Escapes & Ad­ven­tures

AS CAL­GARY’S CULI­NARY LAND­SCAPE ex­pands to keep pace with its pop­u­la­tion growth, the city is be­com­ing a hub for sur­pris­ing sips, off­beat eats and im­mer­sive arts. Here are two dif­fer­ent ways to ex­pe­ri­ence the so­phis­ti­cated side of the new Wild West.

Canadian Geographic - - CONTENTS -

Cal­gary’s cock­tail scene is one of the hottest in Canada — and the city’s no slouch when it comes to arts and cul­ture, either. Dis­cover the best of both worlds with our guide.

CUL­TURE By Shel­ley Ar­nusch

EAT Cal­gary has a bona fide culi­nary scene but, un­der­stand­ably, more than a few vis­i­tors to a place col­lo­qui­ally known as “Cow­town” want to get them­selves a proper steak in an au­then­tic steak house. It doesn’t get much more au­then­tic than Cae­sar’s Steak House. Pushing five decades in busi­ness, the down­town institutio­n has long been the go-to for oil ex­ecs cel­e­brat­ing big deals, and pulling up a dark-red-leather-uphol­stered seat here also puts you in the com­pany of Brad Pitt, Robert Du­vall and count­less other celebs who have passed through.

STAY The first thing you need to know about Ho­tel Arts, the 185-room bou­tique ho­tel that an­chors the in­ner-city Victoria Park neigh­bour­hood, is that its name isn’t just lip ser­vice. From Joe Fa­fard’s cow sculp­ture Rita to Barry Fair­bairn’s whim­si­cal glass­works adorn­ing the ceil­ing of the en­try­way, the ho­tel’s lobby is a con­tem­po­rary art gallery in its own right. The ho­tel is also mere blocks from sev­eral of the city’s artis­tic in­sti­tu­tions of note, in­clud­ing Arts Com­mons, the Glen­bow mu­seum and Stu­dio Bell, home of the Na­tional Mu­sic Cen­tre.

COCK­TAILS By Alexan­dra Pope

EAT A rel­a­tive new­comer to the bo­hemian In­gle­wood neigh­bour­hood, Go­rilla Whale serves up “Ja­panese-ish” cui­sine in a hip, ca­sual set­ting. The playful decor — think stuffed Poké­mon toys and colour­ful vin­tage rock con­cert posters — hints at what’s to come. On the menu, ra­men and yak­i­tori live side-by-side with more off­beat creations, such as the PB & J foie gras with le­mon-almond but­ter and pas­sion­fruit sauce. On the “dranks” side of the equa­tion, cock­tails put sake in the spot­light. The Paper Crane, a fruity, spicy con­coc­tion built around a base of gin, sake and Béné­dic­tine D.O.M. liqueur, is a per­fect com­ple­ment to the umami “go­rilla rice.”

STAY The el­e­gant Le Ger­main Ho­tel at the foot of the Cal­gary Tower is just steps away from some of the hottest cock­tail spots down­town, in­clud­ing Klein/harris, which puts a dis­tinctly Canadian spin on re­li­able favourites (try their take on a Tom Collins, made with spruce and maple syrup and fin­ished with maple smoke), and Na­tive Tongues Ta­que­ria ( ABOVE), where you can sam­ple mez­cal, tequila’s trendy cousin. Feel like stay­ing in? Drift down­stairs to Lounge Cen­tral 899, the ho­tel’s lobby bar, and sip a warm and herbal “Char-flower.”

PLAY The rolling foothills just south­west of the city lim­its are where you’ll find the Leighton Art Cen­tre, a gallery and mu­seum cre­ated out of the home and work­shop of the late artists A.C. and Barbara Leighton. Key fig­ures in the art his­tory of Al­berta, the Leightons’ le­gacy pro­vides vis­i­tors with the stun­ning view of the Rock­ies de­picted in so many of A.C. Leighton’s cel­e­brated land­scape paint­ings. PLAY With a wall-to-wall bar sure to inspire fan­tasies of swing­ing from its wooden ladder à la Belle in Beauty and the Beast, Proof has shot to the pin­na­cle of Cal­gary’s bar scene since open­ing in 2015. The menu in­cludes some off-the-wall creations — the Dune- in­spired Ar­rakis Awak­en­ing com­bines mez­cal, rum, cof­fee, wasabi and agave, for in­stance — but the bar­tenders are happy to mix you some­thing clas­sic off-menu.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.