Taken from My Favourite Restaurants in Calgary &
Banff, 4th Edition
By John Gilchrist, CBC Radio Restaurant Critic
With all the development going on in Okotoks these days, it
only makes sense that there will be some new restaurants popping
up there. And some expansions to old ones. Cafe Divine has
been around for a few years, but in early 2000 it relocated
to a new and larger building on McRae Street, just east of
downtown Okotoks. It's a large Victorian-style structure with
a wraparound veranda, so it is hard to miss. It was built
specifically for the cafe and has a large, open kitchen and
a comfortable dining room. On a warm day, it's pleasure to
relax on the veranda and dine on fine food.
The menu at Cafe Divine is a contemporary, market-fresh collection
of things like smoked chicken sandwiches, seared salmon salads,
thin-crusted pizzas, and mango-shrimp salad rolls. Nice ideas
and great flavours.
The salad rolls we tried were huge. They lacked the tightness
of Vietnamese salad rolls, tending to slide apart easily,
but they were still tasty with their curried coconut-lime
cream. And a soup of roasted squash with pumpkin seeds was
rich, thick, and very squashy.
It was also huge. Whatever Cafe Divine does, they do in abundance
and at reasonable prices. The soup was $4. The lamb shank
braided in red wine - in other words, osso bucco - served
both gnocchi and seasonal vegetables was $15.25. That’s
a pretty good deal, and considering you get two shanks, it's
even better. Though it was not the most complex osso bucco
I’ve had, any fan of this dish will be quite happy.
Catherine's daily special of skewered chicken with a pile
of vegetables was also well received. By the end of dinner,
we were too stuffed to have any dessert, but l understand
that Cafe Divine's huge pieces of apple pie are popular.
We visited Cafe Divine in their early days at the new location
and were impressed. There were a few rough edges, but the
talent and potential were obvious; even with the rough edges,
the food was pretty interesting. The two young chefs at Cafe
Divine have good ideas, they are committed to market-fresh
food, and they want to prepare as much as possible themselves.
Folks in Okotoks should be proud of these young people for
bringing such a dynamic concept to town. And for those of
us in the city, it is definitely worth the drive.