Page 1

Views and Victuals from the 27th Floor

“Oscar Wilde lived a flamboyant and extravagant life, and had a taste for only the best!” The Dorian Hotel executive chef Joshua Dyer tells me while handing over a smoking plate of oysters on a bed of stones and dry ice.

This, he says, is the inspiration behind The Wilde on 27, one of Calgary’s newest sky-high fine dining spots. With sweeping views and tastefully elaborate victuals, it is fast becoming one of the most definitive culinary spaces in the city.

Calgarians in search of a healthy dose of hedonism need only head up to the 27th floor of The Dorian, a property inspired by the literary works and enduring cultural legend of playwright and novelist, Oscar Wilde. Think black and white mosaic floor tiles, a sleek Baby Grand in the lobby bar, with pops of gold and peacock feather accents, the emblem of the latest jewel in the Autograph Collection’s roster of hotels. Open to guests as well as the wider public, The Wilde on 27 is a continuation of the building’s lavish journey, this time into the realm of the epicurean. Champagne cocktails against a backdrop of crushed green velvet curtains and floor-to-ceiling windows provides a compelling nod to aestheticism, but the culinary programming delves deeper than surface-level beauty.

Chef Dyer says that it is The Wilde’s aim to present a distinctly European style of dining “full of surprises and delights”. Indeed, there is a certain level of whimsy; menus are presented in hardback books and dishes, like the elaborately plated sablefish, play with layered textures and vibrant presentation. Beyond the aesthetic, however, there is a solid commitment to complex flavours and an ethos of conscious eating. Ingredients are sustainably sourced in response to the season and are utilized in a multitude of ways. The end result is a frequently shifting, but consistently exciting, menu.

What of the bar? Libations from Douglas Lee are colourful and opulent. Any imbiber worth their salt will rejoice in a cocktail menu that perpetuates the not-so-humble porn star martini. Here it is served on a mirrored tray replete with the mandatory sidecar of Moët, plus a cheeky “bump” of caviar, a pleasing nod to the aspiring roisterer.

Oscar Wilde may have passed away over 120 years ago, but the timeless spirit of the bon vivant lives on, curiously, in the heart of Calgary, Alberta.

— Rebecca Felgate

News and more

Sign up to our newsletter