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The Menu
No. 38: Model Milk

No. 38: Model Milk

American Express dining partner


CHEF JUSTIN LEBOE’S first restaurant as chef and owner occupies an historic 1930s dairy at what is now the centre of Calgary’s trendiest restaurant row.

Along with that dairy’s name, the restaurant also maintains its original exposed brick walls and concrete floor. And, ingeniously, that long-gone dairy’s system of massive, cargo-transporting steel beams that run the length of what’s now the restaurant floor has been adapted to accommodate slideable tabletops, which can be moved together or apart to change the seating plan. The modernized industrial look, combined with the multi-level seating, twin bars and vinyl for spinning, make for a highly energetic setting ideally suited to Leboe’s restlessly imaginative cooking. Chef travels extensively and invariably returns home with pockets full of good culinary ideas that he then makes unmistakably his own. Influences are myriad; on the menu, mole coexists with Thai sausage, stracciatella, edamame and mignonette.
But if any dish descriptions strike you as confusingly multicultural, relax: on the plate those seemingly disparate ideas invariably translate into something delightfully coherent. Technique is never showy but always accomplished. A recent wintertime beef-based extravaganza uses Wagyu-Black Angus cross from a local farm. The main event is grilled, sliced sirloin flap, the fibre thick and ropy like bavette, but with luscious marbling. On the side, thin-sliced pickled beef tongue is stacked with braised mustard greens in a loose Napoléon. For sauce, minced gherkin and chive are lightly bound with crème fraîche. The wine list is strong. Cocktails are smart and modern. Model Milk is entering its seventh year remarkably fresh.

Monday to Sunday
5:00 PM until 10:45 PM

Photos by: Shallon Cunningham, Salt Food Photo

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