Nick Suche of Syndicate Hospitality Group began dreaming up the concept for Orchard around two years ago — just six months after opening his first establishment, Beltline cocktail bar Shelter. The goal, ultimately, was to blend the sophistication of New York and Los Angeles hotspots with old-world European architecture.
Suche found two co-owners to help bring Orchard to life: Andrew Denhamer (food and beverage director) and Jenny Kang (chef, formerly with Shokunin and Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant). In October, 2020, the restaurant opened at the base of SODO Apartments on 10th Ave. S.W., just steps from the Calgary Marriott Downtown Hotel.
The restaurant, a collaborative design from Sturgess Architecture and Bold Workshop led by Kayla Browne, is split into two distinct halves. There’s a dining room where reservations are available and a bar where they are not. It is filled to the brim with dozens of chandeliers by Stock & Custom and countless plants, and the bar’s facade is a custom brass sheets-and-patina artwork by Suche’s sister, Cassie Suche.
As for the menu, it’s easiest described as modern Mediterranean food with pan-Asian flourish. Suche says the Orchard team decided to pick and choose from what’s considered classic Mediterranean and put Kang’s signature flair into the mix, including elements from her Korean heritage. The results are inspired dishes like the salmon crudo with pickled radish, granny smith apple, cucumber, tobiko and furikake and the Rougie duck breast with carrot soubise, broccolini and chirizu. (The cheese-stuffed garlic bread, pictured below, is an early crowd favourite.)
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Cocktails are also on offer, as one might expect given Suche’s background with Shelter. He points out two as must tries for first-timers: the light-and-bright From Shelter Love with citrus vodka, cocchi rossa, Aperol, lemon and passionfruit and the complex Beckoning Cat, with junmai gingo sake, batida de coco, plum wine, creme de cacao, green melon, matcha orgeat, lemon and egg white. You can also order beer or wine, or pick from the dedicated cider list.
Orchard is open for dinner Tuesday to Sunday each week. For info on brunch, lunch, happy hour and late night, visit its website. Reservations can be made via Tock.
134, 610 10 Ave. S.W., 403-243-2392, orchardyyc.com