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River Café

Prince's Island Park, Calgary, AB, XX - (403) 261-7670
Posted By Michael Stern on 11/2/2002 3:48:00 AM
Calgary is Canada’s cow town. Home of the annual Stampede – Canada’s #1 Rodeo – it is a place where ten-gallon hats and belts with saucer-size trophy buckles are standard attire, and where Alberta beef commands respect no less than beef in Texas. One of the best places to eat that beef – as well as all sorts of other great food – is the River Café on Prince’s Island Park. The restaurant boasts that it offers regional woodfired Canadian cuisine, meaning it is regional, modern and delicious.

Its location in Prince's Island Park itself is a magical, accessible only by foot, bicycle or skates (no cars); and the restaurant, designed to look like a rustic fishing lodge, is a romantic destination with an open deck shaded by cottonwood trees. The menu is a broad one, serving an authoritative repertoire of Northwest cuisine, ranging from such exotica as stinging nettle soup and Alberta lamb paté to a beautiful platter of cedar-planked wild salmon.

What drew our attention as we walked towards the front door was the aroma of sizzling meat; in particular, we relished a strip loin steak that was firm, full-flavored and as satisfying as only grass-raised, grain-finished beef can be. To compare and contrast, we also sampled an Alberta buffalo rib-eye. It came with fetching horseradish emulsion; it was juicy and flavorful; but tasty as it was, we’ll return for beef every time. There’s a reason Alberta is famous for beef … not for buffalo.

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Scorecard

5 - Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

Alberta is renowned for beef. Here's a River Cafe sirloin that made us very, very happy.
"Alberta is renowned for beef. Here's a River Cafe sirloin that made us very, very happy."
Michael Stern





Pacific Northwest seafood, like this slab of salmon, is a specialty of the River Cafe kitchen. That's a delicious heirloom tomato salad underneath.
"Pacific Northwest seafood, like this slab of salmon, is a specialty of the River Cafe kitchen. That's a delicious heirloom tomato salad underneath."
Michael Stern


Cedar cured salmon and candied salmon are part of an appetizer platter that also includes tea-smoked duck, sablefish brandade, venison pate, buffalo pastrami, grilled apple turnip relish, and red onion marmalade.
"Cedar cured salmon and candied salmon are part of an appetizer platter that also includes tea-smoked duck, sablefish brandade, venison pate, buffalo pastrami, grilled apple turnip relish, and red onion marmalade."
Michael Stern


This basket of flatbreads and stix is eminently munchable with cocktails before supper.
"This basket of flatbreads and stix is eminently munchable with cocktails before supper."
Michael Stern


Prince's Island Park is a romantic destination; River Cafe serves food and drinks to match.
"Prince's Island Park is a romantic destination; River Cafe serves food and drinks to match."
Michael Stern



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