It could be said the most natural habitat for the Calgary Eyeopener's restaurant reviewer, John Gilchrist, is in a comfortable restaurant, preferably by a window, perhaps with a view. That about sums up his location of choice for this week's review.
Earlier this week, Gilchrist visited Habitat in Canmore. It's located at the Grande Rockies Resort at 901 Mountain Street and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
- Listen to the full review on the Calgary Eyeopener:
"The restaurant has an urban, cosmopolitan tone," says Gilchrist. "It's a modernist, black and grey room with sleek lines and good views."
Gilchrist first reviewed this restaurant three and a half years ago, when it first opened. Now, Habitat has a new chef and Gilchrist wanted to give it another try.
"The dinner menu is a short, smart list," he said.
The menu includes classic items such as a beef tartar served with a quail egg and a shot of cognac.
Other items include a chicken supreme stuffed with apple and brie, a big burger, lobster risotto and a double thick pork chop.
"It's a well conceived menu to please as many people as possible," says Gilchrist. "But they're not pushing any boundaries."
'Skillful, careful' prep: Gilchrist
Habitat does offer a three course tableau d'hote menu. For $52, diners can chose an appetizer, a main course, and a dessert.
"It's worth it for foie gras alone," says Gilchrist.
Gilchrist started his meal at Habitat with a Caesar salad. The salad is made with butter lettuce, instead of romaine, which he said makes a noticeable difference.
"Butter lettuce is sweeter than romaine, so the dressing needs more acidity to counter that sweetness to make it really zing," says Gilchrist.
For his main course, Gilchrist chose the daily special — a veal chop in a wild mushroom sauce.
"It was nicely prepared, with simple preparation," says Gilchrist. "This is skillful, careful hotel preparation, created to please a wide range of palates."
Overall, Gilchrist says the food at Habitat is "pretty good". But where this restaurant really shines is its service.
"The service is exceptional," says Gilchrist. "It's the right level of friendliness, and is welcoming for everyone from kids to seniors."
Gilchrist gives Habitat a 7.5 out of 10.