Thursday, April 30, 2015

Tantalizing Teatro

Chef John Michael Macneil brought Moo
out some greens to graze on
We had been to Calgary many times but never had the opportunity to drop in to try out Teatro, overseen by Chef John Michael MacNeil. The restaurant had been recommended to us by a number of people, so when we knew we would be in town for the Calgary Marathon, we decided to go try out their tasting menu.

Compressed ice melon with vermouth,
encapsulated balsamic vinegar and berlotta ham
The restaurant itself is beautiful, opulent and classic. The space is filled with massive columns, though somewhat imposing, less so when compared to the impressively high ceiling.

We began with a cold preparation of apple and pear encapsulation topped with morel mushrooms with asparagus veloute. The apple and pear spheres were very cool in the mouth, and when they popped open they were oddly thirst quenching, like fruit juice. The asparagus voulete was also satisfying and refreshing.
Faux bacon carbonara

Next a beet, lotus root, orange and crumbled goat cheese salad was light with a hint of citrus. The crumbled goat cheese added creaminess to each bite.

Next a compressed ice melon with vermouth, encapsulated balsamic vinegar topped with berlotta ham were unremarkable as separate components, but eaten together in one mouthful made for a beautifully balanced yet mildly acidic, salty, juicy mouthful.
Chilean sea bass a la planche

The faux bacon carbonara was made of smoked coconut as opposed to bacon, and although the texture of the “smoked bacon” wasn’t as good as Sailin’ On’s “smoked bacon”, it added a smoky and saltiness to the super rich and creamy, perfectly dressed pasta. It was so good that I wanted to finish the whole thing, but stopped as aI knew there was more to  come.
Sous vide feeb cheek

The Chilean sea bass a la planche on top of Isreaeli cous cous, saffron arancini and paprika oil was expertly prepared. The fish was moist and delicate, while the skin was perfectly crisped. Following this was a sous vide feeb cheek with pomme puree, dill, pakrika and feeb jus. The humans found the feeb to be tender and delicious, very natural tasting and not over seasoned while they loved the smooth and creamy pomme puree.
Warmed double cream Brie

The cheese course was probably my least favourite dish of the night, as it was served in the form of a warmed double cream Brie with sliced grapes and cucumbers. The portion was quite large, too large to eat given the saltiness of the brie and the texture of the warm brie combined with the cold grapes and cucumbers just felt odd.
Salted caramel ice cream made with
liquid nitrogen

Finally, they made the dessert in front of our eyes, a salted caramel ice cream made with liquid nitrogen. It was fun to watch the liquid nitrogen up close and see how it reacted with the ice cream base. The ice cream itself was well balanced, not too sweet and the right amount of salt.

Overall, we enjoyed our 8 course meal, which was very well paced over the course of two and half hours. We left feeling full but not so much so that we felt like exploding. Chef John Michael MacNeil was mooawesome and friendly, and although not an inexpensive meal, I would definitely recommend it for a special occasion.

 Chef John Michael MacNeil has since left Teatro and is the co-owner of The Black Pig Bistro with fellow chef and wife, Alison MacNeil - which by the way is another delicious restaurant.

200 8 Ave SE
Calgary, AB  T2G 0K7
Twitter: @TeatroCalgary

Teatro on Urbanspoon

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