When Waalflower Kitchen and Cocktails opens its doors to the public on March 5, chances are good it will be the Cocktail part of their name that will lure you in. Their approach to modern mixology brings you combinations you may have never sipped before, like this Gardener’s Tonic cocktail with butterfly pea flower. But, when asked to make a not-so-hipster Pink Lady (not pictured because I immediately guzzled it with gusto), they are ready for any #cocktailchallenge. Don’t try this at home, kids. Simply because it won’t taste as good.Look up from your glass, and you may notice there’s something… familiar about this place. The location at the bottom of Edmonton Trail, in the old Waal building (kudos on the cheeky name, Waalflower), used to be the home of Whitehall, and home to many good times. Now, with new decor and more generous approach to the space around the bar, it appears that the good times are about to return.Just when you wondered if there were any reporters left in the world of media conglomeration (perhaps you don’t, but it’s a topic I think about all too often), Calgary’s foodie media showed up in full force, ready to see if Waalflower would bring it, beyond the purple drinks. Hi Shelley!It was time for me to take my seat. And take a picture to prove my selfie-averse self was actually there.We were started off with a scrumptious creamy schmear.Lamb meatballs, meet my tummy.Tuna and smoked trout? Check.Eggs for dinner? Yes. Especially when paired with Beef Merguez Sausage en Cocotte with dates and cilantro.The barramundi with orange, arugula and caponata sauce was delicious but difficult. If you order it, be prepared to de-bone your bites. Preferably before they reach your mouth. I haven’t cultivated this mediterranean talent, and my fabulousness as a fine diner suffered during this course.Meanwhile, the roasted chicken with spinach, lemon potatoes and garlic tzatziki offers a satisfying stick-to-your bones large entree with less complications. After dinner, it only made sense to head back to the bar, where the VIP preview had reached another level. As appropriate for any party influenced by copious amounts of cocktails. CBC’s David Gray of the Eyeopener (see if you can spot him in the blissed-out blur of this action shot) had an early morning wakeup call, though, so he resisted the repeat siren call of Bar Manager JD Darnes (hunched over his next concoction on the right).Mike O’Connor, of Calgary Stampede Rodeo Committee fame, and Thomas Keeper of Tink Real Estate (and reality tv star, but that’s another story) epitomize the dichotomy of Calgary’s fashion story: you can’t go wrong with sleek city style or cowboy chic. Both are always apropos. Of course, you can never control it. Any good party anywhere always ends up in the kitchen. Welcome to the neighborhood, Waalflower! And thanks for the wonderful evening.
Now Chef Darren MacLean, seen above at his scrumptuous Shokunin restaurant in Mission, is one of the contenders on The Final Table — Netflix’s first foray into the dazzling world of chef-driven cooking competitions, complete with intimidating judges. The Final Table premieres on November 20.
The premise? 24 chefs vie to impress the world’s toughest palates as they whip up iconic dishes from nine nations in this star-packed competition. And yes, in classic Netflix style, you’ll be able to binge-watch it — all 10 episodes will be posted at the same time. Just in time for American Thanksgiving, for our friends to the south who will be in the ultimate food mood.
Get a seat at Shokunin for while you still can. It may become crowded with binge-watchers looking to binge-eat Chef Darren’s yummy yakitori. As he says in the trailer, being the final chef at the table “would absolutely change everything.” Check it out to cheer Chef Darren on!
It’s not even Halloween yet, but I’m going to go there: are you ready for the holiday season? Don’t be disgruntled by my jumping the gun — my mention is motivated by a good cause… and a good drink.
Meet the beverage that gives back: Smokey the Pear. A swirling of spiced pear juice made in-house, spiced bitters, white rum, Cointreau, yuzu and egg white, every purchase of this concoction will provide $1 toward Closer to Home’s Adopt-A-Family program in Calgary.
Superstar goalie Grant Fuhr is one of those people who was a high achieving partier. He’s featured in the new movie, MAKING COCO: THE GRANT FUHR STORY. Plus the Calgary Polo Club has a VIP tournament coming up. But if you’re feeling more farm than fancy, AB Open Farm Days is for you. Details in the vid! Don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube.
The title of this post kinda totally gives it away, but guess who’s coming to Calgary? There are still tickets left for Kevin Hart’s Irresponsible Tour, which has sold out in many of the other stops. Plus I’ll give you a tour of a $2.4 Million in Altadore and reveal the flower power of Fleurs de Ville at Cross Iron Mills. Enjoy the video!