Saturday, December 31, 2011


Growing up, it was tradition for my family to celebrate Christmas with a steak dinner - with only 3 of us, making a turkey was kind of out of the question. Over the years, I've tried to pick different restaurants in the city to take my parents, including Caesar's Steakhouse, Murrieta's, and often settling at The Keg for my mom's favourite prime rib and lobster. This year, Tony and I decided CHARCUT would be perfect for Christmas Eve - we were fans of Connie on Top Chef Canada, co-executive chef and co-owner, and couldn't wait to try it out.

CHARCUT Roast House is located in the chic Hotel Le Germain Hotel in downtown Calgary, giving you an idea of the style and atmosphere of the restaurant. It's a modern charcuterie, trendy and spacious while serving rustic comfort foods. For Christmas, we were welcomed with a special 3 course set menu for $49, but if that didn't entice, you could also order separate starters, mains and sides. I thought this was great as restaurants often limit meals on special occasions to just the set menu, and who wants a table full of the same thing? My mom and I both went with the Christmas menu, starting with a delicious roasted buttercup squash soup with sage cream and pretzel croutons. The soup was creamy and savoury with a hint of spice that was just perfect. We both lapped up the entire bowl happily! Tony started with the grilled octopus and sausage, which was quite tender but we thought our soup was more spectacular. I couldn't pass up the organic rotisserie turkey (porchetta style!) served with lady apple stuffing for my main - it was Christmas after all! The turkey was really great,
juicy and flavourful, but the highlight was really the dressing with many chunks of sweet apple, served in a mini le creuset. My mom had the 2nd option, a leg of ham served with gruyere biscuits and a fantastic spicy pepper jelly. The jelly was the highlight for her dish, adding a great kick of flavour to the meat. Tony decided he couldn't pass up an opportunity to have great Alberta steak and opted for the Spring Creek Butcher Steak - served simply off the grill and was done perfectly. The steak did not disappoint! For dessert, we ordered one of
each option: upside down gingerbread cake, which was served in a small jar and more like a trifle, and the pumpkin cheesecake. I was initially far more excited about pumpkin cheesecake but the gingerbread dessert turned out to be quite delicious. The cheesecake was a tad sweet where there was extra sugar, but otherwise...also amazing and we finished both without question.

We enjoyed our meal at CHARCUT, with great service and food. Our starters came quickly to satisfy our hunger and tasty meat that did not leave us feeling heavy and unhealthy served with some unique accompaniments. I also loved that we were offered both still and sparkling water free of charge, which was a nice touch since most restaurants charge for sparkling. All the little details count and is what makes a meal and restaurant memorable! CHARCUT is definitely worth a visit if you're in Calgary, a hip place to visit with friends, celebrate a special occasion or entertain clients in style.

CHARCUT Roast House
101, 899 Centre Street SW (in Hotel Le Germain) (reservations available on OpenTable).

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