Last Wednesday, I had dinner with a bunch of twitters, @terrylo_Calgary @momwhoneedswine, @foodstyleaholic and @frauleinskierka at Xocolat. Newly opened in the Beltline District, Xocolat is a chick friendly restaurant. The room was resplendent with purse trees, gorgeous aloe vera planters, blue bar lights, and pink accents throughout the room.
Unlike most bloggers, I prefer to stick to my tried and true spots. It usually takes a strong recommendation from a friend in order for me to check out a new restaurant. Well, I’m glad Terry got me out of my comfort zone to try Xocolat, otherwise I would have missed out.
Our server Joseph was top notch – the table was impressed with his detailed knowledge of the food and drinks. He was helpful and charming, referring to all the women at the table as ‘young lady’. In my case, that was a bit of a stretch, but I’ll readily take a compliment, any compliment, regardless of its believability.
I was more thirsty than hungry, as I already consumed an early supper. For my appetizer drink, I ordered a glass of sangria ($14.00), a wicked concoction of Belvedere vodka, pineapple vodka and red wine. I picked it based on its alcohol content, which reportedly has 3 ounces of booze. All I have to say is that a restaurant pour is not a Christine pour. Nevertheless, the drink was well made and it had a nice punch to it. Perhaps because without an overload of alcohol, it allows the flavours of the other ingredients to shine.
We were brought a complimentary taster of a cucumber mango salad on a white spoon, which was tart and spicy. The twitter crew ordered an assortment of dishes: Veal Chop with Lentils and Xocolat Sauce ($34); Sope, Flauta, Tamale, & Quesadilla ($14.00); and Tacos de Canasta ($13.00). I ordered a bowl of soup, Sopa de Frijo ($9.00). The general owner, Sergio Ledesma, (I recognized him from the Xocolat website), brought out a large white bowl filled with foie gras, herbs, cheese, cilantro oil and tortilla dust to the table. A small pitcher of black bean soup was poured into the bowl. It was delicious – the bean soup was rich and each spoonful was filled with some tasty delight. You could taste the quality of the ingredients in the soup. I particularly enjoyed the white cheese.
For my main drink, Joseph recommended the Corazon Martini ($11.00), a blend of Belvedere vodka, Malibu rum and pineapple grenadine. The presentation was perfect, right down to a sugared Yamamoto Dendrobium (orchid) on the tip of my glass. Foodstyleaholic was driving that night, so she wasn’t drinking, but Joseph told her he could get any cocktail made for her, minus the alcohol. She picked something chocolatey, while Momwhoneedswine ordered the Margarita Xocolat ($10), and Terry, the lone male at the table, ordered a beer, Tecate ($8.00).
The appetizers were filling. Momwhoneedswine ordered two appetizers and she wasn’t able to finish everything on her plates. Terry ordered the veal pork chop with the bone-in, which looked like a winner. The veal chop had a nice sear on the outside, and the accompanying side of lentils looked like a creamy risotto. Everyone at the table kept offering me bites of their food. I was tempted, but I managed (barely) to restrain myself.
For dessert, I ordered a Pacifico ($6.00) while everyone else ordered the Chocolat Flan ($9) and Pie de Mango ($9). Similar to the cocktails, the presentation of the desserts were creative. I did steal a bite of dessert from Terry, but by this time, I was too distracted to taste the dessert. L was waiting to pick me up outside the restaurant and I had to dash. I plan to return soon to try out the appetizers and give a more food focused review.