypsy Bistro. It's tough for anything to beat an "o"...that's what she said! ZING!

Anyone for the Long Song?

All right stop, collaborate and listen, Ice is back with my brand new invention.....okay now before I break further into song, the "Long Song" I want to share with you, isn't my rendition of "Ice, Ice, Baby" but the Pad Kai Long Song at the King & I Thai Cuisine Restaurant! Can we say delicious?!?! With a hint of heat in the peanut sauce, the tender chicken was served on a bed of spinach and it was my favourite!

Our group opted to share a number of dishes in addition to the Pad Kai Long Song which included Galanga Cashew Chicken, Galanga Cashew Beef (okay, so we're fond of cashews), Nuea Nam Dang, Buddha's Delight and of course, the ever so flavourful coconut rice! Top that off with the Banana Spring Rolls, the Chocolate Silk Pie and the Chocolate Pate and you've got yourself a fantastic Thai meal! Oh, and don't forget the very tasty Malbec Red Wine that is so affordable that you can order a 1/2 liter for the price that most single glasses cost in a typical restaurant!

Not only is this restaurant easy to get to (right on 11th Avenue and 8th street) but parking was just out the door on the street and free after 6pm! The ambiance is modern and classy and the waiter was excellent. I will definitely be back again in the future!

I give this restaurant 4 out of 5 shazams!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

July 28 Dinner Club - The King & I

Reminder to everyone that our next Dinner Club will be at 7:00 PM at The King & I on Tuesday, July 28th.

The King & I
822 11th Avenue S.W.
403) 264-7241

Monday, June 29, 2009

We had the Philo Brie 4-way

Well, what can I say? I was pleasantly surprised by the Gypsy. The ambiance was fantastic and the service was exceptional! Dwayne (?) spoke in a seductive voice which made all menu items sound delectable....but enough about that. I am married after all and I was drinking!

I had one fourth of the philo brie which was terrific and then I had the risotto accompanied by 2 beautiful glasses of wine (oh, really Allison? You drank? That's weird!). The flavours of the risotto were explosive! My only complaint would be that the risotto was luke-warm when it arrived and I prefer my food hot. I finished the meal with a chocolate ganache-like dessert which was so rich! I'm glad Dawna and I shared it (not really, oink!).

Good pick, Dawna! This is my second favourite that we've gone to. But, in all fairness it is tough to beat out a restaurant where I had an "O".

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Gypsy Bistro

I loved the decor of The Gypsy Bistro, done in deep reds with gold accents. The Bistro is very cozy with intimate tables of two and four and gold brocade padded wooden chairs. There is a long banquet that can hold up to 14. Paintings placed on the walls are indicative of the style of the cuisine...Mediterranean. A triptych of white Arabian horses was one of my favourites. Our server was Dwayne (who we finally determined was of German descent) and he did a very good job keeping our wine glasses filled. I had a couple glasses of a lovely, bold Malbec Reserve from Argentina (?? estate).

Ladies I have to apologize I was too quick on my delete key and accidentally removed all my pictures of the meals so mostly below are pictures of the desserts. Desserts were $9.00 each and were very tasty....with the Mango Cheesecake getting rave reviews.

I had the Risotto with asiago cheese, mushrooms and roasted vegetables. It was light and refreshing although I would have liked it to be a bit warmer than it was...I think it had been sitting out for a bit too long. I rate my meal here 4 Shazams.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

June 19 Dinner Club - Gypsy Bistro-Wine Bar

The Gypsy Bistro-Wine Bar has been booked for Friday, June 19th at 7:00 PM.

817 1 Street SW

(403) 263-5869

There is a pay parking lot in behind the building. I'm looking forward to this one!

Bring on the Beef!

This was only my 2nd time at the Vintage Chophouse and being the non-seafood eater that I am, I went for the 12 oz. New York Striploin! What a huge piece of meat! While the steak was cooked exactly to my liking, I found the steak size to be much too big.... however, my dog Benson loved it when I brought him home a doggie bag! I searched the menu for a smaller striploin but they only had 12 oz. or 16 oz steaks. Once again, I had my potatoes mashed and shared a side of asparagus with my fellow dinner clubber Bernadette. I washed it all down with a glass of McWilliam's Hanwood Estate Cabernet Sauvignon.

The food was good and the wine was tasty but I felt it was over priced. I'd rather go to the Keg and get the salad, bread, steak and veggies for less than the price of my piece of meat at Vintage. I'll give Vintage 3 out of 5 shazams!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Vintage Chophouse has that "je ne sais quoi"

Vintage Chophouse is typically one of my favourite restaurants in Calgary. Unfortunately, my good friend Dawna and I ordered a prime rib steak (which is like a slice of roast beef) which wasn't what I had in mind - must have been the wine! (Yes, once again I imbibed and loved the Pinot Grigio.) Then, we split a chocolate dessert as well as a lemon meringue. Loved the lemon meringue dessert but the chocolate one was a little dry...I know, just like my husband says, I'm a little hard to please at times...

As always, the conversation was fantastic and there were plenty of laughs! God Bless Crystal and her VERY specific coffee orders!

Overall, I'd give this Vintage Chophouse experience 3 out of 5 shazams. I'd be willing to give it another try though as I feel I should take half the blame.

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Vintage Chophouse

Our dinner at The Vintage Chophouse this past Thursday was amazing I thought.  One of my favourite restaurants in Calgary and again they did not disappoint.  I had the Beef Carpaccio to start (capers, manchego cheese) and Braised Short Rib with summer ragout (smoked root vegetables) and agria puree (pureed potatoes) to follow.  The portion size was huge.  Although there was some discussion that the menu did not fit into our $20 limit I still think it was worth the price paid and am not taking off points for this.  McWilliams 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon was one popular wine of the night. 5 Shazams from me!!!   For next time it was agreed to pick a restaurant less pricey.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

May 15 Dinner Club - The Vintage Chophouse

The Vintage Chophouse has been booked for our next Dinner Club Friday May 15 at 6:30 PM.

There is a blues band that starts playing usually around 9:30 PM or 10:00 PM in the bar side for those that want to extend the fun!

The address is 322 - 11th Avenue S.W.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I HAD AN 'O'!!!

The Big "O" Burger that is! I don't think I need to say much more, but of course I will. All I have to say is: look at the picture below where I'm holding the biggest "O" - you've probably ever seen (or will see) a bigger "O" on a blog! Yes, that's a challenge! I thought "O" was fantastic. We had a private room where we could have some inappropriate conversation and giggle about it. I had the lemon meringue in a perfect sized cup which left me satisfied...I know you're wondering what else this girl could be looking for after having had a big "O"...but there's always room for dessert (wink!).

Excellent job on the blog Nicole! I love that we throw out an idea and you made it happen! Thanks!

O Restaurant and Lounge

O Restaurant and Lounge was... OOOOOOOOO my goodness the best dinner club so far. I had the Chicken Milanese Sandwich with Salad. The chicken was so moist and tasty and was served on a fresh Ciabatta bun. The salad had a very delicious dressing. The meal was a very generous sized portion and was well worth the money. I can't wait to go back again.

Monday, April 20, 2009

O Restaurant & Lounge

Great choice Allison! I had the pulled prime rib sandwich with fries, it was excellent! The fries as promised were very tasty! Great spot to go for fabulous tasting food at a reasonable price. I had a drink, my dinner and a delicious carrot cake for $22.50+tax of course!

With our group of 10, they didn't automatically add the 20% gratuity, as so many restaurants do. The service was great and we had a lot of fun!

P.S. Nicole, amazing job on the blog!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

I had 'em wet!

The O Restaurant and Lounge gets 4 Shazams from this Girl!

I had the St. Louis Style Ribs.... WET!!! Y-u-m-m-y-O! Although I heard the fries were awesome, I opted for the mashed variety! Upon my request, I fully expected to hear "we can do that but for an additional charge!" But, to my surprise, they gave me my mashed potatoes without any hassle what-sO-ever and with nO extra charge! I washed it all down with an Australian Cab Shiraz and topped it off with the silky chocolate mousse!

They gave us crazy girls our own private room where we could laugh and have fun, complete with our own set of patio doors in case things got a little "hot"!! The service was great, the wine was fabulous and the food was delicious!

Maybe next time I'll have the BIG O that Allison raved about!!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Excellent Dinner Club Choice

This was the best Dinner Club location! The meal was great, I had the grilled chicken sandwich with fries .. the fries were yummy! The desert was just the right size for the right price.

Nicole: Great work on the blog!

Wow Nicole

Great job on our new blog!!

Friday, April 17, 2009

O Restaurant and Lounge

O Restaurant and Lounge is in the Marda Loop area of Calgary which is currently being empty parking stall is a little hard to find right next to the building.  Actually the building looks more like a modern house.  It has three levels with the kitchen and a private room upstairs.  On the main level there is a lounge and bar area as well as another small private room and patio. This is a new restaurant by the same people who established Ric's Grill. The menu is casual, fusion/contemporary (whatever that means!)

We loved our meal here.  The service was very good and the chef even came to talk with us after the meal.  The highlight was when they came around with their mini dessert carousel where we had the choice of lemon meringue, carrot cake, chocolate mousse or creme brulee each for only $3.00.  Think a votive candle holder size.  Choices available vary daily.

We had positive comments for the St. Louis Style Ribs (both the dry and wet versions) $21, the salmon, and the massive signature O burger.  The fries were really good.  The only negative was the gravy which was bland and somewhat bitter.  The prices are very reasonable.

2018 33 Avenue SW
Calgary, AB
T2T 1Z4
(403) 249-0605