Ox and Angela: Calgary, Alberta

When Valentines Day came a few weeks ago, we didn’t make any plans.  I honestly thought we would be ordering McDonalds take-out or go to another Chinese restaurant.  But Ben all of a sudden suggested Ox and Angela… which is very very surprising.  I mean, BEN suggesting OX and ANGELA? Spanish cuisine?!?! No- Korean, Japanese, East Indian…..  Coming from him?!?!   And he specifically said “OX and ANGELA”. (If you can tell, Ben has limited comfort zone when it comes to food.)

After the initial shock of Ben’s suggestion,  I was paranoid that we wouldn’t find a table at Ox and Angela because it’s Valentines Day and people make reservations weeks in advance.  Long and behold the benefits of social media,  on Twitter, Ox and Angela stated that they had seating available in their lounge area and will be serving Valentines Day dinner there too!

So I frantically call, and a very sweet lady by the name of Ivonne (?) answered the phone and told me she still had spaces available but could not reserve them.  I told her I will be there in 5 minutes (parking in the back of the restaurant) and once we got there, Ivonne had kept an eye out on a table for us and quickly seated us.  JOY!

Our server Steven was awesome and hilarious!  I love it when servers are so genuinely nice and friendly, and he absolutely was.

Alright, so they did have a set menu at Ox and Angela for Valentines Day but we opted for ordering from their regular menu instead so we can try a few things.  We ordered mainly from the Tapas selection because we just wanted to share.

First up, the Mushrooms.

Mushrooms: Sautéed wild mushrooms, soft poached egg, grilled bread, truffle.

I love the smell of truffles.  This tasted great. Not overly salted (which I find when you get a lot of sautéed mushrooms) and we just broke the soft egg so all the yolk was released onto our mushrooms and at it as so.

Seared west-coast scallops, crushed peas, mint, cherry tomatos, crispy serrano ham.

This dish was great,  the scallops were so sweet and cooked to perfection.  The tang from the tomatoes with the savouriness of the ham and the crunch of the peas really made this dish stand out.

Fritters (Above): salt cod and potato croquettes, panko breading, lemon aioli; Tuna (Below): tuna conserva, caramelized onion, tomato and garlic rubbed bread.

The fritters are so popular at Ox and Angela, and taste great.  They’re very crispy on the outside and have a warm soft and fluffy cod- delicious middle and the lemon aioli is a perfect match.  The tuna tapa was delicious and the conserva was refreshing.  You know when you have dish that you can eat lots of because it’s doesn’t taste super filling?  The tuna conserva is like that.  I can eat tonnes of these and not know when to stop.

Clams: chorizo, smoked paprika, tomato, white wine, parsley and grilled breadThis .

Oh the clams, these were awesome.  First off, Steven our server asked us if we wanted bread which I guess a lot folks prefer not having bread but he said it would be good to soak up up some sauce…. and he was right.  The clams were fantastic, the spiciness from the chorizo and the flavour of the smoke paprika was just amazing.  Also, every clam opened up.  None of them closed which is a great sign of freshness and that the chefs know their stuff.

Torta: Sweet dough, frangipane, grapes, sherry

I asked Steven which dessert is really popular and he said the creme brûlée, but honestly…. I wanted something different.  So we got two servings of the Tortas.  This was ah-maz-ing!  It wasn’t overly sweet, it had a nice crunchy crust on the bottom and the torta was chewy but with texture of almonds and nuts. Oh and grapes tasted like they marinated in sherry, which from now on how I will eat my grapes.  If you go to Ox and Angela, please order this, you won’t be disappointed.

Overall the night was wonderful!  Our server was attentive and enjoyable, the food came out in good timing, the meal was delicious and the place is gorgeous.   What more could you want?

Ox & Angela on Urbanspoon

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