charcut. you must leave room for it. eat sparingly that day. if you can, go for a run, work yourself out at the gym. because it would be a shame to go to charcut and not try as many items on the menu as possible. also, put aside the squeamishness and don’t even think about calories. you are in calgary now. it’s bigger in calgary. and as close to excess as it gets in canada, god bless. calgary has no time for tree hugging kale people. it was the final stop on our faculty of celebrity studies tour across the country. and at the end of it a meat mirage for the gorging, on display too, right there when you walk in. you see it all hanging from hooks — charcut looks exactly like what it’s meant to be: an eater’s paradise.
start your meal with a charcut board, any one you want. but it’s way more fun, and probably a lot more memorable, if you give yourself over to the chef’s inspiration. we went with a custom board and we have no regrets. in fact, he may have rewarded us with something extra just for not telling him what to do.
not surprisingly the slow-roasted heirloom beets were adequate but not thrilling because, well, that’s not really the house specialty. the house makes up for it however on the bone marrow au gratin. if i had been in the privacy of my own home, i would have been slurping, sucking, and gnawing on that by the end.
do you ever play the death row last meal game? what would be yours? i used to think steak for sure. but at charcut i tried, for the first time, bison heart. it was the special that night. bison heart has now replaced steak as my death row last meal entree, the most delicious meat i have ever tasted - lean but still juicy, with an almost springy texture, and here’s a gossip columnist’s favourite word: it seems to be rather elusive; i have not been able to find it at any restaurant since.
if you’re not up for the adventure of the bison heart, you’ll do fine with the butcher’s steak. i often find that the menu item with the least-fanciest name is the one that most defines exactly what a restaurant is all about. charcut’s butcher’s steak is the establishment’s identity - only the best cut and only the best preparation.
and don’t even think about skipping on the table sides. you need to complement your meat with the duck fat fried poutine. the brussel sprouts with bacon are awesome. and definitely go with the corn and chanterelles dripping in butter. like i said, charcut should be attempted only with an empty, empty stomach. otherwise, you’re not showing the food any respect.
and respect is what we came away with after the trip. we big city eaters have been humbled. thank you charcut in calgary. and the bicycle thief in halifax. and town. in ottawa.
click here if you missed our food experience in halifax and click here for what we ate in ottawa.