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Friday, August 12, 2011

Calgary :: Brasserie Kensington … Foie Gras Oink!

Brasserie-1 Brasserie-7
BrasserieSince Hoof Cafe’s Foie Gras on French Toast (R.I.P.), a love for decadent (and guilt-ridden) duck liver slathered on carbohydrates has exploded – not sure if I simply hadn’t noticed beforehand or if a crazy trend has spread across Canada but it’s here.

Upon a recommendation from the hug-worthy gelato scooper at Wake, we clomped our cowboy boots (okay, I was the only one wearing them) to Brasserie for dinner reservations.

The gelato scooper’s words, Piggy Piggy, rang true for this meal but ohh…piggy-piggy-delish  it truly was! My friend was both apalled and amused by Wine Bar’s little note on the bottom…
Grape Drink”?? - K
I’ll let you draw your own conclusions.

We started with the Foie Gras Poutine and the Foie Gras Potato Skins. We don’t fool around!

We sat by the bar and hungrily watched the plating as we waited for our table. Recent Australian travels had made me grow fond of ciders, and I ordered a couple while waiting. I much prefer Sir Perry over Magner – mostly because Sir Perry had a light, sweet flavour as it’s a pear-based cider. I think it’d be the perfect drink to have on a patio when it’s hot and sunny out. Noted for the future!

Like many of the spots I’ve tried in Calgary, the interior is bright, beautiful and pristine – grunge is not a word for many places in YYC, as it’s a booming young city. We opened our piggy-piggy  menu for our piggy-piggy dinner (okay, I'll stop with the piggy-piggies) and ordered:

Foie Gras Poutine
Truffle Oil, Duck Gravy, Parmesan
Foie gras? Yes. Duck gravy? Oh yes!

Da-yam. Calgary, you’re trumping Toronto in the poutine-realm – but how?! You’re much further from Montreal and when people think Calgary they think steak. Whether it’s Stampede ground carnie-food or a fancy poutine, you’re making some mean poutines. Squeaky curds, fresh fries, delicious delicious gravy and of course – foie gras. More please. With extra duck gravy.

Foie Gras Potato Skins
Herbs, shaved gruyère, lardons & black truffle essence
We struggled between this and the poutine – I mean, what sounds better? Potato with duck gravy and foie gras or potato with gruyere and foie gras? Why bother with the debate?! This was also put in the category of pretty foie good. Between the two, the duck gravy poutine is the definite winner.

“Reginas” Fried Veal Weisswurst
Pomme frites, mustard & sauerkraut

I suppose a weekend of calf-roping rallied my stomach when I saw veal weisswurst. Mmmm. From the Saddledome to my plate to my belly – this was surprisingly fantastic. I honestly don’t know what compelled me to order this – recent efforts to eat sensibly due to the utter halt in running are always ruined by random cravings from menus.

Anyway – this, my friends, was a fantastic, delicious win. The veal was wonderfully flavourful and juicy, not too fatty at all, with a fantastic texture. Highly encourage you to try this tasty treat.

Roasted “Noble Farm” Duck Breast
Cassis jus & saladBrasserie-10
I knicked a piece of duck from my neighbour – another pleasant surprise! Okay, Calgary, I’m regaining faith in your food. This duck was wonderfully juicy and flavourful – not with the awful aftertaste that poorly cooked duck can have – perfect.

High Country Bison Dip
Gruyère grainy mustard, crispy onions & Lobster “au jus”
Across from me, my second choice was enjoyed by my friend – I did not take a bite, nor did I try another friend’s Driview Farms Lamb Burger, but both said that they were happy with their choices.

I had a great time at Brasserie – it’s at a good location in Kensington where you can happily people-watch outside of the big window (if you’re lucky and get the table there, anyways!) and the staff was very friendly. We told them that we had changed our reservations specifically for the large window-side table, they accommodated us and we didn’t mind the extra wait because it gave us a chance to peek at the kitchen. Thank you Wake-guy, we porked that night away! Brasserie Kensington on Urbanspoon


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