bits and pieces

Saturday, March 19, 2011

REVIEWS: Farm, Calgary, Alberta

Farm on 17th ave, CGY, AB
I LOVE THIS RESTAURANT. This place is everything I love, and everything I would cook if I had a restaurant. Small, and intimate, Farm is located on Calgary's bustling 17th ave., and offers a small menu of tasty, wonderful, comforting, and locally sourced meals. I've been about half a dozen times and it is just awesome.

Cozy and warm, Farm wouldn't be out of place tucked away in a tiny nook of Williamsburg, or on a quiet corner of the Plateau. An open kitchen filled with young (think 25 year old) cooks and chefs lets you watch the action and see the skill and care that goes into your food. I've sat at the 'bar' a few times, which surrounds the open kitchen, and while watching the cooks is mesmerizing, you never feel the pressure or tension of a kitchen while you watch these kids cook. It's busy, they're moving, but they seem at ease and relaxed.

Cutting Board menu at Farm.
Changes weekly. 
Their menu changes sporadically, sometimes weekly, and sometimes not. The food is all the kinds of tiny-bistro comfort fare you'd imagine - spicy mac and cheese, sablefish, chicken pot pie, braised boneless rib, etc. There are also standouts like the wild boar, and the buffalo sliders. While not revolutionary, the consistency with which these meals are sourced and made is amazing. In addition to the menu, they have chacuterie ('the cutting board') plates of artisan meats and cheeses, served with various jams, chutneys, relishes, grapes, olives, and pickles that are all made in house.

The wine list is on the pricier side (roughly 8-13 by the glass, and upwards of 40/ bottle), but again - not the standard wines you'd find on a menu or even at the liquor store - for the most part they're purchased locally from a wine boutique (ooh la la).

I really can't say anything bad about this restaurant - I had a waitress once who didn't know her cheese (at all) but besides that one aberration the staff are all knowledgable and informed, and the food is great.

red wine, bread, cheese = NICE
I went last night for probably the 5th time which is a lot considering this place is certainly not THE cheapest, although by no means is it exceedingly expensive, but I am but a poor graduated graduate student. I had a glass of delicious Argentinian red, recommended by my cheese-knowlegable trendy and hip waiter (the best kind, clearly), and started with the beet salad. As we know I love beets. Earlier this week went to Libretto in Toronto and DIDN'T get the beet salad, so this time I had to. Roasted beets, served with arugula dressed with toasted mustard seeds, and a warm goat cheese 'dressing' (pretty much melted goat cheese)... it was awesome. My only complaint was that for a $12 salad, it was SMALL.  Then obviously for a main I had the cheese plate. I was tempted by the Mac and Cheese but I have a problem ordering it at restaurants - I love MY mac and cheeses and I would be horribly offended if I had a worse one served to me at a bistro. My m&c arrogance is such that I assume all m&c's would be worse than mine, and thusly cannot order them out.

 For my cheese plate I had the Brillant Savarin (soft, bloomy cheese similar to the Chateau de Bourgogne aka my fav), a soft blue, and the Piave (hard, zippy spanish cheese). They were accompanied by homemade fig jam, local clover honey, and a tomato relish, respectively. And unlimited bread. 3 cheese + accompaniments, $15. Not bad. You can also do 5 for $25, but I wasn't that hungry sadly. My mamma got the garden salad (again - a bit small, even for a small salad), and the mac and cheese (which I will begrudgingly admit was good). Who am I kidding everything was great.

Farm - you should go. 
Clearly I love this place. If the food + service + atmosphere wasn't enough, did I mention there is the best cheese shop in the world attached? As I understand it, Farm is an extension of (was a pet project of) the Janice Beaton Fine Cheese Shop in Calgary. Which as I have said, is just the best cheese shop ever. This is pretty much a win-win-win-win situation. Highly recommended and reservations are also strongly recommended, especially on a Friday/weekend/Tuesday (25$ prix fixe). Expect to spend around 45$ per person incl. tax and tip.  1006 17th Ave SW, Calgary, Alberta

1 comment:

  1. Nice review. Will add it to my places to check out next time I'm in town.