{Dining out: The Brasserie in Kensington and The Tilted Grill in Mission}

Today I thought I’d do a recap a couple of our recent date nights at two fairly new establishments: The Brasserie in Kensington and The Tilted Grill in Mission. Both restaurants have been buzzed about around town, so we were pretty excited to sample their menus.

The Brasserie in Kensington is a casual French bistro located right above the WineBar, both or which are owned by the same folks who brought us Muse (one of my favourite fine dining establishments in Calgary).

I’ve been trying to get a reso for Friday night for the past 3 weeks and we finally got ourselves a time (that wasn’t 5pm or 9pm). Note: Try to make a reservation earlier in the week, rather than wait till Thursday for a weekend time slot like I did.

The space is fairly small and surrounded by large windows in the front, making it a prime people watching spot on Kensington road. The place was busy and the tables are nestled closely to each other. Don’t come in here looking for a quiet, private and romantic ambience, this place was buzzing and at full capacity when we arrived.

The menu includes 100 wines for under $100, an impressive list of English and Belgian beers and a menu filled with French classics like Nicoise salad, french onion soup and steak frites.

We’ve heard a lot of great things about the place, including their delicious poutine, which has been touted around the online community as some of the best poutine they’ve had in Calgary. I am not a big poutine person myself, but the boy is quite smitten with them, so we shared an order of their Brasserie pomme frites ($11) as an appetizer.

These. were. good.

Piping hot crisp fries topped with the perfect amount of thick duck infused gravy swimming with melted crumbles of oozy creamy cheese curds and a pinch of fresh parsley. (So much for that workout..haha). I thought I’d just sample a few, but ended up gobbling half my share of the dish. Dee-lish.

For my entrée I ordered their clam papardelle ($18) – housemade noodles tossed with peas, bacon, saffron cream and marash pepper. This dish did not disappoint. Thin ribbons of pasta cooked to al dente and each perfectly coated in the savoury cream sauce, the kind of reminded me of a carbonara with a twist. I enjoyed this with a glass of their sauvignon blanc.

The boy had the Driview Farms Lamb burger ($15.25) – sandwiched with brie, mint aioli and tomato. The patty was thick and juicy and the crisp fresh vegetables and tangy sauce made for one satisfying burger. Washed down with a pint of French beer, what more could a boy want.

We were too stuffed for dessert, but I glanced enviously at some lovely looking dishes at the other tables like their classic french crepes suzette, vanilla creme brulee and their crispy apple strudel.

This place will definitely become a new regular on our date night rotation.

Brasserie Kensington on Urbanspoon

Another new and buzzed about place that recently opened its doors is the Tilted Grill, which took over the space of the hip bar BLVD. The menu is inspired by street food from around the world including such tasty sounding dishes like their Short rib burger with lychee BBQ sauce and their 18 herb Peking Crackling Chicken served with coconut rice.

Their drink menu includes an impressively long list of different flavoured vodkas (including bubble gum flavour?!) and tequilas as well as a wide range of wines from as low as $24 a bottle to a $325 Dom Perignon if you’re feeling extra indulgent. 

For our beverages, we both ordered their unique TG Chinook Caesar ($6.74) – made with Foo King relish and smoked salmon flavoured vodka (what?!)

Surprisingly these were REALLY good. The flavour of the smoked salmon was subtle but definitely added a deliciously pleasant dimension to the drink that is unlike any Caesar I’ve had before.

We shared their Vietnamese pork skewers ($8) – Bahn mi style ground pork, authentic herbs and spices wrapped around bamboo skewers served with a hoisin dipping sauce and sriracha.

These were great – juicy, really flavourful and authentic tasting. It reminding me of a dish my grandma used to make when I was younger. We could have easily eaten another order of these.

For my entree, I went with the Grilled Calamari Tacos ($14) – Fish tacos reimagined with grilled buttermilk marinated calamari topped with Mediterranean and latin seasoning. Served between white tortillas on a bed of shredded lettuce and tomato along with two dipping sauces. For my side, I of course ordered the yam fries (which I enjoyed more than the tacos themselves). 

Verdict: I thought the calamari was rather flavourless and the tacos themselves were very messy to eat with the salsas it turned into one soggy mess. In the end, I think I would have preferred to just have the calamari atop a bountiful salad instead.

The boy had an equally mediocre experience with his Korean Maui Ribs ($19) – Marinated BBQ short ribs on a bed of Kimchee rice with sauces. The ribs were fatty and not very meaty which almost made it not worth the effort to get it off the bone. The boy finished the meal still hungry, which one should not feel after spending that amount of money on a dish.

We bypassed dessert since we felt we had spent enough on our “ok” meal already. If we do try this place next time, it will be to enjoy their patio and we’ll probably just stick to the smaller apps for a mid afternoon snack rather than go for the entrees. 

Tilted Grill on Urbanspoon

UPDATE: In response to the blog post by Calgary Foodies, my reply is in the comments was deleted from their page. And for the record I was NOT one of the food bloggers that was invited to the tasting event for free. I was a paying customer. I give my honest opinion good or bad because I feel that is what my readers are looking for. My reviews are not a  “don’t ever go to these restaurants” statement, in fact, I would love to hear positive things from the readers to encourage me to return to these establishments.

All I have left to say to the folks at Calgary Foodies is if you are so offended by my thoughts and opinions, then I suggest you don’t read this blog.

14 Responses to “{Dining out: The Brasserie in Kensington and The Tilted Grill in Mission}”
  1. Tatiana says:

    I went to Brasserie Kensington shortly after they opened, and it was so meh that I’ll have to return just to see if that was a one off or not. Everything was on the bland side.

    • I am always hesitant going to a place shortly after its opened. I had that experience with Boxwood and Notable, both experiences were really sub par but I figured it was because I went opening week. But there have been nothing but rave reviews for both places since.

      We tried Wurst in Mission on Friday (2nd day of opening) and the food was FANTASTIC. Review to come soon.

  2. Tatiana says:

    Can’t wait for WURST review – menu looks phenomenal, and I’m thinking lunch there on Saturday.

  3. Tatiana says:

    And you’re absolulely right about opening week jitters, although I was there lets say opening month. That’s why instead of posting a mediocre review I thought I’d give them another chance.

  4. We would like to say that we find Jen to be one of the most objective bloggers out there. We love her blog (especially her pictures).

  5. Lindso says:

    Wow, first your called out. Then you are “Objective.” and now your slanderous. Is the Calgary Foodies blogger having split personality issues? Or just backtracking?

    Love your blog and your OBJECTIVE insights. Keep it coming!

    • Thanks for your comment 🙂

      I hope that my readers realize that my reviews are merely my personal experience and not meant as an outright “attack” on local businesses. My blog is a diary of my eats and not inteded to be a place to make “slanderous” comments and say “this restaurant sucks”.

  6. leah says:

    As a food blog reader, blogger and friend/follower of Chocolate and Ginger, I have to say that Jen really is objective. We often chat about dining out and she has never once bashed a restaurant so badly that I wouldn’t give it a try. In fact, her love of food and sharing her experiences is what has gotten me to try many more places and a further love of food and cooking, despite ok, good, or fantastic reviews. She has always encouraged people to discover what they like for themselves. All the other food blogs I read also follow this pattern of objective and informative writing.

    Calgary Foodies may have a bit of, pardon the pun, egg on their faces?

  7. Luke says:

    When asked if the Calgary Foodies have a relationship with Tilted Grill (i.e. are they personal friends with the Tilted Grill owners?), comments were promptly deleted and closed on the article.

    A strange response.

  8. David says:

    I tried the calamari tacos too (after reading your blog)! Mine was a little too peppery. But that’s just my opinion. Oh wait… I don’t think I’m suppose to have one of those.

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