Parkerhouse Grill and Wine Bar, Calgary

In my fantasies, it’s always fall in New England. Also, New England in my fantasies is comprised entirely of charming small towns with charming small-town festivals, like The Festival of Living Art, and are full of charming small-town eccentrics who who have night terrors and sleepwalk in the nude.

But New England food doesn’t mean a lot to me. I know that Maine has lobsters. I like lobster. Who doesn’t?

There’s a lot of Lobster on Parkerhouse Grill and Wine Bar’s menu: a lobster and pumpkin soup with maple crème fraiche; lobster turnovers with puff pastry and coriander lime aioli in the appetizers; and in the mains, an Atlantic Lobster Américaine with tomato, leek, brandy, and buttered potatoes, and a lobster mac and cheese baked with three cheeses and spinach.

The rest of the menu is similarly seafood-heavy: in appetizers, a Manhattan Clam Chowder (since it’s Manhattan, it’s not chowda) with thyme infused virgin olive oil; hot crab dip with roasted garlic, parmesan, and lemon crackers; steamed mussels with Guinness, garlic, fresh herb, and cream; house-cured Atlantic salmon ‘gravlax’ with sweet chili sauce; a trio of fresh-shucked Rockefeller Oysters with spicy Cajun fritters; and a prawn cocktail with black tiger prawns, carrot slaw, and orange infused cocktail sauce. For entrees, there is the Monkfish “Chowda,” prosciutto wrapped, red peppers, potato, and herb cream; roasted salmon with a porcini mushroom crust, shellfish consommé, and root vegetables; a crab boil with fish, prawns, scallops, artichokes, chorizo, potato, and tomato broth; and steamed Dungeness crab with drawn butter and vegetable risotto. Seafood cannelloni comes with a rosé brandy sauce and gruyere cheese.

For those who don’t eat only seafood, there is a decent meat selection: grilled spring chicken with chili glaze, grilled asparagus, and fettuccine Alfredo; braised lamb shank wih aromatic red wine braise and saffron risotto; and a sugar backed ham with lentil casserole, spiced apple sauce, and Madeira jus. For vegetarians, there’s, well, spaghetti.

Named for the Parker House Hotel in Boston, the Parkerhouse Grill and Wine Bar is located in the historic Lougheed Building, which recently underwent a renovation. The executive chef is Andrew Keen, who also supervises the kitchen over at The Tribune.

Address: 131 Sixth Avenue SW, Calgary, AB
Contact: 403-237-9585
Cuisine: Contemporary
Area: Downtown
Venue: Restaurant, Wine Bar
Hours: Mon. – Thu.: 11:00am – 10:00pm
Fri. – Sun. 11:00am – 12:00pm
Price Range: $$ (Affordable)
Payment: Visa, MasterCard, Amex

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