On our recent trip to Calgary, Canada we came across something very interesting yet at the same time quite surprising; who would have thought that Calgary would be such a foodie destination? For our unfortunately brief stay in Calgary we were able to try a few of the city’s top dining destinations and instantly noticed that there is some serious culinary talent here!
Our first stop was Market Restaurant located on 17th Avenue, a trendy shopping and dining district. As we entered the restaurant we immediately got a feel for the place, the words that come to mind were trendy, unique and comfort. You can just look around and tell that this is a local hotspot. The vibe is contagious. Restaurant patrons were having a great time enjoying the farm to table locally sourced cuisine. We glanced at a few of the tables around us to see what everyone was so excited about. As our server approached the table our minds were buzzing with anticipation; we had a lot of questions. He was happy to answer all of them and provided us with a breakdown on the restaurant’s history and philosophy. Now it all made sense.
The idea of Market Cuisine comes from the French Canadian term “Cuisine du Marche” which translates to cooking with fresh ingredients. We are told that the owners are dedicated to using sustainable foods and that the freshness starts in their own kitchen. Market bakes all their breads daily, they cure their own meats, do their own butchering, make their own cheese, grow their own herbs, micro greens and select vegetables. We are also informed that they are the first restaurant in Calgary to use the Urban Cultivator where they can grow more than 16 different varieties of heirloom seeds all year round. According to our server the menu changes with the availability and freshness of all their ingredients. This is our kind of dining adventure, bring on the food!
We started off with the Beet salad which was presented as a work of art; Cured Steelhead Trout, Potato Horseradish Cream, Fennel Glass and Goat Cheese. Another salad that came highly recommended was the Kale Salad which had Double Smoked Bacon, Caesar Vinaigrette, Parmesan Crisps, a Hen’s Egg and Fried Chicken. Next we tried the Bison Carpaccio made from Olson’s High Country Bison, Brioche Croutons, Burnt Shallot Aioli and Wild Juniper. The Bison was honestly something we were a little leery of but wow what flavor and texture; think filet mignon with a buttery flavor combination.
One of the most popular items on the menu was the Tomato Tart and we definitely saw why. This was made with pure TLC; Cured Tomato, Butter Crust, House made Ricotta and Fine herbs. It melted in our mouths and we savored each delectable bite.
For our entrees we chose the House Ground Alberta Beef Burger with House Beer Cheese, Tomato Preserve, Bacon, Pickles and a Fried Egg on top. The second entrée we had the Hanger Steak; made with Popular Bluff Aligot Potato, Herb Emulsion, Hotchkiss Rainbow Chard and Wild Onion. At this point we were more than satisfied and could fully understand the excitement around us. Market was a truly impressive experience and a must when visiting the city of Calgary.