The Calgary Journal
The Calgary Journal

Canmore chefs showcase fantastic dishes fit for any budget

foodthumbWhen it comes to day trips from Calgary, the town of Canmore takes the cake.

It's about an hour drive west of Calgary, nestled in the Rocky Mountains with picturesque vistas in all directions.

Less known is that it is home to several must-try restaurants.

Fabiola Duarte of Canmore said she dines out and enjoys what the town has to offer one to two times a month, saying "there are great options for all budgets if you look for them."

Duarte said that she likes to frequent places such as La Belle Patate, which uses fresh local ingredients in dishes that are distinct and different from other places in town.

Fall -- the town's shoulder season -- is the perfect time to plan a trip to Canmore.

This is the time of year when chefs put together new dishes for their table d'hôte, or seasonal tasting menus. These menus give diners a chance to sample a variety of new dishes that are only around for a limited time, and at reasonable prices.

For example, Tapas – a small, rustic cucina tucked away from the rush of Main Street – serves up authentic Spanish dishes.

Executive chef Karl Mancheron is currently offering a six-course tasting menu, featuring a selection of some of his long-standing signature dishes for $39 per person.

"In Canmore, it's easy to eat a good steak, fresh fish, warm bread," Mancheron said in an email but Tapas is the only one to serve up Spanish dishes, he added.

"I play with the classics of Spanish cuisine; pimenton de la verra, manchego cheese, Serrano ham, pata negra, olives, pepper, octopus. I put in my own twist with duck confit, maple syrup, caviar, micro greens, bison, black cod and a lot of love!"

crabCreative fusion dishes like crab-crusted Halibut combine Asian cooking methods and Western ingredients. If you're looking for something out of the ordinary Habitat is the place to check out this fall. Photo courtesy of: the Grande Rockies Resort, Canmore, AlbertaHabitat, the newest player on the Canmore dining scene, offers Asian fusion dishes like crab-crusted halibut, duck confit spring rolls and their signature ginger crusted scallops. These dishes combine traditional Asian cooking methods with a distinctly western flare.

As well, Habitat serves up hot trend foods such as seared duck breast, arugula, and crisp vermicelli; incorporated into dishes with more familiar ingredients like truffle, prosciutto and crab.

General manager Jason Guyitt said he believes his restaurant offers something to diners that other places in Camore do not.

"We have a modern setting with an open kitchen, where traditions meet contemporary. We can cater to families and large groups, but also offer an intimate dining experience with our private booths spread throughout the room," he said in an email interview.

Starting Oct. 6, Habitat will be offering a three-course table d'hôte menu for $35 per person, which will run until the end of November.

More info on Canmore dining is available online at canmoredining.com

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