Posts Tagged ‘Restaurant’

72oz Double Bistecca – Dining at Mercato in Calgary

This was my second trip to Mercato, a gourmet restaurant and market in Calgary, Alberta.  Unfortunately, it was my first meal at Mercato.  Several months back I went to Mercato with my colleague Glenn before my flight back to Minnesota.  He was raving about the Bistecca (their 72oz Ribeye).  We got to the restaurant, ordered, and over an hour and a half later, we still didn’t have our food and I had a flight to catch, so we had to cancel our order and rush to the airport.  It was a bummer for sure.  Not only was I looking forward to a great meal, it left me hungry and rushed at the airport.  No fun!

After talking with Glenn, we decided to give Mercato one more chance.  Last week I got to experience the Bistecca along with some other great dishes, and they were worth the wait.  Glenn, Amanda, Katie and Melissa (all co-workers) joined me for the meal.  We started out with a Caprese salad and a trio of Bruschetta.  I was much more impressed on this second trip as the starter course came promptly to the table, and it was delicious.  The Caprese was one of the freshest I have ever tasted, and the Bruschetta had combinations I had never tried before which made them quite interesting as well as delicious.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We also ordered the 72oz double Bistecca with sides of mushrooms, asparagus and green beans.  After finishing our starter course and engaging in some great table conversation, I started to wonder if lightning was going to strike twice.  We waited and waited, but finally the main course arrived, but it took about an hour.  It was worth the wait.  The Bistecca (served on the bone) was cooked perfectly.  There was a nice flavorful crust and a perfect medium-rare, tender, juicy inside.  The asparagus was wrapped in prosciutto and grilled.  The tops of the asparagus were a bit burnt, and the tops are my favorite part, so I was a bit disappointed about that, but the prosciutto added a nice salty bite to the asparagus.  The mushrooms were tender and flavorful, and the beans were cooked perfectly with a nice crunch and great flavor.

Overall, I thought the food was fantastic, and the open kitchen made the dining experience entertaining and educational for a foodie like me.  I know good things come to those who wait, but we got the first reservation of the day on purpose so we would get quick service, were the first ones in the restaurant and still had a long wait.  I guess the message here is to expect to be there for a couple hours.  If you don’t have that much time, you are better off somewhere else.  If you have time time and are in Calgary, I’d recommend Mercato…you won’t be disappointed.

Some other great restaurants I’d recommend:

Maxwell’s  – Fargo, ND
Dametra Cafe – Carmel, CA
Grasing’s – Carmel, CA

 

Maxwells Restaurant in Fargo, North Dakota

My wife and I went to Maxwells Restaurant for our 11 year anniversary dinner.  I don’t have the budget to get there too often, but it is hands down the best food in the Fargo-Moorhead area.  Chef Mike does an amazing job blending flavors and creating beautiful, and delicious dishes. I have yet to find a dish I don’t love at Maxwells, and they have a great wine list to pair with whatever looks great on the menu.

We started our dinner out with Pan Roasted Prosciutto Wrapped Day Boat Scallops in a Lobster-Red Curry Sauce.  I have to admit there were 5 big scallops on this dish when it came out, but we were so hungry two got eaten before I got the camera out.  Oops.

The Scallops were followed by a delicate, and beautiful Marlin with a mango chutney for my wife and a Beef Fillet with chilli dusted fried onions and balsamic glazed shallots with whipped potatoes.  Delicious.

We finished the meal with an absolutely fantastic chocolate lava cake with vanilla bean ice cream.  One of these days I’ll bring my good camera with me to restaurants (if my wife will let me, she thinks it is weird to take pictures of my food at restaurants), but for now, while my pictures won’t do the food justice, I can say that dinner at Maxwells was fantastic as usual.

If you are looking for a great burger, this isn’t the place for you (go to J.L. Beers for that), but if if you are looking for the best quality food, prepared to perfection, Maxwells in Fargo is the place to go.  No question about it.

Steakhouse Saskatchewan Style

Earlier this week I was in Regina Saskatchewan speaking to the fine folks at Farm Credit Canada about social media.  After the sessions were done for the day, they invited me on a progressive dinner with their team.  It was a blast, and a bit of a new experience for me.

After some drinks and Appetizers at Regina Beach, we headed to Lumsden Hotel and Steak Pit for dinner.  What a fun experience.  Besides being with a great group of people, the dinner was an experience as well.  In a nutshell, there was a bunch of steaks, a big indoor grill, and the rest is up to you.  Along with a salad and potato bar, it was a great meal.  It took a while to get about 90 steaks cooked, but that was just fine.  It gave us more time to talk, tell stores and just have some fun.  Because we couldn’t fit 90 of us at the grill, we broke into groups and appointed a grill master.  Edwardo was ours, and he cooked me a perfect medium rare steak.  Nice work Edwardo.

Master chefs at work

Once dinner was done, we hopped back on the bus and went to Silver’s Steakhouse in Regina for dessert.  We had a fabulous cherry pie that was made with local Saskatchewan cherries that were wonderful.  Nothing fancy, just great tasting pie.

Thanks to all the fine marketing folks at Farm Credit Canada for a great day and a great evening!

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