Best Restaurants 2017 Gala

Celebrating Calgary’s winning restaurants has never tasted so good!

The 2017 Best Restaurants Awards took place at Willow Park Wines & Spirits. Photography by Brian Buchsdruecker of Bookstrucker Photography

Our 14th annual Best Restaurants list is out, and to showcase the extraordinary talents of the chefs at the winning restaurants, Avenue hosted an evening of culinary revelry at Willow Park Wines & Spirits. More than 300 guests were invited to sample dishes prepared by the 10 restaurants we named Best Overall, and dishes were enhanced by wine pairings chosen by experts at Willow Park. Each and every dish was a flavourful and visual delight, demonstrating the best of what each restaurant has to offer and confirming that yes, indeed, these are Calgary’s best restaurants.

A smaller number of VIP guests were invited to a pre-celebration where they were treated to hors d’oeuvres ranging from mini fried chicken sandwiches and charcuterie plates to salted butter caramel crepes and smoked mezcal cocktails. These were prepared by restaurants featured in the 10 Top Trend-Leading Restaurants and enhanced by Taittinger champagne served by Pacific Wines & Spirits.

A portion of the proceeds from the event were donated to the Alex Community Food Centre, an organization dedicated to providing people with access to high-quality food, offering healthy meals in a dignified setting and an affordable produce market.

Also, our 2017 Avenue Dinner Series was launched at the event. Anyone is able to purchase tickets and enjoy some of the best dining experiences in the city. The special multi-course dinners at six restaurants from our 10 Best Overall list will take place over the next six months. Click here for more information on the 2017 Dinner Series and to purchase tickets.

Top Trend Leader for Best Cocktail-Forward Dining, Proof serves up samples of its smoked mezcal cocktail “El Santo.” Serving Tony Migliarese, general manager of Proof.


Pure Contemporary Vietnamese Kitchen & Bar wowed guests with its appetizer of pomelo salad and young coconut poached shrimp and pork during the VIP pre-reception. Serving is chef and owner of Pure Contemporary Vietnamese Kitchen & Bar, Lam Pham, and SAIT instructor Simon Dunn.


Pigeonhole and Model Milk, both placing in our Top 10 Best Restaurants category, serving guests during the 14th annual Best Restaurants Awards. Operations manager of Model Milk Joe Dort (front) and chef of Pigeonhole Douglas King (back) are serving.


River Cafe’s chef de cuisine Matthias Fong and Charbar’s executive chef Jessica Pelland.

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