Monday, August 18, 2014

Dining out in Calgary - Black Pig Bistro

Last week, Dan and I celebrated our 3rd year anniversary. Unfortunately, on the actual day of the anniversary, I ended up being super sick. So in an effort to recover the anniversary we ended up making plans to celebrate in Calgary and have a mini-vacation. One restaurant in particular caught our attention - Black Pig Bistro especially after our friend Carmen talked about about each of the great dishes and having recently met Chef John Michael MacNeil in June. 
Upon entering their restaurant you are greeted by the friendly front of house and given a moment to enjoy the beautiful open space. Of course, one of their key features the Iberico leg is on display for your viewing pleasure.

Shortly after we ordered, we were treated to some molecular gastronomy of encapsulated (or spherified) olives! According to chef John this was heavily inspired by the tapas Barcelona restaurant, Tickets. When you pop these into your mouth, the jelly casing gives away to a burst of olives! Granted, you must love olives to enjoy this particular presentation, but I think olives are starting to grow on me (more about olives in the next post).



For our salad, we ordered the special salad of the night which was comprised of slices of their namesake Iberico ham, B.C peaches, fior de latte, topped with a handful of arugala and a light fig spread. This dish was the perfect start to our meal as it was light and refreshing. The Iberico ham was true to its description of being creamy, rich and almost melted in our mouths.
The next dish that we shared was the Salted Cod Tortellini resting on a piquillo pepper puree and topped with crispy kale chips. The saltiness of the cod balanced well with the piquillo pepper puree and the added crunch from the kale was perfect.

As a side note, this dish is also one of the most photographed dishes at the Black Pig Bistro!
The third plate that we shared was a different sort of plate. When C & D as well as others recommended that we had to get the Pork Dogs we were intrigued since that is not a usual dish to have. These Pork Dogs were delicious and I am so glad we ordered them as they are made from house made pork sausages and nestled in their own housemade bun! The roasted garlic aioli and salsa verde added some bright flavours and the shaving of manchego (which looked sort of like sauerkraut at first glance) on top made for a perfect third course.
By the time we finished the pork dogs, we wondered if we needed to order more food. However, once this beautiful beef cheek risotto made it to our table we knew dessert would have to be up next. This risotto was amazing! Rich, but not in that heavy way. If you are wondering about the beef cheeks, there are some good size portions nestled inside the risotto. Topped with saffron, grape tomatoes and mixed with mascarpone, this risotto was the perfect main course.
To end the night we ordered the passion fruit panna cotta topped with pistachio crumb, toasted coconut, coconut brioche and some little bits of candied fennel. I couldn't get a nice photo for this dish as the sun had gone done by that time and we didn't want to use the camera's flash. So, just trust me when I say that it was a great light ending to a meal such as the one we had! Imagine pops of passion fruit between creamy panna cotta, nutty pistachios and a nice crunch from the candied fennel on each bite.

All in all, we loved every minute of our anniversary dinner. All the dishes were well prepared, balanced well and looked absolutely amazing. If you have a chance to visit Black Pig Bistro in Calgary you should definitely do it! Chef Alison Bieber and Chef John Michael MacNeil were fantastic and they certainly have a good thing going at Black Pig Bistro. They also mentioned that their menu will be changing in September, so it will be exciting to see what else they have in mind.

Black Pig Bistro
825-1st Ave NE
Calgary, AB
www.blackpigbistro.com
Twitter: @blackpigbistro
Instagram: @blackpigbistro 
Wednesday-Sunday 11am-Close

Black Pig Bistro on Urbanspoon

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