She said – Surprise! Saturday was a two for one! We weren’t intending on doing two entries, but on Saturday night at 8:30 with no real ideas for dinner (or intentions to make it for that matter), going out for the blog seemed like a natural choice.
Full disclosure, this isn’t the first time we’ve been to Model Milk; we ended up here for wine and late night snacks on the Friday before Valentines’ Day after the amazing, romantic, and deliciouse, albeit early dinner at boyfriend’s place (he made me say all that btw). We didn’t have a full meal that day though and we’ve always wanted to go back, so here we are at blog entry #4.
Since we sat at the bar on Valentines’ Day, we never really got to see the full restaurant. The dining room was a funky, modern, and impressive open space, with one small problem; the table set up is super weird. We were seated in the middle of the dining room at a series of six tables that were connected by a long wide bar. The set up made me feel too far from Ali and too close to the strangers on either side (this is still technically a date after all).
The connect-a-table’s only saving grace was that it gave us a front row seats to a suuuper awkward date. We’re talking stilted conversation, avoided eye contact, and a whole lot of dinnertime texting here people. It might not have been their first date, but it was probably their last!
Enough gossip though. We started with calamari, which we’d had on our first trip to Model Milk. We flirted with the idea of trying something new, but when the waitress recommended the calamari as the best thing on the menu we took it as a sign.
It was delish! And every bit as good as we remembered. My choice for entree (at least pre-mealswap) was the steak bavette, the waitress’s other recommendation. The steak was juicy and tender, but a little fatty for me. Bavette apparently refers to the way the steak is cooked and because of that, your steak will come medium rare whether you like it or not (note: I did not).
Boyfriend was torn between the chicken and waffles or the burger. He ultimately chose the chicken because a)the burger is always on the menu b)we’d shared a burger at lunch (see Blue Star review) and c)let’s be honest, you can get a burger pretty much anywhere.
Even looking at the picture now, the chicken doesn’t appeal. I’m kind of picky when it comes to meat and the cut of chicken just didn’t win me over. The waffle was really tasty though and when you could get at the less funky pieces of chicken, the whole combination was scrumptious.
Boyfriend loved it all though and definitely came out ahead at this restaurant; we probably ended up splitting the dishes 2 thirds/1 third instead of 50/50. Although I did get in trouble for finishing the waffle.
One last note on service – friendly, but slow. My second glass of wine was ordered before the food came and arrived after we’d finished eating. The wait staff’s saving grace was the adorkably lanky bus boy. Zaidi developed a little man crush on him over dinner and got a little flustered everytime he came by!
He said - Oh Model Milk…why must you lighten my overstuffed wallets with your pricey food from the heavens! I absolutely loved Model Milk…everything about it (except for maybe the awkward connected tables…but even that was kinda cool and definitely different), and want to go back again and again. Due to it being quite pricey though, it shan’t be “our” place, but I highly, highly recommend it. The calamari is the best I’ve had in Calgary, and that is probably due to the drool-inducing sauce that they coat it in. The two meals we ordered were both very memorable, especially the chicken and waffles which was a unique and delectable dish that I honestly didn’t expect to like as much as I did. Something about the sauce mixed with the waffles, and the very tender chicken just worked!
I loved the inside decor of the place, it just had the feel of a place you had to be at. Like it was the hottest spot in town, and it didn’t hurt that we saw a Ryan Gosling look-a-like wooing a gal a few tables away from us. Though I didn’t order any, the cocktail list is quite eclectic, and there are some very funky concoctions, that I hope to try on a future date (as in timeline, not a new girl).
Overall, Model Milk turned out to be one of my favourite spots in the city, and I hope to frequent it often. However, for anyone going out be sure to bring your First Class Visa!
Location: 4.5 out of 5 “I Feels” (walking distance!! long walking distance, but still. Also, definitely the sketchy side of 17th)
Service: 4 out of 5 “Yay Hurrays” (the waitress was sweet, but slooow. Service is saved by the hunky hunky busboy. Boy Ali got a little flushed)
Atmosphere: 4.5 out of 5 “Purple Shirts” (very hip, very happening, although the a weird table situation knocks it down, but only a .5 due to the excellent eavesdropping opportunities)
Nicheness: 4 out of 5 “Green Tights” (A toss-up – not super well known and we’ve never had to wait yet. Though that may have more to do with the fact that we go well after popular dinner hours)
Price: 2 out of 5 “Overstuffed Wallets” (the biggest knock! an expensive night out for a couple that doesn’t work in oil and gas)
Taste: 4 out of 5 “Jeepers” (zaidi loved the food. I enjoyed it, but can’t give up the coveted 5 ranking)
Overall: 24 out of 30 Not to shabby!! If only it were cheaper, we could have found our place. Maybe if we only ever did wine and appys???