A few weeks ago now, a new restaurant opened up on 17th Ave.
Taking the place of the old Corbeaux Bakery, I had been watching this spot to see what would pop up. Days in and out we would walk by, and slowly the windows became covered with construction tape, the name of an architect…and then, a sign!
So, we headed in on opening night, to join Calgary foodies, media, and PR staff alike, to see what it was all about.
Upon entering, our eyes were immediately drawn to the patterned floors and vintage decor surrounding us. It was much darker then the previous space, and the pastry/bakery case is long gone.
Now, there are many more tables, small velvet booths, and bar stools.
For sampling purposes, the menu was transformed into small bites and shuffled around the crowd.
Looking at the menu, it is much more of an upscale bistro, with rabbit terrine, oysters, lobster bisque, escargots, and fois gras.
Personally, I much prefer a fresh fish in a lemon butter, a fine pasta, or a steak frites, so it really wasn’t my type of scene.
They did, however, have these warm cheese balls that were entirely to die for; somewhere between a cream puff (pastry wise) and a cheese souffle. If you spot them on the menu, get the biggest bowl possible.
In the back of the restaurant is a viewing space where you can watch the chefs at work.
And, a showcase of fresh seafood.
Literally so fresh that the mussels were still moving.
In addition to bits & bites, there is a hefty drink menu, full of delicate cocktails, wines, and espressos. These seemed to be much more favourable to the crowd, with the sidecar and bellinis being the drinks of choice.
All in all, the jury is still out for me on this one. The prices looked a little high, and I wasn’t blown away by the food that I tasted. And, with Parc Brasserie (part II here), Cassis Bistro, and Avec Bistro in town, there is definitely some stiff competition.
With that being said, there can never be too many French brasseries! I’ll have to head in for a full meal one night and let you know if my mind is changed.
Has anyone stopped by since then? Comment below with your thoughts.
Check out Royale’s website.