The newest edition of Calgary’s Best Restaurants found me visiting Bar C.
Bar C is found on the east side of 17th Ave, right beside my previous entry to this series, Cilantro. It’s easy to find, just look for the massive iron doors which guard it’s chic patio.
So on a rainy Tuesday night I walked with my friend Lisa the three blocks from my place to Bar C to enjoy another meal prepared by some of Calgary’s top culinary talent.
We entered the dining room and were cordially greeted by Lauren Webb, Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts (CRMR) marketing manager. As a side note, she’s been great to work with, and really accommodating when it comes to showcasing the amazing properties that are under her marketing portfolio. Her professionalism exemplifies the high standards which are in place at CRMR.
The dining room is a modern style room with polished concrete floor, metal and wood features accenting the industrial chic. They plan on changing the interior slightly to soften the room, which I understand, but I also really like the room as it is.
After Lauren was introduced to Lisa we went about ordering a couple cocktails, and discussing the finer points of the cultural differences between Italy (Lisa is from Milan,) and Canada. Calgary’s cocktail scene is definitely growing quickly, however apparently in Italy cocktails are much more popular, being the drink of choice at night clubs, not beer, wine, or highballs. Which I found interesting.
I ordered an Old Fashion, one of my favourite drinks and a stalwart of Don Draper. Lisa ordered the vodka mojito. I had never heard of a mojito made with vodka instead of rum, and was skeptical, but the result was a very fresh and light version of a classic. The Old Fashion, made with Maker’s Mark whisky, was a very well made take on this classic. Well balanced, and well crafted; as an Old Fashion should be.
When the food started to arrive, we were in for a treat. I love tapas style dining, and so the parade of food was to begin. I gave total trust into Lauren’s hands.
The first round had us trying fried artichoke hearts with a fireweed honey, citrus aioli dipping sauce. The aioli was a great dipping sauce, and the artichokes were a fun, popcorn chicken-esque size and texture, but with a soft healthy inside.
The second dish of the first round was a warm burrata cheese stuffed tomato. Stuffed tomatoes and peppers are some of my favourites. I love how much you can do with them, and this dish didn’t disappoint. The light soft cheese melted all over the huge tomato. Simple dish. Let the flavours do the talking; which they did.
Round two saw us eating the snapper ceviche and the buffalo tartar.
The snapper ceviche was a nice fresh summer dish. The addition of grapefruit was a unique take on the dish which added freshness and zest to the traditional lime of the dish. The presentation was beautiful with little chiller bowls delicately balancing a stemless glass. Function and style. Yes.
The buffalo tartar was the winning dish of the evening. The locally raised buffalo, on CRMR’s own ranch, ensures high quality game meat. The extra flavour of the buffalo, combined with a sharp mustard, capers, and micro greens made this one of the best takes on tartar which my taste buds have encountered. Order this when you go to Bar C.
The final round before I had to jet to the airport to pick up a friend included the glazed brussel sprouts, risotto, and seared scallops.
I was excited to try the risotto, with risotto being one of my favourite dishes. Unfortunately it fell a little short. Slightly overcooked, and the mushrooms were kind of drowned out by noise in the rest of the dish. It was the only dish which I wasn’t impressed with, but I have full faith they can bring this dish up to the standard which they’ve set with their other dishes.
Back to the awesome: seared scallops. Scallops, like risotto, are one of my favourite things to tantalize my taste buds. These scallops were simply beautiful. Lightly seared large scallops with a beautiful potato and leek puree, and a touch of truffle oil. Like butter melting in your mouth covered in rich, silky smooth puree – this dish delivers.
Brussel sprouts are something I’ve been playing with lately, and I liked the pan fried in white wine, prosciutto, manchego cheese take on this traditionally only seen at Thanksgiving dish. The brussel sprouts had a nice crunch to them and were well complemented with the fresh ingredients they were cooked in.
I had to run to the airport at that point, and left Lisa and Lauren to finish up their drinks and chat a little. Lauren left me with a take out bag to take home of in-house-daily-made linguini, meatballs, and kale salad.
I was privileged enough to share these treats with my friend Daniel Zoller who had just arrived to Calgary.
The kale salad, which seems to be the “in” food right now was a really well done version of it, I just can’t get too excited over kale.
However, the home made linguini was light and perfect. Great summer pasta. We put the meatballs on top of it, which admittedly made it less summery, but worked really well together. I love meatballs (apparently I have many “favourite” dishes) and they did the name good with this inception of the classic.
And that was my extended visit to Bar C. I would recommend you visit. I believe it’s better than the only other tapas style restaurant I visited in Calgary, Ox & Angela. Order the buffalo tartar, seared scallops, meatballs, and linguini for a great meal. Pair that with a glass of wine which you can order from 50mL up to a full bottle, or one of their award-winning cocktails for a full and fantastic evening out in a beautiful space.
Location:340 17 Ave SW
Monday to Sunday
4:00 pm to Close
Saturday and Sunday Brunch
11:00 am to 4:00 pm