The Main Dish, Calgary

The Main Dish in Bridgeland is probably best known for convenient and tasty take-home meals, but many people don’t know it also offers a coffee bar, breakfast, weekend brunch, hot dinners, wine and music nights.

To promote its new winter dinner menu, the Main Dish invited a few food writers and media types to sample what chef Ryan Bourquin has whipped up. I gladly obliged.

The first and my favourite item had to be the truffle burger ($14.99) which won a celebrity burger cook-off this summer. Topped with mushrooms and onions in a truffle ragu, spinach, and garlic butter, the burger was held in by a sturdy, toasty bun. It came with mixed greens and a nice roasted shallot dressing.

The Main Dish, CalgaryFrom chef’s Italian repertoire came a turkey gnocchi carbonara ($15.99) which was an interesting twist on the classic with ground turkey, bacon, sundried tomato, butternut squash and a white wine cream sauce with tarragon. There was a little too much going on for me, but others cleared their dishes. It would be popular on a cold winter’s night.

A sesame-crusted yellowfin tuna ($19.99) was a surprising hit from the healthy portion of the menu. The Main Dish sponsors Olympic athletes and also does the lunch program at the Edge School for Athletes so it puts special effort into balanced dishes like this.

I would have found the tuna bland without the dollop of apricot compote on top. An edamame, quinoa, and spinach salad with a garlic ginger dressing was very nice.

Keep in mind that the portions you see in the pictures were “sample” tasters so what you order for dinner would be even bigger.

The Main Dish, 903 General Ave. N.E., Calgary, 265-3474. Open weekdays 7 a.m.-10 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m.-10 p.m., Sunday 9 a.m.-9 p.m.

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