Greetings from Calgary, Canada!
As New York City was experiencing unusual October temperatures nearing 80 degrees, I left for a quick jaunt to Calgary, Canada to visit a client and experience Canadian hospitality.
Calgary is located in the province of Alberta. It is a five hour flight from New York, and you can fly direct on a couple of carriers. The city of Calgary is just about an hour and a half outside of two of the most beautiful places on the planet, Banff and Lake Louise, and are must-see locations when in Calgary.
I stayed at the highly rated Hotel Le Germain, right in downtown Calgary, adjacent to the famous Calgary Tower. The Le Germain is a modern property, providing spacious suites, complimentary breakfast, a vast fitness room, a spa, and even a courtesy car and driver for near by locations.
We took the hotel up on this service and was whisked to Rouge, a gourmet restaurant in the Inglewood section of the city. As the driver took us down a very quiet residential street, we were told that the restaurant was on the left. Indeed it was. Rouge Restaurant is situated in a house, which fits in very nicely in the neighbourhood.
Rouge is beautiful, elegant and romantic. There are numerous rooms, with just a few tables in each area, providing a spacious atmosphere.
The food is locally sourced, with produce harvested from their own property.
Every item on the menu is inventive, making menu choices difficult.
Some samples include: roasted cauliflower on a slate, wild Pacific salmon or halibut, carrot risotto, smoked bison, and duck breast, all served with very uniquely prepared vegetables.
Our server, Taylor, was a knowledgeable sommelier and helped us to choose excellent wines. The people at Rouge were friendly and helpful. What a find in Calgary!
In the summer, I was told, you can dine outdoors, amid their organic garden.
It was 30 degrees when we went to dinner, this time. We will be back for Summer.
Check out Rouge at:https://rougecalgary.com/
The hotel: http://www.legermainhotels.com/en/calgary/
Valerie Smaldone is a 5-time Billboard Magazine Award winner and is well known for her unprecedented success holding the #1 on-air position in the New York radio market on 106.7 Life-FM, an iHeart station. She has hosted, produced, and created several award-winning nationally syndicated programs featuring in-depth interviews with stars like Paul McCartney, Celine Dion, Rod Stewart, Elton John and Mariah Carey among others. Her radio talk show "Bagels and Broadway" highlighted theatre and food personalities. She is an accomplished interviewer and voice artist heard on commercials, narrations, promos and audiobooks, as well as a sought after live announcer.
Most recently, Valerie produced and directed a film, The Thursday Night Club, featuring pop diva Gloria Gaynor in her movie acting debut. She is one of the creators and producers of a docu-series, Divine Renovation, starring Erik Estrada, on streaming networks soon.