The Redwater Rustic Grille is a blissed-out sanctuary amidst the noise and gaudiness of Calgary’s MacLeod Trail. The earthy tones of wood and stone give the restaurant its warm rustic charm while the clean design and tasteful décor suggest urban sophistication. The diners are attired in everything from suits to jeans and smooth jazz drizzles out of the speakers.
The spectacular cylinder of glass reaching from floor to ceiling is a full wine cooler stocked with a variety of boutique and renowned labels ranging from $10 per glass to $350 per bottle. I start off with a glass of instant bliss; Bridlewood Reserve Viognier. There are consistently several servers in sight, all unabashed about stopping by tables outside their section to ensure the comfort of diners. Speaking with several servers over the course of the evening, I found them all knowledgeable, friendly and professional. And in a chef and sommelier driven award-winning restaurant like Redwater, they should be.
Redwater Executive Chef Christian Penno has been an onsite presence since 2006 and a familiar name on the Calgary culinary scene for 15 years. Christian and his crew are charged with the Grille’s seasonal menu of rustic regional cuisine that features fresh foods from local distributors. The chef’s robust dishes include pizzas, pastas, Alberta beef, bison, seafood, soups and salads, but again, the menu changes seasonally according to availability.
We are presented with a complimentary serving of warm oven baked wholegrain bread and Redichi, Redwater’s signature spread of sun-dried tomatoes, red onion, roasted red peppers, basil, beets and other savory ingredients. It’s delicious enough to set off little fireworks in my brain. I also try an appetizer of Margarita Lime Chicken Tacos with a lively Minted Pico de Gallo sauce and invigorating Cilantro Cream. As if the place isn’t sexy enough already, the entrees are served naked, meaning they are accompanied by your choice of sauces and two side dishes. After much waffling over the lavish possibilities, I opt for Wild Shrimp and Scallops in Chili Garlic Butter with Forno Roasted Button Mushrooms and Sautéed Broccolini, which arrived nicely portioned and cooked to perfection, tasting fantastic individually and phenomenal together.
Prices range from a $7 soup to the $38 Bison Rib Eye and every morsel that I sampled from the Pan Seared Scallop Warm Spinach Salad to dessert was packed with favour. Like many Redwater diners, I was eager to experience as much cuisine as I could. The restaurant offers a desert sampler featuring your choice of three sweet creations presented in shooter glasses. Selecting Tiramisu, Mango Sorbet and Triple Chocolate Mousse with Mango Filling, my sweet tooth was happy enough with the variety to dance a jig.
When it comes to flavour, presentation, ambiance, skilled service and price, Redwater Rustic Grille delivers on all fronts. This a superb place to feast in Calgary’s Southeast.
Redwater Rustic Grille - South
9223 Macleod Trail S., Calgary, AB T2H 0P6, CA