I've been looking forward to the opening of Rise since I saw signs in Bow Valley Square four months ago. I finally made the trip out there for lunch yesterday, about a week and a half after its opening.
Found next to the also newly opened Redwater Grille in Bow Valley Square, Rise Bakery & Café is strictly a counter business, offering fresh panini, baked sweets, and bread. I had the goat cheese and veggie panini and a chocolate sourdough bun.
The panini was perfectly grilled--beautiful grill marks, crisp crust, soft and yielding chestnut bread. The veggies themselves were not the best for a grilled panini--the lettuce got a bit limp, the fresh tomato only contributed to the wetness, and I'm not a fan of warm cucumber. To Rise's credit, the salesperson did warn me that the veggies would be soggy from grilling. Beautiful bread--I haven't had chestnut bread before and the almost cake-like texture was surprising and interesting. The walnut pesto was deliciously garlicky and smooth but the flavours got lost in the panini.
With bits of melt-y Bernard Callebaut chocolate and dried cherries, the chocolate sourdough bread is not like a traditional sourdough. The texture was similar to a less-rich brioche, like a challah. As with the pesto in the panini, the dried cherries were a nice touch but got lost in the chocolate onslaught. The chocolate flavour was rich and subtly sweet.
Most intriguing to me were the breads, including the aforementioned chestnut and the apple and rosemary flax. I'll definitely go back to try a loaf of those.
The space is small (as I mentioned, counter service only) but well-appointed. Beautiful wood shelves for the bread and large window into the kitchen make the space seem slightly more homey despite being in an office building.
In any case, I recommend going to try one of the panini or at least checking out the bread. Rise is located on the ground floor of Bow Valley Square, near the intersection of 6 Ave and 2 St SW.