Calgary’s Best Open Concept Kitchen Restos

When you head out to dine, a restaurant’s ambiance can be just as influential as the menu. Design layout of a space plays a huge part in creating a certain mood, and one particular style restaurants are embracing is the open-concept kitchen. When done right, these rooms create a frisson that set the tone for the energy. Diners can watch the food being prepared as they sip their cocktails and chat about important and not-so-important topics – it’s like a modern version of “dinner and a show.” The following five restaurants have hit the mark in incorporating their kitchens as the stage and their chefs as the main act.

No we didn’t pick this place because of the name (though we have to admit it is pretty fantastic). Chef and owner Michael Noble created a kitchen that makes a statement the moment you walk through the door. Watch a master at work, while their enormous rotisserie constantly spins out some of the most mouth-watering meat this city has to offer.

Una Pizza and Wine (the cooks pictured above)
One of the most talked about restaurants in Calgary, this spot is urban and hip without being pretentious. Specializing in gourmet pizza, Una is as much about the food as it is about the people in the room. If you are lucky enough to get a spot at the bar, your front row seat lets you watch the production up close and personal. And the guys back there are as chatty as your friendly neighbourhood bartenders.

This place is notorious for not taking itself too seriously – just read their sandwich-board which offers a daily dose of useless wisdom. The kitchen is just big enough for two people and the room small enough you could probably ask the chef a question from your seat should you have one. The food is amazing and served as small plates. Every dish is inspiring and delicious, but the best part has got to be the complimentary mini cupcakes that come with the bill.

Watching the orchestra of kitchen staff in this Italian eatery is a show in itself. You can’t help but be mesmerized by their rhythm as your taste buds are tantalized by the aromas of the food. It’s no wonder that the most coveted seats in the house are the two on the corner of the kitchen’s bar. Request them the next time you make a reservation.

If you don’t know about Boxwood you may miss it. Located on the edge of Central Memorial Park, its size makes it hard to tell it is a restaurant at all. Designing the kitchen as part of the dining room may be out of pure necessity, but it works and it hasn’t hindered the quality of their menu. Utilizing a rotisserie for meat, their dishes have a homey quality that leaves you feeling warm, fuzzy and pleasantly full.

Image: the cooks from Una Pizza and Wine.