In 2013 I visited Calgary for the first time to write about the city’s evolving food and drink scene. My most memorable moment? Digging into a juicy Alberta beef steak at Charcut while Canada’s favourite acting family, Donald and Kiefer Sutherland snatched paper-thin slices of charcuterie with glee at a table directly across from me.
Owners and chef’s Connie DeSousa and John Jackson have put Calgary on Canada’s culinary map via appearances on Top Chef Canada as well as popping up in enRoute Magazine’s list of Canada’s Top 10 Best New Restaurants. Charbar, their newest concept is located in one of Calgary’s must-visit destinations – a culinary tourists delight, the historic Simmons Building features Charbar, Sidewalk Citizen Bakery, Phil & Sebastian Coffee Roasters and a rooftop patio offering spectacular views overlooking the bustling Bow River.
Chef Pelland is the Queen of the kitchen at Charbar. A born-and-bred Calgarian, Chef Pelland has entertained audiences on Chopped Canada and has been profiled as one of Canada’s top culinarians by Western Living and Chatelaine magazines.
In 2015, Chef Pelland began her Charbar journey having eaten and cooked her way through some of Argentina’s most famous kitchens. The Argentine wood-fired grill is the true inspiration behind the restaurant’s identity. The culinary influence of Argentina, which is a blend of Spanish and Italian cuisine, is evident throughout the menu while an extensive raw bar pays homage to fresh, sustainable, west coast seafood.
One must give kudos to Chef Pelland for having gumption. She flew down to Argentina in hopes of learning the art of the Asado, a station historically managed by men (eye roll: boys and their BBQ). After wooing local chef’s with her fancy for food she returned to Calgary to share the tradition with Alberta’s cowboy loving culture. She’s found a perfect bliss point, a harmony between the province’s love for beef with Argentina’s unique culinary ethos.
Highlights from Charbar’s brunch menu include perfectly golden beef empanadas dipped in hot sauce butter, Asadora Steak and Eggs with crushed avocado toast, addictive Jamon Crudo Pizza and heavenly Deep-fried French Toast Bites with dulce de leche.
Bello | gin, aperol, creme yvette, lemon, blackberry syrup, egg white
Boxspring | rum, grand marrder, roasted red pepper shrub, lemon, tonic
Fried Eggs, 7k ranch grass-fed beef empanadas, hot sauce butter
Asadora Steak and Eggs with crushed avocado toast
Chimichurri Chicken Salad, iceberg, hearts of palm
Jamon Crudo Pizza, provolone cheese, egg yolk
Deep-fried French Toast Bites, dulce de leche dipping sauce
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