River Cafe is an upscale Calgary cafe developed inside a stylish restored park concession setting up.
Sitting down alongside the river in the scenic Prince’s Island Park in the coronary heart of the metropolis it’s a dining experience like no other in Calgary. The food focuses on regionally sourced meat and seafood entrees employing regional and domestically sourced ingredients.
All the things about the dining knowledge at River Cafe, from the locally sourced menu created by Chef Scott Mackenzie, the impeccable wine list designed by Sommelier Bruce Soley, the beautifully picturesque patio house, to the total generation that the restaurant showcases in every single seasonal menu.
Canada’s Leading 100 Greatest Places to eat ended up just announced for 2022 and River Cafe built the best 10!
Mackenzie was “a little stunned when the announcement was produced on Monday evening,” he instructed Dished in an e-mail. Soon after the shock wore off, he was “so honoured and satisfied to be on the record in the best 10.”
Eleven distinctive Calgary places to eat manufactured the top 100, but River Cafe was the best-rated Calgary spot at #10.
“The restaurant crew has persevered in excess of the previous two a long time and it is wonderful to be acknowledged for the dedication from absolutely everyone,” Mackenzie informed Dished.
Dished was blessed more than enough to visit River Cafe following the announcement to get an intimate inside appear at what will make this legendary place so unique.
Right before you even attain the cafe, it is evident it will be a a single-of-a-form encounter.
Prince’s Island Park is really tranquil, even even though it is in the coronary heart of the town and proper on the edge of downtown Calgary. Future to the babbling, quiet portion of the Bow River and beneath the massive trees overhead, people today come and go along the path — but all people notices River Cafe.
It’s difficult to pass up. It’s an not likely restaurant mainly because there is very little else about here. There are no other buildings or food stuff places and this is no summer season concession stand. This is an upscale, top 10 in Canada restaurant. The patio exterior has views of the river and park, even although you continue to experience hidden in a Calgary oasis.
If you really do not get a spot on the patio, the dining area is just as gorgeous. It presents two entirely different encounters in quite a few methods, with the rustic and uncovered wood, stone, and brick of the inside experience cozy throughout the winter months.
Sitting down down, the service was refined but really heat and approachable.
We requested a couple of drinks to begin, and we started with wine. When you have a picked list recognized by Wine Spectator Magazine with its Best of Award of Excellence, you never pass that chance up.
Favouring regional wines from generally compact artisanal producers, the wine listing at River Cafe celebrates the model, philosophy, and perseverance to sustainability in the vineyards represented.
Of training course, we also had to get a margarita since the temperature was so sunny.
To commence, we tried the rooster liver mousse, grilled Pacific octopus, a new morel mushroom dish, and a person of the popular Forno Baked Flatbreads.
Every solitary component in the rooster liver mousse worked perfectly and was a thing we had never seen in the dish anywhere else prior to. Buckwheat, preserved blackberry, pickled cipollini onion, and Mint all produced this decadent dish properly well balanced.
The Octopus, a visually amazing plate of food items, arrived with espelette harissa, sourdough crisp, poplar bluff potato, dill oil, and purple onion. We had seen these flavours in new seafood ahead of, but never ever with so several unique textures at participate in.
The flatbread was a great example of even a wonderful dining restaurant never becoming far too superior for a kind of dish that has persons coming back. Topped with fennel sausage, oyster mushrooms, roasted tomato sauce, and red onion, this would be a single of the ideal pizzas in YYC if we were being permitted to call it that.
The ethical mushroom dish with an egg emulsion arrived with asparagus and home made-pasta. It was straightforward but excitingly refreshing. All the things ingredient was distinct and exploded with each individual bite, specifically due to the fact all of the generate, like the morel mushrooms, were locally sourced.
There are 6 exquisite mains on the lunch menu and 7 on the meal, and while it was challenging to choose just two for the desk, we created some alternatives we were delighted with.
The tagliatelle, duck confit, and beef burger ended up challenging to move up, but eventually we went with the pan-seared Yukon arctic char with a inexperienced goddess dressing and Benchmark Angus Beef flank steak that arrived with crispy potatoes, charred infant peppers, Spanish onion, and topped with a chimichurri using dwelling-developed herbs.
There are herbs grown correct in front of the restaurant and a substantial herb backyard in the back to assure each dish is as new as probable.
“We are constantly pushing ourselves, how can we elevate our dishes and highlight the community elements even much more,” said Mackenzie.
“We only use regional elements so we are constantly locating new methods or things to use to substitute substances like lemons or olive oil for occasion.”
So what’s following for Mackenzie and the River Cafe workforce?
“With Michelin Guideline coming to Canada, we will continue to drive that thinking ahead and hope to acquire a inexperienced star 1 working day if the guide ever did occur to Calgary.”
This is 1 of the most gorgeous areas in Calgary — within and out. Get down to the park for a culinary expertise contrary to any other in the metropolis and the entire nation.
Handle: 25 Prince’s Island Park SW, Calgary