The Highwood, Calgary’s hidden jewel restaurant at SAIT polytechnical school

Beef Wellington, $12 dollars! Are you kidding? Delicious and a bargain

Beef Wellington, $12 dollars! Are you kidding? Delicious and a bargain

Ingrid and I got our first ever taste of the delicious fare offered up by The Highwood Restaurant, the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology’s ‘real world’ classroom for the school’s respective Culinary Arts and Hospitality programs.

The Highwood is a restaurant/classroom where students get to practice what they’ve learned, but in a real world setting of a restaurant that is open to the paying public.

At the ‘front of house’ (the dining room), the restaurant has all the appearance of a fine dining establishment.  Linen table cloths and an elegant decor welcome customers, and many of the restaurant’s operations are traditional, ‘old school.’

In the kitchen, chef instructors oversee Culinary Arts program students in a trial-by-fire, real world work experience, preparing meals for the Highwood’s paying customers.  Recognize that The Highwood is a classroom, a learning environment.  As such, one can expect the potential for ‘glitches’ in the dining experience.  Interestingly, our experience was top notch.  Service was attentive, yet not hovering, and our server was knowledgeable about the menu and the preparation of the featured dishes.

Sous vide poached salmon on dill potato salad, $7

Sous vide smoked salmon on poached shrimp and dill potato salad, $7

I started lunch with a superb Sous Vide Smoked Salmon on a Poached Shrimp and Dill Potato Salad, beautifully presented, for $7 dollars.  This is a cold dish, and it arrived beautifully presented and delicious.

My lunch main course was the most impressive.  Beef Wellington with mushroom duxelle wrapped in a light puff pastry, topped with a red wine reduction, $12 dollars.  The beef was cooked precisely, medium rare.  The Highwood’s Beef Wellington has to be the bargain entree in Calgary’s entire foody scene!

White Chocolate Raspberry Creme Brulee , $7

White Chocolate Creme Brulee , $7

To finish, we ordered two desserts to share.  The White Chocolate Creme Brulee, $7, served with peaches and artistically presented with a leaf-like sugared vertical element.

Overall, our lunch was superb and we’ll make an effort to return on a regular basis.

Note that The Highwood operates seasonally (when school is ‘in’) and it is popular, so reservations are recommended.

Also, parking at SAIT is a challenge.  Pay parking on SAIT”s campus is available.

The Highwood, 1301 16 Ave NW, Calgary, AB T2M 0L4; Tel.:  (403) 284-8615.  Highly recommended.





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