220 42 Ave SE
Calgary, AB T2G
In the world of science, an alloy is a mixture of two or more metals that combine to create a stronger whole. At a new Calgary dining establishment named for the process, two chefs are practicing their own version of alchemy by melding elements from their different culinary backgrounds.
Executive chef Rogelio Herrera’s Colombian roots surface in Latin spicing and dishes like scallop ceviche, while front man Uri Heilik’s Israeli heritage comes through in the hummus appetizer and couscous sides. The fact that these two experienced restaurateurs spent the last decade studying Asian cuisine explains the miso dressing on the Caesar salad, the warm ginger potato salad and the togarashi-encrusted beef tenderloin.
Setting up shop in a West Coast bungalow-style building in a semi-industrial area, they’ve softened the surroundings with cherry blossoms, walnut panels and white leather booths that look out onto a glass-walled patio.
In a city celebrated for its steakhouses, Alloy’s post-fusion dining puts an innovative spin on meats. The Trio of Lamb is a study in textures. Presented on the bone as a chop, in sirloin form and in homemade meatloaf, it comes with chinook honey mustard jus and apricot mint couscous. The equally popular beef short ribs braised in red curry are served with a purple yam purée and root vegetables. The result is earthy yet exotic. There’s also a hint of the tropics in a banana bread pudding dessert, offered in a pool of mojito crème anglaise topped with coconut and rum gelato. With such diverse flavors in play, the wine list features several alloys of its own, including red blends selected to match the cultural blending on the table.
Sarah Musgrave is a Montréal-based food journalist. She is the casual-dining restaurant reviewer for the Montréal Gazette and the author of Resto-À-Go-Go: 200 Cheap and Fun Places to Eat and Drink in Montreal 2007