Restaurant review: John Gilchrist tries Korq

John Gilchrist samples the "contemporary casual" fare at a new downtown spot.

'Contemporary comfort food' at a new downtown spot

Korq is located at 610 Eighth Avenue S.W. (Korq)

Downtown Calgary has another new restaurant on the scene with the opening of Korq located in Western Canadian Place.

Calgary Eyeopener restaurant critic John Gilchrist reviewed Korq on Friday morning's program.

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As the name may suggest, Korq bills itself as a "winehouse and kitchen." 

It's in a two-level space accessible from both the ground floor and the city's +15 system. The spot has been home to restaurants and lounges before (most recently Soho Bar and Grill), but the look of the space has changed as the new owners completely renovated the room. 

John GIlchrist gives Korq an eight out of 10 — calling it a welcome addition to the city centre. (CBC)

While Gilchrist found the seating somewhat awkward — calling it unkind to anyone under six feet six inches — he found plenty to like in the food, the wine, and the service.

Executive chef Eben Brummitt is the star of the show at Korq. After spending time working as a sous chef at Brava Bistro, the SAIT grad has struck out on his own with Korq.

Gilchrist calls Brummitt "one of the most talented of the current crop of young chefs around town."

With choices such as scallops and white beans on tagliatelle pasta, lamb babaganoush and cornmeal-crusted steelhead,

Gilchrist describes the menu as "contemporary comfort food." He also noted the reasonably-priced menu, with most dishes ranging from $10 to $20 and only a select few over the $30 mark.

Duck confit, bouillabaisse stand out 

Two dishes particularly stood out for Gilchrist. He had high praise for Korq's rendition of duck confit — a "crisp and juicy" leg of duck served with lentils, bacon and sauteed kale.

Gilchrist calls the dish "one of the best that we've had outside of France."

The bouillabaisse (a type of french stew) garnered rave reviews as well. Korq's bouillabaisse features clams, mussels, prawns, steelheads, potatoes, rouille and a shellfish broth — which Gilchrist couldn't get enough of.

Gilchrist also had praise for both the "excellent variety" on the wine list and the attentive service.

In the end, Gilchrist was impressed with Korq and gave it an eight out of 10 — calling it a welcome addition to the city centre.

"I think Korq adds a nice element to downtown dining. It's well worth finding."