Before saying good bye to Calgary friends Dave + Jenn, Mike and I went out for dinner with them several times. Calgary`s food scene is pretty amazing these days and I was happy to enjoy it one last time.
CHARCUT is a very popular restaurant in downtown Calgary. And rightfully so…the place is a bombshell.
Downtown Calgary was looking ominous and beautiful when we went.
The interior of CHARCUT is best described as Manhattan loft crossed with meat packing plant.
Oh god, where to start? Thankfully there were four of us, so we got a healthy dose of just about everything.
First up, unusual drinks. After enjoying revived classic cocktails at (the now defunct) Bar Charlie at the Palazzo in Vegas the year previous, I was hungry for more. CHARCUT offers up similiar items; forgotten vintage herbal extracts, quality boozes, all carefully combined.
I got a custom CHARCUT infused martini, with housemade bitters to mix in. I played with the flavours, which came packaged like tinctures, and ended up mixing a little bit of all three in.
Dave and his “Scorn”: kaffir lime, lemon twist, spices, gin and prosecco.
Then, being good carnivores, we dove right in.
House cured meats, naturally. Great presentation, but also excellent flavour. The sausages were a bit lacking, but that is probably because I had been so spoiled by Mike`s sausage experiments that spring and summer.
Oh god, bone marrow. Succulent, buttery, rich and lip smacking. We were digging right down to the bottom to get every drop. If you only go for one thing, make it the marrow.
Steak…I do not even remember whose or what it was. Entering “meat sweats” territory when I took this, obviously…
Poutine. The dish could have been a bit shallower, as the cheese and gravy seemed so distant in the dish.
Awesome curing cooler. Screw wine rooms…our house will have a curing cabinet one day. The house made charcuterie is excellent, I am happy to report. Would return.
I am a sucker for stationery.
Two headed cow says goodbye.
Sorry I do not have much to say. CHARCUT is pricey, but in my opinion backs it up with great food. Homecooking, but tweaked. And gives you inspiration for things to try at home.
For a more indepth review, check out Chris’ at Eating is the Hard Part.
We also paid a very tentative visit to Una Pizza and Wine Bar. After our first two choices on 17 Avenue were wash outs, we ended up at Una Pizza, “hangry.” (hungry + angry)
It turned out to be a pleasant surprise. Although I lived less than a 1 minute walk from a Famoso in Edmonton, I much preferred Pizza Una, which is along the same lines.
Not gonna lie, the only chalk celebrity I recognized was Hemingway.
We got several small plates to share, and two pizzas.
I cannot even write about this pizza, even though last week I ate some half decent stuff here in Japan. Una`s pizza was excellent, and is making my mouth water even thinking about it. Just go, okay? If not for you, for me.
Stuffed mushrooms…good, but probably the most underwhelming thing we had.
Una is stylish and hipster ironic (Harry Potter novel readings were playing in the W/C) … but also delicious. I am sad we walked past this place twice before our hunger forced us to go in. It is definitely worthy of more attention.
618 17 Avenue SW
night owls, take heed: kitchen open until 1 a.m.