We’re always looking for new reasons to get the gang together for a night on the town, and one of our city’s long-standing restaurants has presented us with the perfect opportunity.
You probably know CRAFT Beer Market for its seemingly endless lineup of taps (over 150, thank you very much), pouring local brews, cocktails, and crowd-pleasing collabs alike. Since opening the doors of its Calgary location in 2011, it’s also become a hot spot for affordable happy hour eats and fresh local dishes. Well, just in time for summer — and to celebrate the brand’s 10-year (plus one) anniversary — the iconic eatery and bar has released a massive new menu.
The new items come from the minds of some of Canada’s preeminent chefs, including Alex Chen, Mike Pigot, and Paul McGreevy. Created in collaboration with CRAFT’s own Executive Chef Alym Hirji, the dishes take inspiration from local ingredients and international flavours. Think Sticky Chicken Ramen Bowls, Rocket Katsu Salad, and (drool) Seared Tuna Sandwiches.
According to Hirji, sustainability was top of mind in the redesign. “We understand that we have an obligation to our planet. We will continue to be thoughtful about eco-friendly practices and support sustainability initiatives, for example, our partnership with Ocean Wise.” This can also be seen in the restaurant’s all-new Plant Forward section.
The menu truly offers something for everyone, from loyal craft lovers to curious foodies, but don’t just take our word for it. Here’s a drool-worthy peek at five of the dishes we’ll be ordering all summer long.
1. Mediterranean Hummus
This dish comes from Calgary-based, award-winning chef Mike Pigot, whose love for local flavours led him to open Pigot’s Burger Club, among other brands. The Mediterranean Hummus is positively bursting with freshness thanks to the cherry tomatoes, cucumber, pea shoots, feta cheese, and herb vinaigrette (and don’t forget the house-made pita chips). Grab a plate or two to enjoy with the pals alongside the other shareables on the menu. Dip dip, hooray!
2. Chili Prawn Fettuccine
Next up on our must-order list is something a little sweet, a little spicy, and oh so nourishing. As one of CRAFT’s Ocean Wise dishes, the Chili Prawn Fettuccine contains ingredients that are ethically sourced from local seafood suppliers. Delicate prawns are accented by citrus and fresh, roasted tomatoes, all of which sit in a bed of fresh pasta.
3. Laguna Beach Chicken Bowl
Now, this is a bold and bright dish best enjoyed on CRAFT’s expansive patio. The Laguna Beach Chicken Bowl, bursting with fresh ingredients like southern fried chicken, red cabbage, pico de gallo, roasted corn and red pepper, radish, cilantro, pumpkin seeds, dehydrated jalapenos, jasmine rice, and poblano lime dressing comes from Paul McGreevy, a culinary consultant who’s worked with CRAFT since the early days. This dish is influenced by classic Central American flavours — with a bit of bite. Looking for a pairing recommendation? We’ll turn to the expert: “The spice works well with hoppy beers, it’s the perfect combo,” McGreevy says.
4. Korean Fried Chicken
KFC is having a moment, and no, we’re not talking about the American fast-food brand. Korean fried chicken is characterized by crave-worthy crunch and a rich, spicy glaze, so it’s no wonder that CRAFT chose to feature it on their new menu. Order the Korean Fried Chicken alongside a pint of lager or a pilsner (you’ll have plenty of options).
5. Turtle Pie
Does this pic have you drooling, too? The good news is, you’re not alone. The Turtle Pie is an indulgent dessert combining all of our favourite things: vanilla gelato, Oreo cookie crust, whipped cream, chocolate, caramel, and pecans. Pair with a CRAFT cocktail like the Oak Aged Old Fashioned for the ultimate nightcap.
CRAFT is all about bringing together friends and family through a relaxed atmosphere, friendly staff, and delicious food offerings. Taste test your way through its newest celebrity-designed offerings by booking a table here.