A romantic night for two is not hard to plan in Calgary, especially if both sweethearts share the desire to go on a gastronomic journey. Recent years have seen a burst of restaurants that are unassumingly chic and eclectic, sourcing local ingredients for internationally-inspired dishes. Here, a list of spots that will undoubtedly set the mood and most certainly spark a flame.
Recently celebrating its 25th anniversary, Teatro is a mainstay in Calgary’s culinary landscape and an excellent spot for a special occasion. With exquisite finishes mixed with contemporary designs, and a strict priority in quality, you’ll find works of art not only on your plate, but surrounding you on the walls, commissioned by local artists. And let’s not forget their wine menu boasting over 1,300 bottles from around the world. With its ritzy vibe and timeless ambiance, Teatro has transformed the heritage Dominion Bank Building into a posh slice of romance in the heart of the city.
The Wednesday Room
Prepare to travel back in time as you enter this luxurious mid-century lounge. The Wednesday Room exudes an ambiance of refined fun, with retro-style furniture, boldly patterned carpets, decorative typewriters and turntable, and plush booths that allow for a cozy cuddle. Whether accompanying shared bites of whipped guacamole atop crispy plantain chips or settling in with a pappardelle lamb Bolognese, be sure to try one of the famed cocktails. The mixologists behind the bar have shaken up some exciting spin-offs of the classics while littering the menu with creative libations that will certainly give you and your date something to toast.
For the hopeless romantics, a historic atmosphere is just the way to your evening. Inside Inglewood’s former National Hotel, The Nash features contemporary Canadian cuisine with a seasonal menu with plenty of locally sourced veggies. Think rotisserie chicken, AAA flat iron steak, whisky-cured pork belly set in simple yet delicious plates focused on wood-fired cooking. Desserts are decadent—bourbon caramel crème brûlée and honey lavender cake—and come with a suggested paired wine. Not ready to end the night? Slide over to their Off Cut Bar for cocktails and in a hideaway a warm crackling fire, black-and-white portraits, and cushy velvet banquettes.
Set on the lagoon in the midst of Prince’s Island Park, the intimate walk to this hidden gem will ease you and your partner out of the hustle and bustle of downtown Calgary. The cabin-chic elegance of River Café sets the scene, with ideal spots for cozying up to next to the cobblestone fireplace. Their menu is driven by their commitment to local and sustainable ingredients, and features a six- or seven-course chef’s tasting menu which comes with unique wine pairings. Sip, swirl, and savour the moment as you enjoy a romantic experience on the bank of the Bow River.
Buoyed by its warm and inviting atmosphere, Elbow Room carries modern appeal and sophistication enough to suit any couple. With comfort and adventure in mind, owner and executive chef Ryan Blackwell has created a wonderful selection of Canadian-inspired sharables, from roasted Brussel sprouts to luxe prosciutto and burrata pizzas to tika masala salmon. First dates might find comfort on the bustling ground floor, while those looking for a quietly low-lit evening will find such an ambiance on the upper level.
Yellow Door Bistro
Follow the yellow door into a whimsical dining room filled with a melange of modern and period elements, textured walls, and an Instagram-worthy black-and-white patterned wallpaper—you are guaranteed a memorable evening. With a menu blending French favourites and classic Canadian comfort food, Yellow Door Bistro offer exceptional four-course set meals to celebrate the romantic occasion—paired with a cocktail, of course. Make it an overnight affair and treat your sweet to a staycation in Hotel Arts, a mere elevator ride away.
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