Friday, March 23, 2012

Charcut Roast House - Food Coma Impending

Meeting Connie DeSousa
You might have heard a lot of hype over Charcut, particularly after chef Connie DeSousa appeared on Top Chef Canada’s premiere season, placing 3rd overall. After eating here, I can say that all the hype is WELL deserved. The food stands on it’s own, and although the publicity from the show doesn’t hurt, I’m certain that Charcut would be doing the same brisk business without it. A piece of advice, if you’re visiting Calgary, stay somewhere close enough that you can waddle back to your hotel afterwards. We stayed just across the street at the Marriott and were glad we did. Also wearing stretchy pants isn’t a bad idea, nor is going with a group of friends so you can taste more items without busting a gut. There’s no danger of leaving hungry here, you’ll more than likely leave stuffed to the brim with a handful of leftovers to boot.

Pigs Head Mortadella, Raclette Cheese and Brioche
The eating bar is by far the best seat in the house, you are situated right next to the kitchen and are able to watch the action, as well as converse with the kitchen crew. Although there isn’t a lot of room to maneuver, you won’t need it as you'll find yourself quickly devouring everything presented before you.

The menu is a bit daunting as everything looked delicious. Before we had a chance to really decide, Connie brought out a gift of raclette, brioche and pigs head mortadella, knowing from all my Twitter chatter I’d been dying to try these items. The raclette cheese was mild tasting, oozy deliciousness, perfectly paired with warm, soft brioche, the smell of which immediately wafted up once set on the table.

Bone Marrow the size of Moo
Although pigs head mortadella might not sound that appealing, I can assure you that once you’ve had a mouthful of this buttery, melt in your mouth meat, you’ll wonder where it’s been your whole life.

Next up was the duck fat poutine, with every morsel smothered in gravy and the distinct truffle oil smell wafting up at you, it’ll take all your restraint not to shove your fork in and have it all to yourself. The flavor of the truffle oil and the duck fat elevate the lowly poutine to a whole other level. 

The bone marrow they serve is not a dainty piece that can often be found at other restaurants. Instead, you’re presented with a massive bone (it was the size of Moo!), served au gratin with escargot. The humans enjoyed it with crispy pieces of bread serving as merely a vehicle, allowing the delicate flavor to be the star. Plump, tender and succulent escargot are just the icing on this cake.

So much food
Another gift from the kitchen quickly arrives of smashed potatoes, with sour cream and paper thin crispy bacon heaped on top. The contrasting textures between the smashed and still whole pieces of potato are a nice change from the typical singular note mashed potato.

The whole trout is fork tender and its natural flavors shine through brightly. The humans said the flat iron steak was beautifully medium rare, tender, and moist with just a hint of acidity from the chimi churri sauce.

Varholna Hot Chocolate
As we started to feel hazy from all the food, we order the varholna hot chocolate and cheesecake to share. Our sever thoughtfully splits the hot chocolate into separate cups, each with it’s own homemade marshmallow. The cocoa is rich, dark and perfectly decadent. For sweetness, you can stir in as much of the marshmallow as you like. The no bake cheesecake is feather light and rich at the same time, with the slightly tart cherries adding a little zing, and the graham cracker crumbs adding some crunch. Another gift from the kitchen arrives of their white chocolate trifle, topped with candied lemon curd. The candied lemon curd is crispy, adding texture to the dish. They are also surprisingly tart, lemony and sweet all at the same time. The white chocolate taste is full bodied without overwhelming the taste buds.
Food Coma

We ended the meal in a definitive food coma, happily over stuffed with moolicious food. Charcut is a must visit if you’re in Calgary, with amoozing food, genuinely friendly kitchen and serving staff, a lively atmosphere, all at a reasonable price.

More photos at PhotoBucket.

Charcut Roast House
899 Centre Street South
Calgary, AB
Twitter: @CHARCUT

CHARCUT Roast House on Urbanspoon


  1. Great review, Moo! Looking at the pigs head mortadella & brioche is making me hungry! I'm working on my review right now as I type this :)

  2. I would like to try them out first. I am already loving the Pigs Head Mortadella, Raclette Cheese and Brioche. Then I will try on making them for myself. I think they will go well with my roast chicken recipes.


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