River Café, Calgary (Photo credit: River Café)
At A Glance
Bring your own wine ($20.00 corkage fee for each 750ml bottle, waived on Sundays and limited two bottles per table).
Chef Q&A Andrew Winfield
Reviewed by SC
Located in the lagoon where the Bow River passes through downtown Calgary, set right in the midst of Prince’s Island Park, is the renown and award-winning River Café. Owned by proprietor Sal Howell, it is known in Calgary as one of the most romantic and best restaurants. An enduring pioneer in the local food movement (circa 1991), it offers Regional and Seasonal Canadian Cuisine by Chef Andrew Winfield.
Amongst its many awards, it was named Canada’s 50 Best Restaurants by MacLean’s Magazine, “Restaurant of the Year”, by Tourism Calgary’s, a perennial winner in the Avenue Magazine “Best Restaurant to take Out of Town Diners” Awards, Where Magazine “Best Canadian Regional Cuisine” Awards and Where Magazine “Best Ambiance” Awards. The restaurant is an Ocean Wise partner.
The atmosphere, ambience and decor is warm, cozy and inviting. It has seamlessly bounced back after closing 52 days following the the flood that ravaged Calgary in June.
The restaurant has the feel and nostalgic appearance of an old Rocky Mountain fishing lodge with an open-hearth fieldstone fireplace. The floor-to-ceiling windows provides calming panoramic views of the park and the dramatic cityscape beyond.
It’s open for Weekend Brunch, Lunch and Dinner. Go with a group of friends or family, or on a romantic date or special occasion.
Begin with the Fish and Game Board to share; proceed to Olson’s High County Bison Striploin or Noble Farms Duck Breast, and finish with House Made Truffles paired with a 2005 Dow’s Late Bottle Vintage Port. Pair the meal with one of the small artisanal wines designed by Sommerlier and Cellar Manager Bruce Soley to compliment the regional and seasonal flavours on the menu.
If you’re celebrating a romantic occasion, pull out all the stops and order their signature 6-course Fish and Game Tasting Menu ($95CAD, or $160CAD with wine pairings).
Nothing. Chef Andrew Windfield offers an artistic and innovated take on a Regional and Seasonal meets Canadian menu that calls for a night of celebration and indulgence.
River Café lives up to its name and much more. It is a hidden culinary heaven in Prince Island’s Park that is worth a visit for locals and visitors alike.