Mmm… Calgary. To be very honest, I was a little skeptical when I found out that I had to go there for work (Sorry!). Oh but what do I know, Calgary is one hell of a city. This is how it went down:
Lunch at The Nash
I called up my friend, and fashion stylist extraordinaire – Kara for a tête-à-tête over lunch at the Nash. The restaurant is charming with two different dining room, a private dining area, and kitchen bar. I immediately fell in love.
Pre-dinner cocktail(s) at Hotel Arts
Made it down to one of the coolest hotels in town: Hotel Arts. This boutique hotel got a total makeover couple years back and since then had become the place to stay and play for both tourists and locals. There are two different restaurants with two different characters. Yellow Door – for the posh and polished. Raw Bar for the groovies. Yes, I managed to drink at both.
Dinner #1: Pigeonhole
It’s no surprise that Pigeonhole is the award wining restaurant in Calgary. My dining experience was impeccable from start to finish. As I entered the room, I knew I’d love every. single. thing. about this restaurant. Oh man, I did. The place is set up in a rugged yet sophisticated way – stunning bar, open kitchen, and cute little corners like the one above. The overall character also translates into the dishes that they make: A wonderful balance between bursts of flavors and delicate textures. Of course, finished up with a stiff Boulevardier.
Dinner #2: Model Milk
From the fellas who bring you Pigeonhole. It’s a big family of amazing restaurants, all crammed (in a good way) in one corner at 17 Ave. I planned-ish the night strategically so I could have a taste of every-damn-thing the restaurants could offer: Two bites here, two bites there. I let the lovely team at Model Milk controlled what I would be having for dinner, number 2. It’s like a game of roulette, with delicious food coming up after each spin. Yes, obviously with cocktail. Every bite and every sip was memorable! I got to chat with the people there as well, which I don’t think I do enough when I’m home in Vancouver. I left Model Milk happy, full, and somewhat intoxicated but It was still bright outside, which means, Neeeeext!
…or so I thought.
I did stop by for one too many boulevardier at Proof before continuing my little adventure to Milk Tiger, and Ricardo’s Hideaway.
Both are not photographed for a very apparent reason (HA!)
Proof, as you can see, has this maaaaassive wall of bottles of liquors, a kind of wall I wish I had at home. The cocktail menu is extensive and as any good cocktail bar would, they can whip up literally any drink that you’re in the mood for that day.
Milk Tiger on the other hand, is this tiny hole-in-the-wall bar that apparently lots of locals go!
Ricardo’s Hideaway specializes in rum cocktails and tasting. This Caribbean restaurant sets the mood for the night to be fun, warm, and well, boozy. At this point, I was still very full but I really wanted to order everything on the menu, because Hello!? Caribbean food! Next time!
Day 2 – Breakfast at Alforno Bakery
I had the pleasure catching up with my friend Ania over egg bennies and (unfortunately) poorly crafted cappuccino in this stunning bakery. The marble tables, the fireplace, and the amount of natural light in this place are some things that are missing in Vancouver.
Cortado Fix – Monogram Coffee
One of calgary’s finest roaster – Yes, I was in desperate need of properly poured cortado at this point
Lunch #1 – Bridgette Bar
By now, y’all should’ve known that I have an unhealthy obsession with beautiful bars.
Especially when the person behind the bar is…well, charming, and good looking.
Exhibit A: Dave at Bar Bridgette! HA! Another perk of sitting at the bar? You get to interact with the person who is making your cocktails and y’know… get to know them.
Bar Bridgette is a relatively new spot in town. The property was originally a furniture warehouse that are now turned to a maaaassive restaurant. “What the f*ck Calgary, this is such a stunning space!!!” – I was repeating that in my head as I was running around taking photos of every single damn corner of the restaurant.
Again, the fact that I was traveling by myself made everything so much simpler and easier. This just means I got to order whatever the f*ck I wanted for lunch – which ends up being a lunch for three, for one. On the menu that day was spring asparagus, avocado toast (I’m that basic, I know), and delicious lamb sausage! YUM, RIGHT?! Oh and don’t forget the fancy Black Tie cocktail, just cause.
Lunch #2 – Native Tongues
Yes, I could barely finish my lunch from Bar Bridgette, and yes, I’m that guy running around Calgary with a takeout box buuut every single person I met suggested Native Tongue for great tacos. So I thought… Couldn’t hurt HA!
Two tacos, and a margarita later… I realized how much of a cow I have been during this trip. So I rolled out of Native tongue feeling… very, very full, content and happy!
Dinner – Anju
It was the perfect meal to end this trip! Anju offers a modern twist to Korean dishes. I wasn’t dining alone this evening so I got to try several different things. The shortribs were memorable and went really well with the smokey Old Fashioned. Who would’ve thought, having cocktails with your Korean food, but Anju did it right!
Well, this is it. I am very, very glad that I got to get around Calgary and I had a f*ckin BLAST!!!!! I am still working on getting rid of the excessive calories intake for this trip but I wouldn’t do it any other way. Thank you again for being such an awesome city! I will be back SOON!