Avenue’s First 2019 Dinner Series Event at River Café Gave Us a Taste of Calgary

Readers enjoyed a private, five-course meal at the Prince’s Island Park hideaway named one of Calgary’s Best Restaurants.

Photograph by Alyssa Quirico

Each March, Calgarians salivate at the arrival of Avenue‘s list of Calgary’s Best Restaurants. Following the issue’s launch, readers are able to indulge in a private dining experience at six of the restaurants on the list during our annual Dinner Series event. On May 15, we kicked off the Dinner Series season at the charming River Café on Prince’s Island Park.

Photograph by Alyssa Quirico

At each event, a multi-course custom menu is created just for our readers. River Café’s chef Matthias Fong designed five courses that reflect the restaurant’s passion for using unique and hyperlocal ingredients whenever possible, such as fiddleheads, spruce, begonia and beef tongue.

Photograph by Alyssa Quirico

Guests walked the scenic riverfront path leading to the restaurant and were greeted with a glass of sparkling wine from Giusti Wines upon arrival. After some mingling, proprietor and founder Sal Howell spoke of the restaurant’s 20-year-history of fine dining, recalling its humble beginnings as just a few tables and chairs on the island beneath the trees.

Photograph by Alyssa Quirico

Here are the five dishes created for the 2019 Dinner Series event at River Café.

Course 1: Spruce and grand fir with sea urchin, oysters and sorrel
Course 2: Dandelion and cow parsnip with Gindara sabelfish, scallop broth and salt cod dumplings
Course 3: Fiddleheads, morel mushrooms and wild garlic with stinging nettle cavatelli
Course 4: Lamb quarters and pine mushroom with hay smoked bone marrow and tongue, and 40-day dry aged beef
Course 5: Begonia and wild fennel with vital greens cream cheese

Our next Dinner Series event is on June 23 at Rouge. Get your tickets here.

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