My boyfriend and I have a tradition of going for a nice dinner on our birthdays. It’s definitely something that I look forward to each year and I often use it as an opportunity to try somewhere I’ve never been before. So, this year, when it came time to pick somewhere to go for the big meal (yes, turning 21 for the sixth time is a pretty big deal), my thoughts immediately went to Ox and Angela, a relative newcomer to the Calgary dining scene that I’ve been wanting to try ever since it opened. Having foodgasmed from Una’s four cheese and honey pizza (omigod so amazing), I had high hopes for the Una owners’ newest venture
So, on a Monday night in early November, we made our way to Ox and Angela, and from the moment I walked in I was impressed. The decor was extremely modern and clean, but still felt homey and inviting – exactly the way I like it. Ambience is definitely not something that can be underestimated, and Ox and Angela hits it right on in my book. I also have to mention how impressive the service was from the moment we stepped in the door until we left at the end of the night. Everyone was super attentive and the server was full of great tips and suggestions. Big thumbs up!
But now on to the stuff that really matters – the food. We were told by our lovely server that the way to approach the menu was to order dishes to share, so we ended up ordering an appetizer, two entrees, and two sides to share.
The first thing to come out was the always-welcome complimentary bread. The instructions were to dip the bread in olive oil and then salt, which made things a little too salty for my taste, but it was a nice way to start the meal nonetheless.
Next came our appetizer, which was a little something called provoleta, also known as heaven on a plate. Anything that features warm, stringy, gooey cheese is a major win in my books, and the green salad and tomato on the side provided the perfect counterpoint.
After that was quickly downed, out came our entrees and sides, which we shared as per the server’s instructions. The lamb was fall-off-the-bone tender, and swimming in a thick sauce with delicious notes of orange. We put our extra bread to good use and gobbled up every last bite of the stuff. The skirt steak was topped with a herb-o-liocious and lemony chimmichurri sauce sauce that was the perfect pairing for the medium-rare meat. There was a salad featuring zucchini prepared in a way I had never seen before – shaved into long, thin ribbons and topped with salty peanuts and queso fresco.
And then there was the polenta, so amazing that it deserves a paragraph all its own. No words can do justice to how amazing this dish was. With a rich and creamy interior that was perfectly contrasted by a charred and crispy exterior, it had a taste that hinted at the wood fired pizzas that I’m addicted to. It doesn’t seem to be on their menu any more (sob), so it may have to be something I crave until the end of time.
From the service, to the decor, to the food, Ox and Angela impressed me. But mostly I just want more of that polenta…