How do you reinvent the steakhouse in a city like Calgary? Modern Steak owner Stephen Deere’s answer was to challenge the connoisseur’s palate by differentiating the beefy offerings by breed, ranch, aging method (wet or dry) and feed program. It’s about taking taste buds to a deeper understanding of what this land tastes like – in other words, its terroir – and how that manifests in animals that have fed on our rich grasslands and have been finished on those same grasses or with the world’s best barley. Locally sourced Brandt Lake Wagyu, Heritage Angus Beef and Ben’s Alberta Beef from Picture Butte are seared in an 1,800F infrared broiler to lock in juices. Trendy Tomahawk Chops, classic filets and well-marbled steaks are complemented by an extensive wine list deceptively simplified to light, medium and full-body categories.
The decor lends itself to a sexy date night for carnivorous couples, with soft lighting landing on details in black, white and blue (look for the signature blue cattle skull). The focus is clear here. No one leaves Modern Steak asking, “Where’s the beef?”
Restaurants in the Best New Restaurants category opened by the end of summer 2015. It gave each restaurant time to find its groove and our judges time to eat there before the deadlines for our March issue. Other restaurants have opened since and they are on our radar for next year.