Hello all you lovely people, welcome back to another blog post! As you may already know, I love food… especially delicious food! However, one thing I do not like is cilantro…I’m part of that population in the world who has the gene where cilantro tastes DISGUSTING. Knowing that you may be surprised by my choice of restaurant for my birthday — Cilantro. Thankfully, this is not a place that only cooks with cilantro or has a hyper obsession with the herb. The restaurant located on 17th Ave in Calgary — right in the middle of all the hustle and bustle. It is a quaint place with AMAZING food… if you haven’t been there you need to go! This particular occasion was my fourth visit in the last year (please note image above is from the restaurant website).
The menu isn’t very large, but they have some great options. As an appetizer I would whole heatedly recommend the baked ricotta. This dish, is a type of cheese baked with honey mustard seasoning and fruit marinated in a sweet red wine sauce. The dish is served with focaccia bread where you spread the cheese (yes it is that soft) on the bread and top it with the fruit. It’s like a rainbow of flavours in your mouth… I’m now drooling writing this.
The entree selection is the smallest of the menu, but don’t be alarmed, the food is delicious! This is a good time for vegetarians to scroll past this paragraph and make their way to dessert. I love meat so my entrees will usually have some form of animal protein. My personal favourite at Cilantro is the rack of lamb — you can order a half rack or a full rack with a cost difference of about $10. Getting the full rack is worth it in that you can pack it up and have an amazing lunch the next day — see the Trotting Traveller is ALWAYS full of good ideas! The lamb is served with seasonal vegetables — asparagus, zucchini as well as the creamiest mash potatoes ever; all plated beautifully. One of the things that people usually complain about at small local restaurants, is the portion sizes. They are frequently small and with more emphasis on the “look” of the dish rather than the quantity or quality of the food. I’m happy to report that Cilantro pays close attention to ALL aspects — the look of the dish is beautiful, the quantity of food is in abundance and the taste is magnificent. The meat just falls off the bone and melts in your mouth (YUM)!
Finally, time for perhaps the best part of any meal — DESSERT (AHHH)! For my birthday dessert I chose a lavender chocolate tart with a hint of sea salt. Now one might think that salt would have the opposite effect that dessert is supposed to have & normally I would agree with you. However, in this case, the chocolate in the tart is so rich that the sea salt adds another dimension of taste to the dish. All the flavors worked really well together and the size of the tart was perfect, you’re not left wanting more but you also don’t feel sick after!
Overall, all of my experiences at this restaurant have been spectacular. The service is excellent with the servers being attentive but not hovering over you. You feel comfortable in the space and the decor is on the more rustic side. Visit Cilantro’s website for the menu and contact information — you can even reserve a table using OpenTable! I give this restaurant ♥♥♥♥♥ out of 5 hearts — add this to your list of must eats in YYC!
Trotting Traveller ♥