What’s opening and what’s closing
Reimagining spaces and menus makes for a busy restaurant scene in Calgary
layered with roasted eggplant, mascarpone and fig jam. It’s a creative menu that also includes a big Monki burger, house-smoked salmon and coconut granola laden with fresh fruit and organic yogurt. And a bonus: both the Monki breakfast and lunch menus are available all the time.
So, although Gnocchi’s is gone, its spirit lives on in Monki. And with their experience of many late nights at Gnocchi’s behind them, the brothers have opted for a restaurant that is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
Speaking of Petite, the new location on the corner of 4th Street and 17th Avenue S.W. has now closed for renovations.
Petite didn’t survive the transfer from its former 20-odd seat location to the larger space. Fans of the tiny Petite found that although the food and service were still good, the new room was too impersonal and loud. The owners have listened to the concerns and are in the process of reconceptualizing the space. They hope to reopen sometime in September.
There have been a couple of other recent closures in the restaurant scene, too. The lovely Vue Cafe in the Virginia Christopher Gallery has closed, along with the gallery itself. After a long a lively career in the art business, Christopher has decided it’s time to retire so she closed the gallery at the end of July. Look for a Mexican restaurant to open there this fall.
And in Canmore, The Railway Deli has shut as Roland and Harry Griesser, the brothers who owned it, have moved on to other projects.
If you like the combo of beer and pizza you might enjoy a visit to Pizza Brew at 1314 44th Ave. N.W. (403-735-5004). Attached to the new Minhas Micro Brewery, Pizza Brew provides a menu of pizzas and appetizers such as onion rings and Caesar salads along with 16 beers on tap and more in the can — from the various Minhas breweries, of course. There’s a dessert pizza too, topped with blueberries, peaches and peach schnapps-infused cream cheese.
The brother-sister team of Ravinder and Manjit Minhas continue to grow their small beverage empire with the opening of the micro brewery and the pizza cafe. They already own Minhas Craft Brewery and Minhas Micro Distillery in Wisconsin and now have a home for their local beers, including Mystical Jack Traditional Ale, Thumper IPA and the popular Mountain Crest brews.
In the light industrial area of McCall, Pizza Brew offers a lunch and after-work alternative to the workers in the area and an interesting destination for those who’d like to tour the brewery and have a bite. (The tour, including four bottles of beer, a bottle of root beer, and a Minhas-branded beer glass to take home plus onsite samples, is available for $10. Check out MinhasBrewery.com for tour info.)
For those just interested in a pizza, there’s lots of that too. And if you order a beer to go along with your pie, you get to take the glass home with you. (That’s smart marketing.)
Eggs Benedict features on Monki Breakfast Club & Bistro’s menu, which has a slight Mediterranean tone.