French · Seafood · Special Occasion

Pat & Betty

For our monthly girls’ night, I picked Pat & Betty. We started the party at my house with a bottle of sparkling cider I picked up at Vine Arts. Kournikova enjoyed the dry, unfiltered bubbles so much that she snapped a picture. For this post, let’s listen to “Bread and Butter” by The Newbeats.

When we arrived at the restaurant, we were pleasantly surprised to receive the best table in the house. Usually, I get the worst table when I visit a new restaurant. Our spacious booth looked out onto the restaurant on the second floor. Québécoise liked how the top of the booth was arm’s length so that she could hang her arm around it.

Kournikova and I asked Québécoise to pick the wine, as she knows what we like best. Québécoise recognized several wines from her favourite French regions at prices far less than she would expect to pay. I felt so giddy that I wanted to call my father up and tell him there is heaven on earth. It’s called Pat and Betty.

The first bottle we tried was the Clos Bellane Cotes Du Rhone Valreas (Rhone Valley, $67). We sipped away while snacking on the Roasted Eggplant Dip ($9.50). These are some of the best potato chips I’ve eaten – thick, crunchy, and with enough salt to bring out the full flavour in the potato. The eggplant was cool and light, with a consistency like whipped cream. The fried capers added a tart saltiness to the dip. Kournikova mentioned the chips went well with the wine.

My favourite wine of the night was the Domaine Tremblay Petit Chablis (Burgundy, $59). I noticed that this wine was lighter and had less acidity than the first white wine. Québécoise, you did your magic again.

Betty mentioned the Country Beef Tartare ($25) was even better than the other versions we’ve tried in Calgary. The beef tartare was saucy and silky. This tartare was unique in that the addition of the devilled egg aioli and sunflower sprouts added some Southern comfort. I loved warm, soft buttered toast. To me, it smelled like old-fashioned goodness.

Betty and Québécoise enjoy a good pasta, so I recommended the Crab and Shrimp Tagliatelle ($26). Oh, baby, this dish was rich and spicy. Betty noted you could tell the pasta was homemade. I thought the prawns were perfectly cooked, soft with no snap. Québécoise liked the addition of the fennel and dill.

Kournikova picked the Chilled Baked Beets ($15.50). The beets and ricotta were cool, light and refreshing. I could taste orange in the salad dressing. I loved the addition of dill, mint and pistachio but wished our dish came with more mint, as it went so well with the salad. Betty thought this dish was a good palate cleanser after the crab and shrimp tagliatelle.

I requested the Broccoli Puttanesca ($17). Man, oh man, this is a winner! The spicy tomato ragu and lemon aioli offered a nice acidity that contrasted with the broccoli’s smokiness and the umami from the anchovy and parmesan. In addition, the garlic bread crumbs added a delicious crunch to it.

I thought of L when I tried the Angus Beef Striploin ($44). The meat was so tender and buttery smooth. The chimichurri sauce was salty and accentuated the juices from the steak. He would love this dish. I was impressed that the sides weren’t just a side thought, so fabulous I had to pause and think, which bite do I want next? The steak or crispy duck fat potatoes or the butter roasted radishes? The correct answer is all three. I would order the steak again.

The dish I was most excited to eat was the Pork Belly and Scallops ($42) with caviar ($19). Kournikova mentioned the scallops were perfectly cooked. I could taste a slight sweetness from the Quebec maple. The moment I bit into the pork belly, I immediately worried I would come down with gout the next day. The pork fat was so hot, rich, and melted in my mouth. The exterior was seared to a dark caramel brown and crispy. The caviar was soft and so subtly flavoured, that I couldn’t detect the flavour. Kournikova mentioned this dish would be too rich for one person. With that bad attitude, no wonder she’s so thin. Québécoise tapped out, so I ate her portion.

We shared the Carrot Cake ($10.50). This is no ordinary carrot cake. The cake itself was fresh and moist, intensely flavoured with spices, sweet from caramel and crunchy from the candied pecans. The cream cheese was a little sour and sweet from what tasted like confectionary sugar.

I enjoyed our feast at Pat and Betty so much that I wanted to return for our next month’s dinner. Québécoise said we could come back, but after we try a new restaurant. I wanted to protest but then I remembered about my potential case of gout, so I agreed to book our next outing at Ten Foot Henry, as requested by Kournivoka.

17th Ave · Bars/Lounges · Beer · Patio · Restaurants · Special Occasion

Pigeonhole – La Vien en rose

On Friday evening, L and dropped by Pigeonhole for some wine and cheese. I wasn’t aware that Pigeonhole offers 50% off all bottles of rosé from Monday to Friday, 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm and 9:00 pm till close. I asked L if he would share a bottle with me. He said that rosé was too feminine for him but he would do it for me.


I asked our server if she could recommend a wine that wasn’t sweet or dry. She picked two bottles for me to try – Raventos La Rosa 2015 (Pinot Noir/Garnacha/Xarel-lo, Penedes, Spain, $64) and Broc Cellars Love Rose 2016 (Valdiguie/Zinfandel, North Coast, California, $70). The La Rosa was an easy sipping, mild-mannered rosé. I preferred the Love Rose as I found it more interesting.


I like Pigeonhole’s playlist. I wish I had asked our server who was the artist. The closest thing I could compare it to is Sophie Milman but without any lyrics. L and I sat by the patio, which meant we were afforded the street view and breeze, but sat in the comfort of the inside chairs. Let’s listen to La Vie En Rose so you can better imagine my dining experience.


We picked three cheeses – one hard, one blue and one soft ($25). Oh my! The brie was creamy and mild, best with the apple butter, as the honey overpowered the cheese. The apple butter was more apple than butter, the texture was like pudding.


The honey was incredible. I think we liked it more than the cheeses. The honey paired best with the blue and hard cheese. I didn’t think I would like the papadum, but it turned out to be the perfect vessel for the cheeses and home-made preserves because it lent a blank slate.


We ordered two plates – Springs Peas with Foie Gras ($15) and Fava Beans ($11). The spring peas tasted like an early crop – it was light and fresh. The grapefruit wasn’t overpowering and binded all the ingredients together. The compressed foie gras had a clean taste and melted on your tongue. The pistachios lent a savoury crunch.

foie gras.jpg

I’m glad we ordered the fava beans as the sourdough bread helped to soaked up all that alcohol. L liked the addition of strawberries and said it was a nice summer dish.


I’ve been to Pigeonhole three times and each time I’ve been impressed with the food and service. I’m keen to try the caviar and champagne soon. For date night, I can’t think of a better place to set the stage for romance. Pigeonhole makes it on Hitting the Sauce’s list of favourite places to eat in Calgary.

Pigeonhole Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato