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Deane House, Calgary

Historic house, contemporary cuisine.

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Originally built in 1906 by captain Richard Burton Deane, Fort Calgary’s last serving North West Mounted Police superintendent, Calgary’s Deane House building has had its share of incarnations over the years (and a few resident ghosts to prove it). Yet while the building may be historic, the new Deane House restaurant, which opened in autumn 2016, is decidedly contemporary—honouring Alberta’s heritage with thoughtful preparations of indigenous ingredients.

“I would describe my cooking style as contemporary Canadian with a focus on seasonal, regional cuisine,” says Deane House chef Jamie Harling. “We look at influences of the people of the region, whether it be the First Nations groups that lived here, or the immigrants that settled here.” Harling’s ethos is perhaps best epitomized by his bread—a local, heritage Red Fife sourdough he serves with cultured butter and Vancouver Island fleur de sel. Tangy, with soft interior and crunchy strawberry-blonde crust, Harling took two year to perfect his technique for the loaf—“Bread sets the tone for the rest of the meal,” he says.

Deane House maintains this exquisite attention to detail throughout its menu, on which many items feature fresh herbs, vegetables, and edible flowers from the House’s own garden. A smoked red lentil hummus provides a creamy counterpoint to the vinegary snap of pickled carrots and crunch of farro wafers—plated, it’s a beautiful medley of orange hues. Lamb tartare from Alberta’s Driview Farms features pickled mustard seed and house-cut potato chips, while, on a recent visit, a bowl of silky corn grits topped with pickled shrimp and a soft poached egg proved the perfect patio lunch with a local Albertan beer (they have several on tap).

Deane House also offers brunch on the weekends, where diners may top forkfuls of brioche French toast with Saskatoon berry jam and maple syrup, or share elegant renditions of dishes like oxtail perogies and fried chicken and biscuits.

Long a fixture in the Inglewood neighbourhood, Deane House has been imbued with new life.

Deane House, 806 9 Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2G 0S2.

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July 4, 2017