Wow, my friend wasn’t kidding when she said Calgarians love to go out and eat. My sis and I were supposed to meet up with a mutual friend of ours for dinner on a Saturday evening. We wanted to go to Una Pizza and Wine, one of my sis’s favourite places, but it was at full capacity by the time we got there. Over two hour wait for a two spot? No thanks. We meandered down 17th Ave in search of another place and came across Brava Bistro. The hostess had one table left so we took it.
A partial view of the dinner menu. The menu is a short, one pager but there were a lot of intriguing options. Prices are on the higher end ($8.00-17.00 for appetizer/salads and $23.00-34.00 for mains, exception being $52.00 for the pork platter for two).
My sis and I were starved from our hike so we decided to order two appetizers while we waited for our friend to arrive. This place is classy with a much older, mature crowd/vibe. Music is on the loud side (seemed to go up and down randomly multiple times during our dinner). We were a little underdressed but you can get away with it here.
The complimentary bread was good. Fresh, chewy and perfect to soak up all the juices from the mussel broth.
Salt spring island mussels ($17.00)
Leeks, fresh herbs, white wine, pomme frites and a lemon garlic aioli. Awesome appetizer to start our meal off. The sauce was drink-me-by-itself goodness (wish we’d had more bread to finish it off), mussels were plentiful and the frites were good filler.
Pear salad ($16.00)
Arugula, frisée, stilton cheese, candied pecans, compressed pears, and balsamic vinaigrette. Candied pecans are so good. I was hunting these bad boys down with a vengeance.
Handmade tagliatelle ($24.00)
Parmesan, herbs, house smoked bacon, kale and a soft poached egg. The egg was cooked perfectly – poke it and let the yolk ooze out, mix it and voila. Magic. The tagliatelle was perfectly al dente.
Crispy leg duck confit ($30.00) – Risotto, kale, grana padano, sweet pumpkin purée and sweet pumpkin diced along with herb and garlic. This was my sis’s dish and the duck was perfectly done. Juicy, medium rare, duck is always a winner whenever we order it.
Braised beef cheek ($28.00) – Heritage angus beef cheek, red wine, crispy onion, smoked jalapeno mac & cheese and local vegetables. Our friend ordered this one and gave us a bite of the beef cheek to sample. It was excellent.
Cool, hip ambiance but Brava Bistro is definitely a place where you’ll be shelling out the moola. The patio looks awesome for summertime. Next time we’ll have to try the lobster poutine (that’s sayin’ something as I don’t even like poutine).
723 17 Ave SW