Guys, you know I’m not fancy, but I was so delighted to celebrate a restaurant’s third anniversary with a media mingle at Block Kitchen and Lounge organized by Parker PR. Ellen Parker and her team work on some of my favourite Calgarian events and brands, like Beakerhead, Calgary Folk Fest and Oak Tree Tavern, to name a few. Ellen herself is definitely a woman to watch as she’s had an illustrious career so far from NYC to YYC and is an involved member of Calgary’s community through her volunteer work with various non-profit organizations.
Now that I’ve told you about our hosts, it’s time to talk about the delicious food! As I mentioned, the event was held at Block on 4 St NW. I’d never been there before, so Matt and I were excited to check it out. Walking in, we were greeted with glasses of Hi! Prosecco (um hello, my most preferred way to be greeted ever) and bingo cards to get us mingling. We may have also tried Le Jaja de Jau sauvignon blanc from Chateau de Jau in addition to a delightful stop at the Grey Goose table for a Grand Fizz cocktail made with St Germain, lime juice, soda and – of course – an ounce of Grey Goose!
Canapés started working their way around the room and I was in heaven. We scarfed down several meatballs, beef tartare bites and mini slices of decadent pizza all before I even got my camera out. (RIP my shirt which is now covered in pizza sauce and was regrettably yet professionally photographed in this state). I was obsessed with the beef tartare, which was made with Calgary-made Brassica Mustard (which you can buy by the jar at Block!) and served on delicately thin house potato chips. Matt’s favourite was the caprese pizza, which we’ll definitely be obtaining in a larger portion when we get a chance to visit for dinner.
I finally managed to wipe off my crumb-covered fingers to take a few snaps before the evening was over. We worked our way over to the antipasto table where chef Mike Preston was serving up some fresh sliced prosciutto, toasted baguette, Alberta-grown tomato bruschetta, house-roasted red peppers and imported artichokes and Sicilian olives.
Next to his setup there was also a fresh wild boar bolognese pasta station, also delicious.
I asked Mike what his specialty is at Block and what he wished more people knew about the menu and I loved his answer. When he joined the team about five months ago, he made sure to take time to consult with some of the regular customers to make sure he didn’t do away with the things they loved about Block. He’s also focused on bringing in extra dry aged Angus beef and fresh, seasonal fish that his team prepares from whole – he also mentioned that they’re working with a lot of Chinook salmon right now. Yes, please!
A great thing about the food here is the Italian spin on local favourites and ingredients. I also love a good neighbourhood spot where you can have a terrific house made pizza, a high quality steak, fresh salad or just a few bar snacks, like their delicious house potato chips with bacon chive ranch dressing! (Matt inquired and yes, they will slather that all over a spinach salad for you if you come in for a meal.)
Parker PR put on a beautiful event and we clearly had a lot of fun trying everything Block has to offer. Thank you so much to both teams for having us!