Taken from My Favourite Restaurants in Calgary
& Banff, 5th Edition
By John Gilchrist, CBC Radio Restaurant Critic
is one big, booming burg these days. Anyone who hasn't visited
the charming town south of Calgary for a few years is in
for a surprise. Housing Developments are everywhere, and
shops of all sorts have popped up. And in the middle of
all the activity, some restaurants are doing great business.
of these is Cafe Divine, a Victorian manor near the east
and of downtown. But don't let its sweeping veranda and
charming decor deceive you. The building is only a few years
old and was built to house a restaurant. Inside it seats
about forty-five, and outside the veranda and patio seat
about the same. The interior has the wood and knick-knack
tone of a tea house; tables are well spaced and sunlight
spills in the windows.
The first impression is that this might be a nice place
for a cup of tea and a sweet dessert. But Cafe Divine is
so much more than that. It has a menu that ranges from falafel
sandwiches and pan-seared salmon at lunch to buffalo short
ribs and braised lamb shank at dinner. And these folks can
Chef-owner Darren Nixon and co-chef Adrienne Penny focus
on Contemporary cuisine that combines ingredients such as
angel hair pasta, sun-dried tomatoes, and artichokes with
skewered seafood. And tops pizza with capicollo, goat cheese,
caramelized onions, and Mission figs. It's forceful, lively,
food that fills the plate, excites the palate, and satisfies
any hunger walking through the door.
l had a bowl of fresh vegetable soup that perhaps had the
best broth of any soup in this book, aside from that at
Chez Francois. A few of the vegetables were overcooked,
but the intense, natural flavour was superb. And the house-made
burger with Gorgonzola, in a Vienna roll from the Black
Diamond Bakery, was superb. Good ground sirloin, excellent
cheese, and a great bun.
l didn't have room for dessert, but did take home a piece
of their deep-dish apple-berry pie for later. It was a little
soggy by then, but this signature dessert was well executed,
with lots of fruit and decent pastry and without too much
sugar, And it was a gigantic portion.Cafe Divine also has
some of the most cheerful and proficient service I’ve
seen lately. The staff genuinely seem to enjoy their work.
And they hustle. This one busy place.
Just like the rest of Okotoks around them.