Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Kensington Wine Bar in Calgary!

While visiting Calgary I was able to hang out and bond with a long time very good friend who lives in a really cool neighbourhood of Calgary - Kensington.
She recommended we go to a place called Kensington Wine Bar which is a one minute walk from her house. That's the good thing about living in a cool area - you don't have to go far to go to cool places.
I was starving and really looking forward to this.
Kensington Wine Bar is in a basement and is small and quaint with nice lighting and a delicious smell in the air. We wanted to sit in a cozy area that was clearly better but all the tables were taken (a very good sign for a Tuesday night).
We settled on a table less cute but told the server we would like to move when a table in the cuter area opened up. As it turned out, we didn't care when something came up. The company and food was so good we grew to like our sub par table!
They serve small plates so we ordered about five dishes. We started with -
smoked beef carpaccio, fingerling potatoes, manchego cheese, garlic aioli 

Notice there is a fork in the picture! When you're doing a food blog, you've got to get in there quick to take a photo but there was no way I could have been faster. We were hungry so deal with it everybody. The vibe was so good at dinner, I didn't feel right going... - "excuse me everybody - I need to take a picture". I felt like such a nerd. Anyway, this dish was very good. The menu doesn't mention a horseradish cream sauce but I swear it was on there and it was good! I've maybe only ever had carpacio once before. It kind of freaks me out that it's rare. Any kind of meat rare is a bit weird to me but it was very fresh and very good.

Sandra and Liam chose a lentil dip. This is what's cool about other people choosing stuff and sharing - you eat stuff that you wouldn't normally choose. It's like when you get a shirt from someone that you'd normally never pick but you like it and it gets you outside of your comfortable rut of clothing choices. BECAUSE THE LENTIL DIP WAS DELICIOUS. It really was. When I eat vegetarian stuff that is so flavourful and yummy I think - we really don't need to eat meat to have flavour! It was called a "spicy lentil dip" but honestly I didn't find it spicy at all. It was creamy and super tasty. Please order this if you go there!

I can't believe I haven't mentioned the wine this far into the blog. It is a winebar after all...

My bf hasn't been able to drink red wine for the past few years because he gets heartburn. On our first date we drank red wine and I feel like it was entrapment because that was the last time we ever shared a bottle of wine. I accepted him as my boyfriend on false pretenses. We asked the server for a recommendation of a wine that might not give him heartburn and our friends Sandra and Liam were gracious enough to go with us on this. So nice. And low and behold - he didn't get heartburn!!! The wine was so good. Apparently it has something to do with the soil. Chilean soil is dryer and makes the wine more acidic whereas California soil is more moist so it doesn't draw from the minerals as much. Whatever. He can drink red wine again. That's all I care about. Maybe it was all the wine but he was really happy. The wine was called "Cline Mourvedre". I found it in Quebec in a liquor store. Don't know if it's everywhere in Canada or the U.S. but if you get heartburn from red wine you should try this one!!

Red wine is so darn good. I am slowly turning into a wino. It pairs so well with decadent, flavourful food.

Sandra and Liam, right away ordered the cheese fondue. I thought... cheese fondue??? Oh My God. The cheese fondue!!! It was my favourite out of all the plates! I know it wouldn't be right and I would probably feel terrible but I could have eaten a lot of this... creamy cheese on fresh baguette - whoa! Amazing! You can tell by looking at this picture...

We were still hungry and still had wine left from our second bottle of wine. So, what else are ya going to do? Order more cheese of course. Red wine and cheese go together like crying and the Biggest Loser.
We got a cheese plate including blue cheese, a firm goat cheese and a softer french cheese. It was served with three different sauces with it - strawberry compote, spicy pineapple compote and honey. Liam suggested blue cheese with honey and I have to say it was yummy but my favourite was the french cheese with the spicy pineapple compote. You know what's better than cheese? Cheese with compote!

I am not sure if the Kensington Wine Bar uses local ingredients or ethical meat. I didn't see anything on their website about it but I can say that I highly recommend it for it's flavourful menu, it's knowledgeable staff and the company - but my friends aren't always there so I can't guarantee the last part.

Here is their website -


Lindsay said...

You are awesomely funny.

Jen Grant Comedian said...

You are awesomely nice. And talented. So take that.