It’s coming close to a month now but I still remember my dinner at Model Milk as if it was yesterday. The May long weekend gave both Joe and I a break from our Edmonton scene, and opened up some great eats! One of the highlights of the weekend was Model Milk, a trendy eatery in one of Calgary’s hottest districts, Uptown 17th Ave.
Not only does the cow head remind me of Edmonton’s Three Boars Eatery, the small plates that we had that night were reminiscence of it too.
It was a busy Monday night, the end of the long weekend. Our table for two at 8pm was seated near the front of house. I would have much preferred the tables on the second floor or even closer to the bar for the view, so request it if you’re making reservations!
I opted for alcohol-free that night and Model Milk had some great options on their extensive drink menu. Grapefruit and Lavender Soda was right up my alley, freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, lavender bitters, Gewurztraminer simple syrup, and soda. More please! Joe ordered the Victoria native Phillips Brewing Co.’s Blue Buck Ale.
The menu at Model Milk has a good selection, divided up into bar snacks, small plates, large plates, and larger formats cooked for 2+. The only way to squeeze in more eats is to have two dinners and our meal earlier in the afternoon had both our tummies semi-full and mine not nearly as satisfied. We opted to go with a combination of bar snacks and small plates. Large plates would have to be for another trip!
It was suggested by numerous Calgary food bloggers and friends to order the Dungeness crab roll from the bar snacks menu. I’ll pat myself on the back for listening to their wise words! The crab was stuffed inside a brioche “toast”, through the top nonetheless! You could have easily picked a piece up and ate it as fingerfood or dive into it with a fork and knife at hand like I did. There’s a lot of crab mixture inside that little roll! Topped off with some chips for added crunch, this dish was one of my favorites of the night.
If there’s a tartare on the menu, I’ll probably order it. I’ve recently acquired the taste for various tartare and I know what I like and what I don’t like. I’ve never had elk tartare before and was curious how it differed from your standard beef. Surprisingly, not too much of a difference. It was slightly gamier (is that a word?) in taste, although the seasoning, avocado emulsion (hidden in the center), and puffed barley covered it up well. Yum! It came with a plate of crostini for spreading. Joe commented on a strong flavor overpowering the dish for him, perhaps mustard seed? I couldn’t actually visibly see any mustard seeds in my bites but I didn’t mind the flavor.
Our last savory dish was the fricassee of calamari. The squid was cut lengthwise into bite sized pieces making the plate look like a pasta dish when it arrived! Cute! Edamame beans and finely chopped chives made everything pop in color but it was the housemade croutons in the dish that really stood out in flavor. Everything worked really well together! The dish packed some heat though with the addition of Pimenton (Spanish paprika) spices. The overall flavor almost tasted like a spicy Korean dish! We all know how Joe feel about Korean spices. Yum!
To cool things down, I wanted dessert. The dishes had been small (duh, they’re small plates) so I figured we could handle two desserts! I was sooooo so wrong. Tip: do not get two desserts for two people. Unless you’re starving still. Which you shouldn’t be ever at Model Milk. Our desserts were huge! The apple pie was rich and decadent, a white cheddar and butter mixture galore, with a thin crumbly crust. A quenelle of vanilla ice cream oozed over top. Drooooool. Joe claimed this dessert really fast.
I was left struggling to eat my ginormous MM Fat Kid Cake 2.0. I like cake. I’d consider myself a fat kid (inside). That’s why I ordered it. I totally did not finish this dish. It just wasn’t meant to be eaten by one small person such as myself. But who can resist not ordering it when it’s a chocolate cake with a Skor base, crunchy toffee bits, a light milk sorbet, and a passion fruit caramel? Winner! The caramel was what sold me on the menu and yet surprisingly enough, very little passion fruit flavor could be pulled out of it. That’s okay though, because everything tasted phenomenal. I ate almost half before I packed it up for the hotel room. Defeated. But sooooo satisfied!
Thanks Model Milk for the wonderful meal! I will definitely be returning on my next trip down south! On Sundays they offer “Sunday Supper” a set four-course meal for $35 pp, something I would love to get my hands on. Such well done food, beautiful plates, and in a great space to boot. One of my favorite meals in Calgary, that’s for sure! Service was quick and our server was outstanding. We took up his recommendation on the fricassee and it did not disappoint. Every dish to him was “life-changing” which was funny. A great dining experience and looking forward to dining there again!Model Milk
308 17th Ave SW (Calgary)