Tango Bistro

6920 Macleod Tr. S.,
Calgary, (403) 252-4365

Rating: ****

Dinner for two with drinks: $65
Signature Dish: Beef short rib poutine
Signature Drink: Grapefruit Collins

Carved out of the dark wood of the now-downsized Smuggler's Inn, Tango is an unhurried spot to sip wine and cocktails, and graze on inventive dishes.

The whole concept of sharing plates can be a nightmare of tired burger sliders, sad olives, and inadequate, overpriced portions. Not here; Tango dances to a perfect beat.

Rarely does a salad catch my attention like the bright roasted heirloom beet and apples ($9.50) tossed with fennel seed, white truffle, and alfalfa honey vinaigrette.

Gorgonzola melds beautifully with roasted pears on a flatbread ($9) with vibrant pesto, crunchy pinenuts and sweet vincotto wine reduction.

Five meaty prawns ($10.50) get a crunch from wonton wrappers, and a hint of heat from the mayo spiced with Japanese togarashi.

Turducken skewers ($9) — turkey bacon wrapped around a sliced log of duck and chicken sausage — are creative but a salty, mushy let-down.

All is forgiven with the opulent poutine ($8.50), awash in demi glace and studded with real cheese curds and hunks of tender beef short rib.

Desserts are served in shot glasses: mango sponge cake with toasted coconut, and rocky road (brownie, toasted marshmallows and chocolate and caramel sauce).

Dining out

EARLY DINNER Hungry for an early deal? Chef's Table (1126 Memorial Dr. N.W.) has two-course ($39) and three-course ($49) dinners Monday to Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

In brief

WHISKY TASTING A great idea for a Father's Day gift, Vin Room (2310 Fourth St. SW) is hosting a tasting of six single malt whiskies from independent bottler Murray McDavid next Thursday. $80 ticket includes hors d'oeuvres. Call (403) 457-5522.

FARMER’S MARKET A revitalized Hillhurst Sunnyside Farmers’ Market is now open for the season at the community centre (1320 Fifth Ave. NW) every Wednesday 3:30-7:30 p.m. armersmarket.hillhurstsunnyside.org.