I was excited to attend another Vine and Dine event in Calgary, this time at Mimo, a Portuguese restaurant in the SE. For $69.50 plus taxes and gratuities (for a total of $86), we were treated to 6 courses, each with a 2 oz. pour of wine.
Mimo is in SE Calgary, just off 17 Avenue at 49 Street. It’s a very multi-cultural neighbourhood, in a strip mall now called Little Saigon, which used to be filled with Portuguese businesses. Mimo recently renovated their restaurant – having been there for over 31 years I guess it needed a facelift. This was my first time at Mimo, and my first impression of this family-owned business was pleasant. The restaurant is large, clean and modern. The washrooms were even updated! The restaurant also has a little market that sells frozen meat (sausage) and seafood, canned peppers, pickles and sauces, canned fish, and a variety of spices. It was neat to be able to buy some of the ingredients used in the meal.
Our first course was an appetizer from their market. The shrimp croquette and breaded shrimp were imported frozen goods, available for purchase to take home and cook for yourself. I’m not usually a fan of eating pre-made goods at a restaurant, but I understand that it was part of the plan – to show off what they carry in their market. I was actually really impressed with the two appies – and my friend even purchased the shrimp croquettes from the freezer to take home. Inside the croquettes was a subtle shrimp tasting paste. The breading was light and crispy and overall these croquettes were quite enjoyable. The breaded shrimp were similar – for a frozen ‘store-bought’ appy they were pretty good – light and nicely seasoned. The sauce that was served with the croquettes and shrimp was a homemade yogurt pepper paste with green onions and a slight spicy zing. It went well with the appies. We were served Alvarinho Deu La Deu Vinho Verde with this course. It was a slightly fizzy wine; tart with apple flavours.
Second course was a casserole of dry salted cod, onion and egg with julienned fried potatoes called Bacalhau a Bras. The host explained that the ingredients in a Portuguese casserole are all cooked individually and then brought together with olive oil and baked to meld the flavours. I think this dish was Jay’s favourite of the evening. It had a neat texture to it – slightly chewy, and every ingredient had a role in pulling the dish together and making it complete. It was kind of like a slightly fishy potato pancake… The salad was fresh and light, with a simple oil and vinegar dressing. I actually really liked the olives, which was a surprise to me because I usually dislike black olives.I ended up buying a couple bottles of the Fado White wine – it was a good match to the fish and salad.
Next we had the fireman’s sausage – Chorico a Bomereiro. It was brought out in a dish with some kind of fuel in the bottom of it, which was lit on fire. It was a neat way to serve it – to get the ooo’s and awwww’s… but really there’s no other purpose for the display. The sausages are smoked and cooked, with a chewy and dense texture. We did enjoy the sausages and we purchased some frozen sausages to take home. The wine served with this – DFJ Estremadura Portada – was delicious with the meat. I ordered 2 bottles of this wine because we thought it would be great with any grilled meat. It was also a great price!
The beef skewers were served with tomato rice, onion, garlic, olive oil and homemade piri piri sauce. The beef skewers were good – well seasoned, but my favourite thing about this course was the rice. It was probably the best rice I’ve had at any restaurant anywhere in Alberta. It was perfectly cooked, moist and well-flavoured. I would have been happy to trade my meat with someone for more rice! The Terra D’alter Reserva Red wine was delicious and peppery – I bought 2 bottles of this wine too!
The Carne Porco a Alentajano – pork with clams in a spicy sauce with fried potatoes – was super delicious! We even ended up finishing off the leftovers from another table – it was so good! The oily sauce had a spicy kick to it, but it wasn’t too hot. The dish had wonderful flavours and we used the fresh bread to wipe up any sauce left on the plate. The potatoes were wonderfully roasted and the pork was slow cooked and tender. I bought a couple of the different pepper pastes so that I can try to make this at home. The Pocas Junior Coroa Douro Tinto served with the dish turned peppery once the spices from the dish were in your mouth. It was a nice pairing.
For dessert we had a traditional Portuguese Egg Tart – I have to say, that this was the best one I’ve ever had. The creamy filling alongside the layered pastry, sprinkled with cinnamon was just sweet enough. Yum. Served with Ferreira Dona Antonia Personal Reserve port, this was a delightful end to the night.
I can’t wait to go back to Mimo to try their paella. From the photos that I’ve seen from other reviews it seems to be piled high with seafood. Yummy!!