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Libations, Nosh, Restaurant

My CharPOP experience


CharPOP was Calgary’s first attempt at a temporary restaurant – created at a secret location for just three days (January 15-17). CharPOP featured the amazing talents of Canadian chefs Connie DeSousa, John Jackson and Grant Van Gameren along with baker Aviv Fried. Bookings were extremely limited with two seatings nightly.

Reservations were capped at a maximum request of four diners per booking, with a password mailed out to confirmed guests in order for them to gain access to a covert website to learn where dinner was to take place. I unfortunately, did not send in my request fast enough as it took a mere eight minutes for the event to become solidly booked. With a wait list of 2600, I was sorely disappointed and hoped that another event would be announced (sooner rather than later).

As luck would have it, a couple of friends did manage to get a reservation (lucky ducks) – and invited us to join them for dinner (OMG OMG OMG….hell yes!). Needless to say, we were super excited to have had the opportunity to indulge with them. Thank you shout out goes to Paul and Craig. We owe the both of you big time 🙂

After much humming and hawing over the menu, we figured out that the best plan of action was to be gluttons and share everything. We struck off only two menu items and patiently waited for the feast to begin.

The Sides

Carrots slow cooked in beef shank jus


Poplar Bluff Potato and guanciale gratin


Open faced croissant with lamb, sumac, Nigella seed and mint

The hot vinegar beets with orange and thyme were a welcome addition to our order as the two ladies beside us did not have enough room to finish these off. Sadly, I didn’t take a photo, but they were utterly delightful.

The Small Plates

Crispy Pig Ear Salad with soft cooked farm egg, chili, and lemon vinegar


Baked Kale Salad with persimmon, king mushroom, Farro and pine nuts


The Original Tongue on Brioche


Smoked Veal Sweetbreads, pig skin, white beans and escarole


Cabbage and bone marrow soup


The Main Event

Foie Gras and blood sausage, rutabaga with maple bourbon gastrique


Rabbit Pie with shaved Lardo


Octopus with toasted sourdough N'dula (uncased sausage)


Beef Cheek with squash and savoury scone


Sweet Endings

Cast Iron Baked Cinnamon bun with spiced rum and raisin gelato


Lavender and lemon poached pears galette with Valrhona chocolate

Sadly, this was the end of our delicious meal…and when we asked about the possibility of dining in the future – we got a response that there would be four more pop-up locations in 2012. Two locations somewhere in Canada and two somewhere in the United States (a little birdie told us one location might be San Francisco). Hmmm….can someone say foodie road trip?

We used all the lines up on the front of the bill!

All in all, it was a great night filled with amazing, unbelievable food and company. For one lucky couple, it even marked a bigger celebration as we heard that someone in an earlier seating ‘CHARPOP’ped the question sometime between the Rabbit Pie and the Beef Cheeks. One hundred percent success rate on all fronts!

About Eunice

I'm just a girl who is passionate about food. It is my personal quest to try to expand my culinary horizons both at home and abroad. However, I was not always passionate about food. I had my epiphany much later when I got my very first job...at a sushi joint here in town. And just like that "Hook, line and sinker"...a foodie was born! I'm a P/T blogger, P/T yogini...but always a foodie.


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