Selected by enRoute Magazine as one of Canada’s best new Restaurants in 2015, Pigeonhole has really set the bar high as it opened its door last summer. Taking up the space right next to its sister restaurant, Model Milk, Pigeonhole is a new venture from Chef Justin Leboe who continues to impress Calgarians with his magic in food.
On Christmas Eve, Kev and I strolled down on 17th Ave and were ready to be dazzled by the gastronomic adventure we were about to have at Pigeonhole. Keeping the grey/green marble tabletops and spindly chandelier from the former British teahouse, the restaurant retains the old English charm. By painting the ceilings and walls white, it introduces a modern element into the space.
I swear, you would fall in love with those floral-designed, dainty Victorian plates by the end of the night.
A girl can’t turn down a drink on a snowy winter night. Especially when it is Christmas Eve! Our server introduced me to a secret cocktail off the menu – earl grey martini ($12), mixing together gin, egg white, lime, and earl grey syrup. While I sipped away the dangerously delicious, refreshing drink, Kev went for a glass of cranberry-lime mocktail ($5).
If you asked me what kind of food Pigeonhole serves, I really couldn’t categorize them into a specific genre of cuisine. Just as I thought I tasted British, something else screamed Japanese the next moment. There are no boundaries. The important point is – everything tasted finger-lickin’ good!!
With almost everything designed to be shared (unless you went for the ‘blue plate specials‘), Kev and I settled with a few options on the menu.
The bold flavors of the marinated calamari tostada ($12) made it a perfect dish to stimulate our appetite. We crushed the thin sheet of tostada lied on top of the dish and tossed it with the rest of the ingredients. Paired with shredded cabbage, the strips of squid left us with a mouthful of chewy, crunchy texture. The citrus and peppercorns tied the flavours together and gave the dish a little brightness. Hmm… the macadamia nuts wrapped it up with a rich nutty flavor and a nice crunchiness. T.A.S.T.Y.
Know Your Cheese: Mimolette
Produced in Lille, France, the semi-hard cheese is derived from cow’s milk and takes on an orange color. It can be consumed at various aging time, varying from 2 months to 24 months. With an appearance similar to an cantaloupe, the cheese has a fruity aroma and a buttery, salty, nutty taste.
If you have a weakness for gnocchi, try its close cousin – ricotta dumplings ($16). These little pillowy dumplings melted with every bite. As you chewed, the earthy aroma from the spinach danced on your palate. The confit onion really let the flavour of the ricotta shine through.
Before you grab the bill, don’t forget to treat yourselves with their housemade madeleines ($8). These soft, buttery French shell-shaped cookies were a perfect end to our special meal. They were gone before we knew it!
Taken all together, Pigeonhole definitely lives up to the hype. It sure gains my respect for making the list of Canada’s best new restaurants with no objection. Kudos to their servers who made our experience unforgettable ?
This post is part of the Fiesta Friday link-up! Click here for more cooking inspirations. Chee