Congrats to Edmonton Chef Riley Aitken on his new Bella! The former Old Strathcona Smoky Bear location is now a (self-described) casual Italian(ish) eatery, featuring seasonal produce, handmade pastas from Alberta flour, sharing plates, and of course tiramisu – Italian traditions, modern techniques. Wednesday–Saturday 5–10pm at 8223 104th Street NW. Smoky Bear is reopening downtown soon!
Chartier is back in Beaumont! After a break, a deep-clean, and a re-imagining of the menu to be French-Canadian comfort food, Sylvia, Darren, and Tamara have opened their doors, serving up approachable new dishes that don't break the bank, as well as their classics, paired down and simplified. Closed Thursdays, dinechartier.com
Congratulations to the winners of Canada’s Great Kitchen Party! In Edmonton: JP Dublado (Red Deer Resort and Casino) took gold, Winnie Chen (Fu’s Repair Shop) won silver, and Bri Campbell (Restaurant May) won both bronze and the People’s Choice award. In Calgary: Rupert Garcia (Hawthorn) won gold, Jun Young Park (Ryuko/Zushi) took silver, and Shamir Bechara (Pat & Betty) won bronze, with Francis Martinez (Fine Print) the People’s Choice winner!
Congrats too to Calgary’s Chopstix Filipino Restaurant on their new restaurant! Now you can enjoy all your favourite home-cooked style Filipino dishes - la paz batchoy, soups and noodle dishes, sinigang, fresh lumpia, chocolate fudge cake, halo-halo, and their all day Filipino breakfast, seven days from 11-9 pm at 9679 Macleod Trail SW. chopstixrestaurant.com
Edmonton’s Old Strathcona has a new wine bar! Coterie (‘a gathering of like minds’) is Trystan Fung and Ainsley Lamash (from Bodega Highlands)’s new place to meet your friends for a drink from their extensive list and comforting small plate dishes such as beef bourguignon and wild mushroom pâté. From 5 pm at 10330 80 Avenue, closed Sunday/Monday, coterieyeg.com
Rock’N Tofu is Edmonton’s newest Korean restaurant serving Korean tofu soup and hot stone bibimbap (pork katsu too!). But try the specials of Korean raw marinated crab in either Korean spice or Sweet Soya sauce marinade. Seven days 11-9 pm at 2920 Calgary Trail NW.
Blowers & Grafton have opened their 7th restaurant in six years at 70 Shawville Boulevard SE, Calgary. You can’t beat the East Coast hospitality - laid back, friendly, with lots of laughter – and terrific food, drinks, and service. The caesars are next level (try the Seaweed Gin!), and we left stuffed with Atlantic seafood (there’s plenty of meaty and veggie dishes too). A great addition to the B & G family - big, bustling, and busy, so make a reso. Lunch and dinner seven days, blowersgrafton.com
Edmonton’s The Colombian has opened a fourth location at 8905 99 Street. They’ve really grown from 2017 as a vendor at farmers’ markets, to opening in Glenora, French Quarter, Parkallen, and now Millcreek, while continuing to support their family farm in Colombia by purchasing Uncle Felipe’s coffee. Open seven days, thecolombian.ca
Firefly is an elevated new casual dining restaurant at 4208 Calgary Trail, Edmonton. This sophisticated new space designed by Black Label Designs is contemporary with a touch of nostalgia. For everyday dining or celebrating a special occasion, choose sharing dishes, handhelds, or hearty mains, and sip on curated spirits and crafted cocktails. Seven days from 11 am, weekend brunch from 10 am.
Calgary has a unique cocktail dessert lounge! Sophisticated with a sweet tooth? Then head on upstairs at 638 6 Avenue SW and be prepared for something extraordinary. Cocktails with goblets (aka fish bowls!), elevated small bites of sushi tacos, tempura nori, jamon Iberico and more - the first Lady M mille crepes cakes in Canada… This luxury lounge was planned pre-covid and is now a reality with an Instagram flower room, and hookah. Seven days from noon with high tea from 1 pm.
Canmore has a new premium hotel and restaurant! We’re big fans of Basecamp mountain resorts - there’s 15 of them, and the latest MTN House has mountain views and a terrific upscale restaurant, café, and bar - Rhythm & Howl. There’s a rustic wood cabin feel and a focus on local ingredients, evident in Chef Jason Leizert’s menu. Excellent cocktails and standout dishes of bison surf and turf, elk carpaccio, garlic and chili prawns, and steelhead trout. The Nordic spa will be open soon! 1 Silvertip Trail, rhythmandhowl.com