What makes a classic, classic? Is it the length and duration of time, so that is tried, tested and true? It has clearly battled the ups and downs that come with time and still remains as strong as ever. Or is it how it makes you feel? A sense of nostalgia or comfort – having been there before and knowing it will be just as good the next time around. The memories that never seem to fade and are brought back to the forefront during your next visit.
No matter how you define it, a true classic in every sense of the word is Cilantro restaurant in Calgary. Having stood the test of time, Cilantro is celebrating 30 years young this 2018.
In light of their 30th birthday and in celebration of 30 more, Cilantro has renovated their main floor to a more stylish and chic look, while still retaining their trusted character and charm. Aside from the interior updates, the menu has received a small refresh as well. But, before we look to the next 30 years and what the future holds, let’s take a look at the last.
First opened in 1988, Cilantro broke the steak-house mold, of what was typical of restaurants in Calgary at the time. Cilantro was the first restaurant in Alberta to feature a wood burning pizza oven imported from Italy.
Since opening 30 years ago, the restaurant has been known for their fresh house made pastas made by Wei for 30 years (he has worked there since it opened), wood-fired pizzas, award winning wine list, romantic patio and of course their cozy, rustic and intimate atmosphere where the servers know your name and always share a smile.
Cilantro’s staff have been integral to the restaurant’s success and overall feel, with many working at Cilantro for 5, 10, 15 and even 30 years. Cilantro has become a second home for its staff, and this is something the staff take to heart with their guests.
“Our goal is to make you feel at home and part of the family,” says Ryan McLeish, Cilantro General Manager. “This is why we keep seeing guests come back year after year, and hopefully for the next 30.”
Today with the renovations complete, including new banquette seating, wood tables, vintage, yet chic light fixtures and an updated colour scheme to make it more stylish and casual, Cilantro has retained its classic rustic character and charm.
Paired with a refreshed menu – as Chef Lancelot Monteiro moves to a more Canadian and casual style menu that incorporates more elk and bison from CRMR’s own game ranch into the wood-fired pizza, pasta, salad and bites focused menu – this classic is here to stay.
In addition to its fresh face and updated menu, Cilantro has crafted a new Nightly Features menu that offers guests a range of delicious bites and sips – aimed at satisfying your craving for great food and drinks in a truly friendly and vibrant atmosphere in the heart of Calgary.
TUESDAY – CLASSIC COCKTAILS WITH A TWIST
Sip away Tuesdays with a Twist. $8 classic cocktails crafted by Mike Squire will be sure to please those who DO want to mess with a good thing.
WEDNESDAY – CHEF’S FEATURE PASTA
Made fresh in house, there is no better way to celebrate the middle of the week, than with pasta. Nosh on our Chef’s feature pasta. Changes weekly.
THURSDAY – CHARCUTERIE BOARDS & WINE
Nibble your way through the night with a charcuterie board to share and two glasses of house wine for $30.
FRIDAY – CELLAR NIGHTS
From the depths of the cellar, Brad Royale, will open a rare wine every Friday night. Ask him for the description…
TILL THE PUCK DROPS – HOME GAMES
For those headed to the Calgary Flames’ home games, Cilantro will be offering a Till the Puck Drops feature that includes a 6” pizza and a glass of house wine or house beer for $20.
Go celebrate 30 years and 30 more with Cilantro now that they have re-opened. Go for a date night, bite before the hockey game, or even for a full feast, because the one thing you can count on is that Cilantro will remain a classic for many years to come.