Sunday, February 1, 2009

Muse (Calgary)

My trip to Calgary is not nearly as exciting as Court's Californian vacation, but I had a great time and some good eats. I haven't had the chance to eat out a lot in Calgary, so I had my cousin Mercedes suggest some places to choose from; we decided on Muse and I was not disappointed. One of my favourite things about this restaurant is that they offer online reservations - it seems to run in the family that we hate talking on the phone, which makes getting reservations a huge pain.

The main restaurant is in a basement, with dark wood panelling and spotlighting which made it nice and cosy. There is also a chef's table available by the kitchen upstairs. The service throughout the night was knowlegable and prompt, and we were helped by any server passing by our table. This was a nice touch, as we never had to wait for our main server to notice us.

Instead of bread we were given a starter of popcorn in truffle oil, followed by cheese scones. I have a popcorn addiction, and I loved this; it was peppery and there was just enough truffle oil to give it a unique flavour. The cheese scones were also very good, though scones with dinner always seems a bit strange to me.

The menu here offers First, Second, Third, and Dessert courses. We decided to stick to First and Third courses, and ordered the Belgium Endive Salad and the Poached Beet Salad to start. The endive salad had orange & saffron vinaigrette, dried apricots, and roasted walnuts and was light and fresh tasting. The beet salad had arugula, goat cheese, and bacon - this was my absolute favourite of the whole night and I will definitely be trying to recreate this at home. The beets tasted mildly pickled, like they had been poached in a red wine vinegar rather than just red wine, and while I had never thought of beets and chèvre together, the flavours complemented each other perfectly.

For the main, Mercedes had the Beef Tenderloin with Fondant Potatoes, Foie Gras “French Toast”, Green Beans, in Cherry Jus. I didn't try her beef as she prefers it well done, but the french toast was super tasty. We were both a little confused, however, by the presence of two freeze dried cherries placed on top, as they certainly didn't seem edible. I had the Maple Braised Pork Shoulder with Smoked Potatoes, Carrots, and Peas. The pork was cooked just to the point of tenderness and the maple glaze worked well with it, though it may have been too sweet for some. The carrots and smashed potatoes were also good, but the peas were not very sweet and tasted like your average frozen peas.

Unfortunately, because we'd made a late afternoon trip to Starbucks we were not able to make room for dessert. Certainly a shame, as there were several tempting options - next time, I'll remember not to snack before dinner!

No comments:

Post a Comment