For recent dinner with some fabulous folks in Calgary, we went to Brassierie Kensington. The menu focuses around very hearty, down to earth European fare with bit of French tossed in, and is inspired by “everything that (they) love about European food and atmosphere”. Service was excellent, and there was a promise in the air, as it was redolent with the scent of cooking duck, savories and truffles.
This little restaurant with an emphasis on duck, pork, and truffles is tucked away, so keep your eye out for their sidewalk signage, or you'll have to call them like us to get landmarks to find them... I think we drove right by it 3 times, and nearly walked right past it if it wasn't for our sharp eyed companions flagging us down form the restaurant.
With a wide selection of wines, craft beers (8 on tap and more than three-dozen bottled varieties) and imported ciders, we ordered a round of William's Sir Perry English style pear cider. Super fizzy and light, it had just a bit of sweetness to offset the tartness of this refreshing cider. Mmmm!
We each picked out what appealed to us, and it turned out we ordered almost the same items all around the table when the waitress came around to take our orders...Great minds think alike! First was the special of the nigh, which my boyfriend and Super E ordered: Brome Lake duck confit and roasted pork belly served with a tasty polenta. I think the polenta was sweet pea, but I don't remember - it was nice and sweet though. The duck confit was one of the best I've had in Alberta. The skin was a nice crispy golden brown, and the meat flavorful, rich and moist. NOM!
The pork belly was heavily marbled, seasoned and roasted so the top of the fatty bits was slightly crispy. It just meeeeeelted in your mouth delicious! And it was served with an arugula salad lightly dressed in a tangy dressing to help cut through the richness of the dish
We also had the duck rillete sandwich - Think savory, succulent moist braised pulled duck piled onto a large slice of toasted bread topped with melted brie and indulgently rich duck gravy, and a mini mountain of crisp onion straws. Uncle J's came with a side of classic pomme frites on the side. It. Was. Amazing!
I had my order of duck rillete sandwich with the soup of the day which was a very filling and aromatic split pea and smoked pork hock soup. There were nice little pieces of lightly smokey pork hock through out the thick hearty soup, and the onion straws added in an extra bit of richness and flavor to the soup. Mmmm!
Auntie J went with the Pork Hock Poutine. Was tempted to get the Mushroom Poutine with cheese curds and truffled porcini gravy to compare to Charcut's truffled duck poutine (also fried in duck fat), but was curious about the smoked hock hock. Sounds simple, but best to be shared as hand cut potatos are proudly deep fried in 100% Brome Lake duck fat to a soft smooshiness interior, slightly crisp exterior. Then, these fries are dressed up with a pile of melty cheese curds, a rich, savory dark duck gravy, a handful of slightly crispy on the outside, tender pieces of pork hock and parsley for garnish. So bad, but sooooo good!
After such a rich and indulgent meal, we barely had room for dessert, so we shared a Vanilla bean creme brulee. Smooth silky creamy with plenty of vanilla beans studded throughout, the tart fruit on top balanced out the richness of this perfect way to finish the meal
There's only a few things this new restaurant still needs to iron out, but they have things well in hand. Overall, a great place for a hearty indulgent meal and to relax with friends and family over a pint or glass of tasty beverages. Thanks Chef Cam Dobranski! Will definitely be back to try more of the foie gras, truffled, duck and pork dishes! Now to head off to the gym to work off some of the indulgence!
Address 1131 Kensington Rd NW, Calgary, AB T2N4P4
Phone (403) 457-4148
Hours Tue-Wed 11am-10pm, Thurs 11am-11pm, Fri 11am-midnight, Sat 10am-midnight, Sun 10am-9pm
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