Right in time for tomorrow's episode of Top Chef Canada, here is my CHARCUT review!
We've been to Charcut before, but it just didn't leave much of an impression on me. Watching Connie on Top Chef Canada, though, reignited my interest and so here we were, going to a restaurant because of a TV show. There's a first.
Charcut is a somewhat casual restaurant located in the Le Germain, the condo/hotel across from Calgary Tower (the parking is not free there, by the way, which you'd think they would offer to restaurant patrons - Catch, for example, does). The kitchen is open so you can watch the chefs in action. The images of pigs are everywhere, a nod to the chefs' affinity for pork.
We got started with a couple of drinks - pineapple smash (quite good) and the Appalachian, which was freaking delicious. One of the best drinks I've ever had, and that includes Tony Abou-Ganim's cable cars. The Appalachian has diced caramelized apples, vodka and prosecco. Ahhhhh... After cocktails, we switched to red wine, which was strangely enough not decanted, but who cares, really. Moving on to food...
Our starter was the charcut board, with mortadella, which is a pork/pistachio/truffle sausage (their signature - I found it pretty good, but not spectacular to be honest), another type of sausage that had fennel in it (boo), kielbasa (sooooo good), and pork croquettes, which I remember not being a huge fan of last time I dined at Charcut, but this time they seemed amazing. We proceeded with prime rib, which was served with arugula, quite reminiscent of Mercato's signature Bistecca (so yes, very delicious - I mean, arugula, meat, salt - how could it go wrong?) and pork belly with polenta - heavenly.
We finished our meal with the crème brûlée, which was good, but the most memorable thing about it was the adorably ugly chocolate chip cookies that came with it (so that we know it's house made I guess?), as well as a cappuccino, which was pretty good, and tea (looseleaf! in an adorable pot!), which totally won me over.
Well, this just shows, sometimes my first impressions can be wrong (rarely, of course). I have totally changed my mind about Charcut, and I definitely recommend it.