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Congratulations to Fratello Coffee Roasters who are celebrating 50 years in the coffee industry. Cam Prefontaine founded Fontaine Beverages in 1974, with sons Chris and Russ taking over in 1997 and continuing the community connection, values, and innovation of their family legacy, roasting, and brewing their high-quality, ethically sourced coffee. fratellocoffee.com 

Congrats too to Scott Downey and Jillian Fonteyne of Edmonton’s The Butternut Tree, who have purchased the elegant, yet casual, The Marc. They promise to continue the classic French bistro as we’ve always known it, and we are in no doubt it’s in very good hands! themarc.ca

Charcut’s second location is now open in Calgary’s University District, and almost half the menu is dedicated to ‘The Butcher (Connie DeSousa’s) Daughter, with vegetable dishes and small plates. Of course there’s more than plenty to satisfy meat lovers too - a salumi cart (the first we’ve heard of!) which they bring to you and cut the sausages and other housemade charcuterie tableside – including whole pig mortadella with pistachios, (they went through 4 whole pigs in their first 11 days), Portuguese Linguiça, Finocchiona, Pepperoni Salumetti, as well as whipped fresh cheese and accompaniments.  

Chef Jack Coetzee is in the kitchen, and we really enjoyed his Fritti Spuntini – fried snacks of ham croquettes, fried mozzarella, and clam misto. And his shaved, salted, zucchini salad with fresh lemon, chilis, mint, and chopped pistachios is a must-try; the balance of flavours and textures is so clever! Connie and John have got it right again, with exemplary flavours, and meats - they’re ought to be proud of their charcuterie, sausages, salumi, everything is really well executed. Closed Mondays, charcut.com 

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In addition to Nisku and Brooks, Lobster Mobsters have opened a third location in Edmonton’s former Cheesecake Café at 17011 100 Avenue. Brothers Devin and Colby Campbell are from PEI, and after moving to Alberta, brought us fresh East Coast seafood (and the hospitality too), selling out of the backs of their trucks and at farmers markets. The new store sells fresh and frozen seafood as well as their made-to-order lobster rolls to takeout. thelobstermobsters.com 

Applications are open for the 6th edition of S.Pellegrino’s Young Chef Academy Competition. Until June 19, chefs under the age of 30 can submit their signature dish recipe that exemplifies their skills, creativity, and vision. sanpellegrinoyoungchefacademy.com

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Bar Gigi is open in the former Halibut Hut spot on Calgary’s Edmonton Trail at 336 9 Avenue NE, and we couldn’t be more pleased for friends and owners, Sandro Chinea, Jaden Kanomata, and Kayla Blomquist, to see their dream come true: it’s a success straight out the gate. With only 13 items on the menu, you know every one of them is going to be good – and they are extremely good - controlled yet accessible, creative and interesting, elegant yet simplistic, with no rules: just taking everyday ingredients and elevating them. Try a couple of plates and you’ll want to come back and try more – we know we did! A lovely, curated cocktail, mocktail, wine, and beer list too. This little 22-seat spot (with an amazing signature mosaic floor) is going to be busy, so make sure to reserve. From 5 pm, closed Tuesday/Wednesday. 

Edmonton has its first Yemeni café! Mokha Coffee House is now open in Griesbach, at 5344 Admiral Girouard Street, with two very attractive and beautifully decorated, bright and spacious levels where they’re brewing up Mofawar (Yemeni coffee), Adani - traditional spiced Yemeni tea, and refreshing iced Mojitos, to accompany their freshly baked pastries and cakes. Seven days, 9 am till midnight. 

Banff has a new hotel, and it might take you by surprise! The result of a $30 million renovation of Banff’s original motor hotel, the 60-year-old Voyager Inn, Moxy Banff certainly stands out from the crowd. Décor is vintage mid-century modern: orange psychedelic carpet in the corridors, and retro room fixtures - and when you’re hungry, the all-day menu of flatbreads, brisket poutine, sticky Korean chicken wings, sandwiches, meatballs, and more are served from a restored 1966 VW food truck. There are 109 rooms and they’re unconventional too, with two toe-to-toe queen beds. Some also have double bunks, kitchenettes, and lock-offs that make two rooms into one. The central courtyard leads off from the bar, it’s a place to lounge, socialise, sip your complimentary cocktail, or take a dip in the hot pools. Or hang around the Voyager Room and choose from more than 200 vinyl LPs and classic films. Moxy Banff is groovy and playful for fun-seekers and the young at heart – if not in age! 555 Banff Avenue. 

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“I’ll see you at the office” – but not that office – THE Office! The old Metropolitan Grill on Calgary’s 8 Avenue SW has had a total renovation, and is now a chic restaurant serving California Cabo-style (and a little bit of Asia too) cuisine, with a healthy tequila list, ‘cervezas’, margaritas, mocktails, plenty of glass pours, and one-litre jugs of Sangria too. There’s something for everyone on Chef Ryan Blackwell’s menu, the dishes are masterly done, with a terrific balance of acidity and sweetness, spice, and umami – we wanted to lick the plate of our Hamachi Crudo! There’s a raw bar, tacos and baos, salads, amped-up pizzas, plenty of steak choices, chicken and seafood dishes, as well as gluten-free and veggie options. The Boardroom is a private space for 12 people, and a 100-seat patio is coming soon. The Office is a completely new brand, 100 percent locally owned, and it’s busy - so make a reso! Seven days 11 am– late, theofficerestaurantandbar.com 

Do you have something notable to let us know about? A new opening, launch, rebrand, or accolade?
Email us at
info@culinairemagazine.ca!
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