Fortuna’s Row | Calgary’s Best Restaurants 2024

Chef and owner Mikko Tamarra isn’t afraid to take risks with his menu that draws inspiration from Mexico, Peru and other Latin American countries.

(Clockwise from left) Braised beef empanadas with guasacaca; Dungeness crab and shrimp tacos gobernador with lobster crema; and salmon tiradito with pachikay, plantain chips and avocado purée. Photo by Jared Sych.

 

Who’s Behind It
Syndicate Hospitality Group, Chef-Owner Mikko Tamarra.

What’s on the Menu
Contemporary Latin American share plates.

Why We Love This Place
From the moment you step into the dining room at Fortuna’s Row, nestled under the 4th Avenue flyover into downtown, the concrete and terracotta decor, expansive bar and energized open kitchen all signify that a big, bold and ambitious experience awaits. Chef and owner Mikko Tamarra isn’t afraid to take risks with his menu that draws inspiration from Mexico, Peru and other Latin American countries, with selections ranging from small plates of tacos, tostadas and empanadas filled with rich and surprising ingredients, to larger platters heaped with seafood, al pastor-style chicken, or charcoal-grilled steak. It’s a lot to choose from, and the menu descriptions barely do Tamarra’s creations justice, which is why letting yourself be surprised through the “let us feed you” option (a more casual take on a chef’s tasting menu, in which diners allow the chef and front-of-house team to curate their selections on any given evening) is, arguably, the best way to go.

Fortuna’s brunch is just as impressive (if not more), with huge plates of eggs, fried yucca with beef cheeks and chicharron pork belly with plantain all on offer, as well as some of the best breakfast breads in the city, courtesy of pastry chef Teisha Huff.

Add in beverage director Ivana Lovric’s interesting (and occasionally challenging) cocktails, the new set family-style menus offered in the private dining room with seating for up to 20 guests, and the separate Standing Room Only Bar; and you’ve got a Calgary restaurant that is bravely pushing the boundaries of modern Latin American dining.

421 Riverfront Ave. S.E., 403-243-0069, fortunasrow.com, @fortunas.row

 

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This article appears in the March 2024 issue of Avenue Calgary.

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