On the evening of my birthday I declared that we would be dining in fine style, plus we had a WagJag coupon, so we headed to Teatro in the heart of Calgary downtown. Teatro is in the former Dominion Bank building which is full of terracotta, dramatic high ceilings and ambience galore. The atmosphere is very regal, without being overly snobby, relaxing with a hint of urgency from the open kitchen and you do feel like you have stepped into some place special. We celebrated the occasion with a glass of bubbly which was quite lovely and left me a little giddy. For those of you celebrating a special occasion you may want to try the Janisson & Fils “Brut François de Rozay” from France. We felt the need for nibbles so we started with the House Marinated Olives featuring oven warmed olives and gherkins – yum. Seriously I don’t think I will ever have cold olives again! Next came the entrées I had the Duck Margret done with a cranberry-orange mostarda, risotto cake, grilled radicchio, cinnamon-poussin jus. While Darek had the Grilled Berkshire Pork Chop with chestnut polenta, swiss chard, gorgonzola ravioli, espresso jus. There is a vegetarian option on the menu and I did not ask about gluten free but if you let the restaurant know of any dietary conditions ahead of time they will do everything possible to accommodate.
So the duck, it was like butter – it actually melted in my mouth. The risotto cake was so amazing I could have eaten a whole plateful and the grilled radicchio gave the right amount of green and slight bitterness to the dish. I didn’t try Darek’s pork chop as I just can’t do pig but he looked darn happy and said it was very flavourful and tender. I loved his polenta, it was very mild and just added the perfect texture to the dish, the ravioli sat on top of the meat and added visual and taste interest to the dish. Now let me talk about value for money here. Before we went to Teatro we had heard many people say we were going to get a big plate with very little food for an exorbitant price. We received a generous portion of food with a price that I think reflects the freshness and quality of the product and the time and consideration in preparation. Our meals were around the $32-35 dollar range and I really do think that is fair for the quality, quantity and taste of the dishes. We ended with a crème brule tasting trio featuring vanilla, chocolate and orange crème. Hands down I loved the chocolate and Darek was all over the vanilla. The orange was tasty but didn’t stand a chance with the other two! We ended with a cup of cappuccino and felt that this was definitely an evening well worth the expense. Teatro is definitely a special occasion superstar and I will be taking friends and family for our next celebration!