Yesterday I went for a lovely lunch with my mentor and friend Patti at the new Boxwood Cafe located in the recently revamped Central Memorial Park in Calgary. I have been awaiting the launch of this new restaurant for nearly a year now since the structure started going up and I heard news that it was owned by the same people of Princes Island Park’s River Cafe. I think there is something particularly sweet about lunching or dining in a park so I couldn’t resist suggesting it when we made plans for lunch. It just opened last week so I was eager to be one of the first to sample their lunch menu.
I arrived a bit early and got a chance to fully absorb the space. Beautiful wood walls and beams, natural light shining in through the building-length skylight, and artfully picked chairs, tables, artwork, and print material. Even their signage has a gorgeous hand-tooled woodsy feel to it that kind of just makes it feel like home. Once Patti arrived, we looked over their delicious-looking menu and chose our selections. Boxwood is completely cafe-style, where you order at the front counter next to the open kitchen and they will bring out your order to your table. Patti ordered the Chickpea Fritters and Roasted Eggplant Sandwich ($10) on fresh ciabatta bread with an organic lemonade. I ordered one of their great salads which had B.C. nectarines, arugala, and feta. As a side, I thought I would try the Warm Creamy Cornmeal with Aged Sylvan Star Gouda ($6) and a delicious french-pressed coffee. The salad was great with the nectarines, though on such a cold day I could have gone for something a bit heartier. While the cornmeal was delicious, I don’t think I would order it again as it was a little too rich and sticky for my tasting. You never know until you try. Patti thoroughly enjoyed her sandwich and I was supremely jealous that they didn’t have gluten free bread so I could give it a whirl.
The service at Boxwood was top-notch. All of the servers were very friendly and helpful when explaining the menu and how to order. I was immediately greeted by the friendly chef when I entered the kitchen which was a nice surprise! You sure don’t see that too often in the restarant biz. I can’t wait to go back here for a romantic dinner with Byron followed by a walk through the park. Have you seen the coloured fountain lights at night yet? It is perfect.