...Briggs Kitchen and Bar (Calgary)

Overall - 9/10
Food - 8.5/10
Service - 9.5/10
Ambiance - 9/10
Briggs Kitchen and Bar on Urbanspoon

I'll keep this review simple. This place is awesome! If you're a fan of really tasty food, reasonable prices and efficient and friendly service you need to eat here. Our server told us that one of the special features in the kitchen is a fancy charcoal fired oven that a lot of their dishes are finished in. Not only do you get intense heat that perfectly caramelizes the food but a nice smokiness is also imparted at the same time. 

In our quest for the best calamari in town, it seems like each new version we try is always the best we've had. Well, it happened again. This calamari is cornmeal crusted and served with a crispy fennel salad and tangy tomato aioli. The calamari was super tender, crisp on the outside and the tomato aioli was highly addictive.  For $11, it was a great deal.

After hearing about the charcoal fired oven, we were excited to share a couple of mains which were cooked in it. The red wine braised short rib was a huge portion and served over a crispy fried potato cake and topped with fried onions. The rib was falling off the bone and able to be cut with a butter knife! It really tasted intensely of beef and the fatty meat melted in your mouth. A little gravy over the top would have made this dish perfect, since there were some parts of the rib that were slightly dry.  
Also from the oven was the bone-in pork belly braised with maple syrup and served over an apple slaw. Again it was a huge slab of belly served family style on a cutting board to be shared by the table. The meat was tender and moist and perfectly accented by the robust flavours of the sweet maple/fruit marinade and tart slaw.  

For dessert we opted for the molten chocolate cake topped with ice cream and crushed caramel toffee. If you think that after such a rich meal a molten chocolate cake would be overkill, you'd be right. But then again, the cake is so good you really don't mind the punishment your body is taking.  ;-)


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