Monday, September 16, 2013

River Cafe - Calgary

River Café sits on a pretty island in the Bow River, but during the Calgary flood, it was an island. The water rose almost to the front door. The basement was flooded, destroying all the food in store along with 2,500 bottles of wine. When the waters receded, it was a mess. "The mud, the silt, the dust. It was devastating," says the owner, Sal Howell.

Last night, I dined at River Café with a group of food writers from across Canada. The setting is so lovely, no sign of the floodwaters. But everywhere, signs of our Canadian love for the great outdoors... fly fishing, canoeing, ice skating... with rustic-looking solid log furniture. It was lovely in the warm evening sunshine.

Dinner was prepared by four Alberta chefs who had participated in season three of the TV cook-off Top Chef Canada. So, as you can imagine, each course was a showcase of their passion, creativity and love for local seasonal ingredients. (below: goat's cheese and heirloom tomato tart - chef xavier lacaze)
My personal favourite was the lamb loin with a delicate hint of mint, a ragout of corn and bacon, pillowy ricotta gnudi, chanterelle mushrooms and the last baby sorrel leaves of the season. (below: chef andrew winfield
This morning, I'm wishing Saskatoon was a little bit closer to Calgary so I could take my husband for dinner on the patio in these last glorious days of a Canadian summer.
Having survived the great Calgary flood of 2013, I'm sure the River Café will be serving impressive meals in this impressive spot for another 22 years, at least...

1 comment:

A Canadian Foodie said...

What a wonderful trip you were a part of Amy Jo. Good for you!