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No. 30

Ten Foot Henry

403-475 5537

The restaurant is named for a locally iconic oversized plywood cutout of a 1930s comic book character that now resides in the corridor near the bathrooms. And its concept represents the confluence of two trendy restaurant ideas: family-style service and vegetable-forward cuisine.

If the latter’s grip and enduring appeal in Cowtown seems surprising, chalk it up to the burgeoning and open-minded local food scene. And more particularly, to the quality of restaurants like this one, launched in 2016 by husband-and-wife team Aja Lapointe and Steve Smee. Despite the fact it’s in a basement with a lack of windows to the outdoors, the room manages to be bright and airy thanks to high ceilings, white walls and lush plants suspended from exposed wooden beams. There are two bars, one overlooking the bustling open kitchen.
Chef Smee’s plates are never fussy; he prefers to let his ingredients speak for themselves, enhancing them with subtle counterpoints of flavour and texture. Green beans come with crispy potatoes and smoked aioli. Rainbow chard is dressed with creamy soubise, a scattering of toasted seeds and some lardons. Cauliflower is enlivened with jerk spice and crunchy root chips. A more substantial vegetarian offering is cacio e pepe (in this case, made with bucatini). There is also is a strong selection of fish and meat (roast loin of Alberta lamb, pickerel, tuna crudo). They are not pushing vegetarianism here, just healthier eating, done well.

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