Calgary dining: Buchanan’s

During a conference call yesterday morning in Edmonton, we had a prospect from Calgary join us via videophone. At the end we mentioned we would be in Calgary in the evening and asked him for a restaurant recommendation. He said, without hesitation, “Buchanan’s.”

We got into town, settled into the hotel, and eventually made our way out to find Buchanan’s. After some initial confusion (downtown Calgary has a grid of numbered streets and avenues, leading us down to the corner of 7th Ave and 3 St when we really should have been at 7 St and 3rd Ave; sorry, Dan), we found Buchanan’s, and were thrilled.

It wasn’t so much the food, although it’s really hard to go wrong with thick cuts of Alberta beef; or the wine, although the 2001 superTuscan that we tasted was pretty spectacular; nor even the wall of over 200 different types of single malt Scotch behind the bar. What made it a great evening was the ambience and the staff. We ate in the lounge, which had the Yankees/Detroit game on (alas for all of us who were rooting to see the Yankees fall last night), and which had a wonderfully relaxed vibe, aided by the friendly presence of the owners. It felt a little like sitting in a quiet neighborhood bar.