Two of us went to the Belvedere for lunch on a Thursday. What a pleasant surprise! I was asked why I’d never been to the restaurant before, and I didn’t have a very good answer, but I think it may have been because I had the idea that it was very fancy and very expensive. However; times are changing! The day we were there was the very first day of their new menu – a cheaper menu! They lowered their prices because the clientele has changed. Sadly, so many people have lost their jobs in downtown Calgary, and expensing meals now is rare. So, it was nice to see a restaurant respond to the changing market.
The host was a delight – he said he’s worked at the Belvedere for 16 years – since the place opened. He was very informative and humorous. The restaurant is fancy, but not stuffy. I’d be comfortable there for a casual lunch, an after work drink, or a romantic date. The lunch menu was decently priced, with mains ranging between $16 and $24. Considering you can easily drop $13 on unhealthy food at a food truck, I think this is totally fair.
We were provided bread to start – a black olive bread with a pinkish whipped butter. I can’t remember what kind of butter it was, but it was kind of fruity. I dislike black olives, but I gave the bread a shot. I wasn’t a fan of the butter either. But, to be fair, as I said I don’t like black olives.
I chose the Bouillabaisse for $22. It was FULL of seafood. The broth was pleasantly seasoned with a bit of heat that tickled the throat and a nice level of herbs. The level of salt was perfect. However, today was the day that I realized I don’t really like good quality saffron. I mentioned to the host that the bouillabaisse tasted a little bit metallic. He marched right back to the kitchen to speak to the chef and came back with a spoonful of saffron threads from the chef. He asked me to try some, and the taste was obviously what I had tasted in the dish – apparently, good saffron gives off a metallic taste. This is where I chuckle at myself – I never said I was a foodie who knows much about food… I’m really just someone who loves to eat. So, it was cool that the host (and the chef) took the time to (nicely) teach me a lesson!
My friend had the Frittata for $19. It was served in a very hot skillet, so she had to be careful she didn’t burn herself on the handle. But the frittata, she said, was excellent (as said in her beautiful Kiwi accent) and the salad was nice as well.
Through our conversation with the host it came out that I’m a food blogger. And he picked on me for it! He’s a hoot. During one of our chats with the host, I was bombarded by a fly – it even had the gall to fly right into my eyeball. The timing was perfect – the host said – oh great, now that will show up in the blog post! Well, since you mentioned it… 🙂
I’m pretty happy that The Belvedere has lowered their prices. I recommend you check out their website for the new menu (I’m not sure the Zomato menu is up to date).