A few months ago, one of my favourite restaurants boarded up their doors and closed up shop. It was our go-to spot in Calgary for double dates, family get-togethers, and quiet evenings gorging on Italian food.
Thankfully, something new & exciting opened up and I had the chance to head on in for their media opening. And, although it couldn’t be more different, something tells me that it’s going to quickly become that same go-to spot for us.
The space is just a hop & a skip across the river, at the base of Bridgeland. Newly renovated, the white European-style ceiling adds an airy yet vintage feel to the dining room, while industrial lamps and big booths add a bit of cozy-modern flair.
Trinkets line the walls and meals come out in old vintage tins.
As guests started filling up “the other room”, the chefs started popping out the dishes.
Focusing on comfort food, the menu items were tweaked into appetizer form. Which really just meant more for the eating.
I started with a few slices of house-made bread and some creamy house-churned butter.
Speckled with hazelnuts, each sweet slice paired perfectly with the salt of the butter. And if butter isn’t your thing, don’t worry, they’ve got whipped pork drippings too.
Of course, sooner than later, our came the charcuterie, strong cheeses, and the soon-to-be-staple cheese biscuits.
Not your usual biscuit, its a layer of cool cream cheese sandwiched between two cookie-like pieces.
Next, out came the meats.
Duck croquettes with housemade duck proscuitto.
Marinated & braised lamb shoulder kababs on slices of naan.
And, Mini pork pies.
There was also these absolutely mouth-watering breaded scallops wrapped in smoked sablefish, but they were going so fast that I couldn’t snap a pic in time.
The bread added a bit of crunch while the sablefish added a little bit of salt to keep things savoury. I’m not going to lie, I didn’t realize it was a scallop – I thought it was a hard boiled egg! Now, I look like quite the fool for saying I hate scallops all these years. I’m still not convinced it really was a scallop, so someone post below if I’m wrong.
Guests sipped on wines while oysters were shucked at a table in the back.
Foodies mingled, critiquing each bite and trying to discern each flavour.
And of course, Whitehall didn’t forget dessert.
With house made chocolates and possets, Whitehall really brought their A game.
House made caramels and sticks of smooth milk chocolate, all resembling bits and pieces of rolo bites.
I may or may not have had quite a few…before stashing one of each to bring home to Cole.
The crowd favourite was the pine & chocolate – reflecting their douglas fir parfait. Probably one of the most anticipated items, it’s quite a different flavour to see chefs using. Props for creativity and perfectly reflecting the winter season.
After feverishly stuffing my face and enjoying everything that popped out of their open-style kitchen, I took my stuffed belly home.
I am definitely looking forward to testing out a few of their real-sized meals and I’ll be sure to let you know my thoughts. But for now, if you’re looking for some English style comfort food, I’d make yourself a reservation and head on in.