...Bistro Rouge (Calgary)

Overall - 8/10
Food - 8/10
Service - 8/10
Ambiance - 8/10
Bistro Rouge on Urbanspoon
Bistro Rouge is the sister restaurant of Rouge and tries to offer the same French flavours and techniques at a more affordable price point. Thankfully what you get at Bistro Rouge isn't simply a watered down version of what you get at its fancier counterpart. The food is inventive, rustic and really satisfying. In our opinion, few restaurants in Calgary aside from Cassis Bistro have come close to serving food that captures the heart of rustic French cuisine as Bistro Rouge does. 

We started our night off with the charcuterie plate which is the best we've had in Calgary to date, both in terms of flavour and variety. The platter included a chicken liver paté, smoked pork loin, duck rillette, and homemade pork and beef sausages. All of this was had for only $12. 

Our appetizer course included a 'Poutine Gateaux' which was essentially cheese sandwiched between two potato rosti's served with a chicken gravy and bacon. Our only criticism of the entire meal had to do with this dish.  We found the chicken gravy to be completely overpowered by the flavours of what we thought was lavender. The gravy was so overly floral it tasted almost like potpourri.  When we asked the server what herbs were used, she told us it was the chef's secret mix of herbs de provence.  As well, the potato itself had an unpleasantly tough texture and seemed burnt in a few places.  When you order something that has "poutine" in it's name, you have certain expectations for what it should taste like.  This dish, although inventive, did not meet the expectations.

The spinach, confit garlic and mushroom velouté was a nice dish to follow the disappointment of the poutine gateaux and was creamy and delicious!

Our main courses included the nightly special of roasted halibut over a seafood risotto and a grilled pork loin served with brie, caramelized apples and candied pecans. The roasted halibut was crispy on the outside and perfectly cooked on the inside while the seafood risotto was bursting with shellfish flavour.  Hidden in the risotto were delicious morsels of mussels and baby shrimp.  This is one of the best seafood dishes I've had in a while.

The pork loin was moist and tender and matched perfectly with the classic flavour parings of apple, fennel and brie.  One thing we felt could be improved is the presentation of the dish.  

The portions were generous and not overly expensive.  In general, we feel Bistro Rouge has some great dishes worth coming back for.


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