No. 28: River Café
THE MAGICAL SETTING on Prince’s Island Park sets this restaurant apart. So does its 27-year-long commitment to an all-Canadian cuisine forged from local ingredients—from Driview Farms’ exceptional lamb to Poplar Bluff’s organic heirloom potatoes.
The rustic decor features exposed wood and brick, and includes vintage sports equipment—a nod to nearby fishing lodges and mountain resorts, even as the glass-and-steel office towers of Calgary’s business centre loom across the rushing waters of the Bow. Chef Matthias Fong and his team create menus that straddle both city and country: the seasonal offerings are rich with rural (game and forage) flavours treated with a very urban finesse. B.C. oysters are served with a bright red currant and nasturtium mignonette.
Giant Pacific octopus is accompanied by carrots seasoned with fermented red fife, a scattering of garlic scapes and a drizzle of local birch syrup. Luscious, meaty white sturgeon from the Northern Divine caviar farm on B.C.’s Sunshine Coast is served with local barley, chanterelles, house-made pancetta and crabapple wine broth. Breads, baked in-house daily, are made with a sourdough starter that dates back 16 years. Weekend brunch is legendary. And sommelier Bruce Soley’s wine selection features obscure treasures from lesser-known producers.
Monday to Friday
11:00 AM until 10:00 PM
(11:00 PM summer)Saturday, Sunday
10:00 AM until 10:00 PM
(11: PM summer)
10:00 AM until 3:00 PM
Photos: Courtesy of River Cafe