“We have over 500 wines in our cellar,” says Divino Wine & Cheese Bistro manager Greg Metcalf, smiling as he shows off the stone-and-mortar construction of the basement wine cellar and private function room. Among this banquet room's many distinguished bottles, the pun in the restaurant's name becomes apparent.
A certified sommelier, Greg is skilled at pairing wines with dishes on Divino’s French- and Italian-inspired menu. The restaurant’s award-winning wine list is curated by acclaimed wine director Brad Royale. “You can go from a $38 to a $2,500 bottle of wine," he says. "People come in from New York and L.A. and ask, ‘How do you guys have this wine?’” Patrons certainly have plenty of choices by the bottle or glass, should they want something to accompany their gourmet cheese plate or dinner entree.
Situated on the South side of Stephen Avenue Walk, the three-level Divino building with its New York-style bistro decor holds lots of local history. The sandstone building housed the Calgary Wine & Spirit Company in the early 1900s, a fact not lost on Divino’s owners, Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts (CRMR). On its second floor, it also hosts private events in its aptly named Wine and Spirits Room.
This longstanding classic Calgary restaurant is modelled after American bistros and features a decadent menu highlighting cheeses, Alberta game and high quality seasonal ingredients. Divino has a well-curated wine program courtesy of CRMR wine director Brad Royale. While there is no specific pairing menu offered, Divino’s staff are more than happy to make pairing suggestions to accompany menu items.
Is there any more sophisticated snacking than a plate of mussels with frites and a good glass of wine in a bustling New York-style bistro? Divino’s mussels appetizer is served with tomatoes and garlic in a white wine and caper broth (perfect to dip those fries into), making it the perfect combination of upscale and casual, just like the restaurant itself.
Cozy and convivial, Divino Wine & Cheese Bistro is a fixture on Stephen Avenue Walk serving contemporary Canadian small plates and a great wine selection. Its cheese list changes often, but always features a dizzying variety of local and international choices. All of the cheeses served are also available for take-home purchase.
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