8 restaurants to check out during The Big Taste 2017

Known as downtown Calgary’s premier dining festival, The Big Taste takes place in March each year, running from March 3 through March 12. Participating restaurants in the inner city create fixed three-course lunches and dinners, as well as five-course gourmet dinners for a taste of what each has to offer. Here are eight restaurants to check out during The Big Taste. [Photo credit: Kevin Yang for Provision Restaurant]

Provision

1
340 13 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2R 0W9

Housed on 13th Avenue in the former location of Boxwood, Provision is a Canadian cuisine restaurant that puts the spotlight on seasonal ingredients and regionally sourced meats. Make a reservation for the $35 dinner menu to enjoy a choice of slow-cooked butternut squash or beets roasted in salt followed by slow-roasted Alberta beef brisket or crispy duck leg. For dessert, choose between a brulee brown butter cake or banana and peanut butter dessert with banana cake and peanut butter salted caramel. Call 403-263-0766 to make a reservation.

The Beltliner

2
239 12 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2R 1H6

While most Calgary diners are well-acquainted with The Beltliner’s breakfast and brunch offerings, the 12th Avenue modern diner also serves dinner daily until 10 p.m. For Big Taste 2017, the restaurant showcases its dinner offerings with a $35 dinner menu featuring spring scallion and potato soup, house-smoked Bear & Flower Farms pork chop, and a coffee-infused Fratello espresso crème brulee for dessert. Reserve a table online via OpenTable.

Catch Restaurant & Oyster Bar

3
100 Stephen Ave SE, Calgary, AB T3Z 3J7

Downtown Calgary’s upscale seafood restaurant and oyster bar offers a $25 three-course lunch menu and a $65 five-course gourmet dinner. Head over during the lunch hour for a feast of clam chowder, a ling cod burger with fries or salad and decadent house-made maple fudge for dessert. If you want to indulge in the ritzier side of Catch’s offerings, reserve a table for the gourmet dinner which features winter leaf salad, bouillabaisse, ling cod with vegetables, salmon sourced from BC served with potatoes and a milk chocolate pate for dessert. Visit OpenTable to book a reservation online. On March 5 at 6:30 p.m., Catch hosts a special Catch Reunion Dinner featuring past and present Catch chefs Jordan Walsh (the restaurant’s current executive chef), Kyle Groves, Bryan Michaels, Michael Nop and Michael Frayne. Tickets cost $110 per person and are available for purchase online.

Sky 360

4
101 9 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2P 1J9

Located at the top of the Calgary Tower, Sky 360 is a popular restaurant destination for dates and special occasions alike. While it’s one of the pricier restaurants in the city, Sky 360 is offering an affordable $25 lunch menu during Big Taste this year. The meal features a choice of butternut squash bisque or mixed artisan greens to start and locally made Fiasco gelato for dinner. For the main course, choose between Alberta beef burger, radiatori pasta or pork belly tacos. Dining at Sky 360 also grants diners access to the Calgary Tower observation deck, so you can fill your belly and take in the views from one of the highest vantage points in the city. Call 403-532-7966 to make a reservation.

Alforno Baking & Cafe

5
222 7 St SW, Calgary, AB T2P 5M1

New to the downtown dining scene, Alforno is an upscale casual restaurant and patisserie that specializes in house-made bread and pastries, as well as an inventive menu of salads, sandwiches and pizzas. Drop in without a reservation to enjoy Alforno’s $15 lunch menu or $25 dinner menu. For lunch, dig in to a steamy bowl of pasta e fagioli soup, a choice of roasted vegetable panino or mortadella and provolone panino and a freshly baked cookie for dessert. If you drop by for dinner, you’ll be treated to a choice of pasta e fagioli soup or baby kale salad, bucatini all'amatriciana pasta and red sauce or roast artichoke pizza and a choice of freshly baked pastries for dessert.

Anju

6
344 17 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2S 0A8

This upscale 17th Avenue Korean fusion restaurant offers both a $35 three-course dinner menu as well as a $65 five-course gourmet dinner menu for Big Taste 2017. The three-course menu features a choice of BBQ salmon skin hand cone or truffle yam fries, sous vide beef short rib or seared scallop and a choice of dessert off the menu. The five-course menu features a choice of raw oyster or beef tataki, BBQ salmon skin hand cone or truffle yam fries, sea urchin or truffle mushroom consommé, sous vide beef short rib or seared scallop and a choice of dessert off the menu. Call 403-460-3341 to book a table. On March 8, Anju hosts a special Seoul food dinner as part of Big Taste. The event features appearances from Anju chef Roy Oh, along with award-winning Calgary chefs Duncan Ly, Eric Hendry and Dean Chan. The event has already sold out, but if you know someone who managed to get tickets, you might be able to sweet-talk your way into getting them to take you.

One of the most festive Calgary events of the summer, Marda Gras is a New Orleans-themed street festival that runs August 13, 2017, in the heart of the Marda Loop community. Since Marda Loop is one of the best dining communities in the city, make sure to stop in to one of these eateries while you’re in the area.
With Calgary’s warm weather (hopefully) here to stay, the city’s food truck scene is entering its busiest time of year. Since there are so many delicious mobile eateries to choose from, YYC Food Trucks has organized Picnic in the Park, a two-day food frenzy that takes place May 27 and 28 in Murdock Park in Bridgeland. Here are six food trucks you need to check out while you’re there. [Photo credit: YYC Food Trucks]
Let Mom take a break this Mother's Day and treat her to a gourmet brunch experience. Whether your mom is into gourmet gastronomy, runway fashion or local history, you’re sure to find a brunch destination that’ll really hit the spot (and possibly even allow you to reclaim your title as Mom’s favourite child). Image credit: istockphoto.com/PeteerS
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