Even though I’ve lived in Calgary for 7 months now, I still hadn’t tried Charcut (which I kept hearing was a fantastic dining experience), so when a blogger friend of mine mentioned she was in town, and heading to Charcut, I jumped at the chance to join her for a long overdue catch up over dinner.
Luckily, Karen and I share similar taste in food – we both love food more than anything, and prefer to try a variety of dishes “share-sies” style as opposed to ordering our own dishes. After a quick scan of the menu, we decided on a beet salad and the charred octopus to start, followed by poutine (which came highly recommended), and bison brisket.
After ordering, our server brought out a small appetizer to enjoy with our cocktails – a mixture of spicy sausage, salami, prosciutto, and salty cheese, which went perfectly with Karen’s blackberry margarita and my blueberry/gin/egg white cocktail.
Everything we tried was delicious. My only regret was not coming to the restaurant on a completely empty stomach because we could barely finish all of the food, and I was surprised how generous the portion sizes were (particularly the beet salad and poutine).
Beets, roasted and pickled, goat cheese, mint walnuts
Beets are something that initially grossed me out, but they’ve slowly grown on me, especially when paired with cheese! This was a much needed ‘light’ dish nestled between the heavier items we ordered. The combination of fresh mint, soft goat cheese and crunchy walnuts paired perfectly with the plump, juicy beets, and I could have easily had this and this alone as my main meal.
Charred octopus, sausage, stewed tomatoes, gigante beans, chili oil
I can’t stop thinking about how good this was. Even the bread that came with the dish was amazing – a toasted sourdough loaf with olive oil was perfect for sopping up the spicy sausage/bean/tomato sauce, and the octopus was meaty with a smoky taste.
Duck fat poutine, truffle gravy and cheese curds
There are no words for this. When it arrived, the fried were piling over the dish, with a heaping, melty, serving of cheese curds. I had originally planned to order this for myself, but am glad we decided to share. Crispy, salty fries, and a delicious truffle gravy made this one of the best poutine’s I’ve had.
Bison brisket, beech mushrooms, boar bacon, sour cream
Really tasty, but since it was our last dish to dig into, we were kind of full at this point. The bison brisket was very tender, and the polenta side mixed with the sweet little mushrooms and sour cream was very tasty.
Cookie Butter Bar
We were stuffed after dinner, but I always like to try dessert when it sounds interesting. Our server described this as a “Snickers bar” and since Cookie Butter from Trader Joe’s is one of my favourite things, we had to give this a shot. It was good, but not amazing.
Overall, it was a great dining experience – our server was very knowledgeable, friendly, and attentive, and before we knew it, we’d spent four hours eating to our heart’s content while chatting about life, travel, and boys!