Tucked away on 10a, a side street off the main drag in Kensington (that would be Kensington Road), is a new take on the slabs of beef we’re so fond of stuffing ourselves with in Calgary. In possibly the softest launch ever held, Modern Steak’s media showcase on Monday night took place a month after its official opening. But working out the kinks meant the soiree was a smooth, well-oiled machine of excellent service, libations and food.
Seeking out steak, imagine my surprise when I found the seafood tower to end all seafood towers, in the party zone on the bar level.Upstairs, on the raw bar level (there are several floors in the intimate space formerly known as Muse) Chef Kurt Warner explained it to me: “We’re doing the anti-steakhouse thing.” With his Cannery Row connection, his love of aquatic food makes sense. But it’s more than that, as owner Stephen Deere ends up explaining to me.But before I get to that, is it just me, or has that martini moved from the top of the tower to the table? Good move, Janelle! My unattended glass of wine was also going down pretty easy when attended. A nice preview of Wine Down Wednesdays: half off glasses and select bottles.Proprietor Stephen Deere tells me he was going for a feminine steak house. “I wanted to design a place that my girlfriend would like,” he says. It’s not what you’d expect to hear from a former Snoop Dogg tour manager. Not kidding! But he wasn’t too legit to quit after 14 shows. The restaurant industry has benefited from his career change. Escoba on Stephen Avenue, anyone? And the career move was good to Stephen too. Margaritaville franchise opportunity, from Jimmy himself, gave Stephen the margaritaville lifestyle, leading him to live in exotic locales like Jamaica and Hawaii. He also owned Muse, but after a dozen years, “I thought it was better to move forward, do a new concept.” Where’s the beef… from, you ask? Modern Steak is the only restaurant in town to work exclusively with local ranches and local slaughterhouses. Those delivery trucks have Wild Rose Country plates.Panicking without a party venue this December? Amazingly, Modern Steak’s stealth appearance on Calgary’s hot new restaurant horizon means that it’s still a good bet for company Christmas parties. See you there!