Deane House, farm-to-table goodness
When we're not eating out in Mission or 17th avenue, we are most likely to be in Inglewood at The Nash, Rouge, and now Deane House which opened only last month. After indulging in a weekend brunch, a mid-week lunch, and a Friday night dinner at Deane House - not on the same day, mind you, it's about time I share my new favourite Calgary restaurant.
Deane House is a century old building restored and refurbished this past summer by Sal Howell, founder of The River Cafe. When we moved from Melbourne, a foodie capital in its own right, I knew I could live in Calgary after I ate at the River Cafe. For me, it's where romances begin, business deals are celebrated, and families are brought together. The platform of sustainable, local cuisine from The River Cafe carries over to Deane House and magically the warmth and romance came along as well.
Chef Jamie Harling, ex Rouge, heads Deane House kitchen where proteins take a backseat to the stellar in-season produce. The descriptors on the menu are queued by seasonal vegetables, such as ember roasted winter squash, confit Hakurei turnip, and pickled chanterelles. Front of house service is swift and smart. Across all my visits, our servers were perfectly timed and gracious. Deane House is also the place for a great drink; the talented bar staff make house-made bitters and syrups for original cocktails. My husband regularly stops by Deane House with his buddies after work, sharing a charcuterie platter at the bar with artisans cured meats.
Calgary loves a weekend brunch and Deane House's offering is perfect for a leisurely latte filled morning that turns into an afternoon. The atmosphere is completely relaxed, reminiscent of a luxury bed and breakfast. We started off with the decadent pastry table ($10 per person, unlimited), a buffet spread of freshly baked warm treats including flaky croissants, sticky pecan buns and fluffy southern style biscuits with last summer's preserves. Our second plates followed: a bowl of granola topped yoghurt with Ryan's honey; fresh poached egg on grilled sourdough with a brown butter vinaigrette; a luscious bowl of corn grits topped with a 64 degree poached duck egg, pickled shrimp, and chilli vinaigrette; and the 7K Ranch Longhorn burger for our burger obsessed daughter. Everything was delicious and I can't wait to return for brunch again.
Weekend Brunch at Deane House is served 10am-3pm, Saturday and Sundays. Reservations are highly recommend.
Lunch and dinner
Lunch and dinner menus at Deane House are similar, and consistently good across presentation, flavours, and service. My girlfriend Autumn treated me to a mid-week lunch, while our daughters were at school. Autumn and her family recently moved from Banff to Calgary, and I was happy to share all my favourite Calgary spots to shop and dine. Our table was along the windows by the river, where sunlight poured in and we enjoyed plates of watercress and mushrooms, rabbit pierogies, and confit duck leg. We also each indulged in a glass of crisp Riesling.
Dinner was even more special. We booked a table with four other dear friends on a Friday night, to celebrate my husband's November birthday. We arrived on time, but our table was still occupied. Without any complaints, we were served complimentary champagne in the bar while we waited. The US election had just ended days before and we were ready to relax and eat good food.
Between the six of us, we covered three courses and sat past midnight laughing hard and solving the world's problems. Our starters included salted red cabbage with chicken liver mousse, pickled bluff carrots with lentil hummus, toasted hazelnuts and goat feta. I tried a similar dish I had at brunch, Okanagan polenta with roasted root vegetables and a 64 degree poached duck egg. Other highlights from the evening included the wood-fired Albacore tuna with pork belly, seared duck breast, and smoked Northern Divine sturgeon and caviar. Desserts of a super moist carrot cake and rich chocolate pate concluded eating. I was pleasantly surprised to see our final group's bill was under $600, which included copious amounts of wine and after dinner drinks.
Deane House is indeed a welcome new addition to the Calgary dining scene. It sits on par with Calgary's best restaurants. Even though it's only a couple month's old, it already feels like an old favourite and I look forward to making many memories with their farm-to-table goodness.
Lunch is served from 11am and dinner is served from 5pm (Tuesday through Sunday).
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