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“So good!”
Review of Model Milk

Model Milk
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Ranked #126 of 3,569 Restaurants in Calgary
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Canadian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Description: In the old Victor/Victorias Space on 17th Avenue SW Calgary,308 17 Avenue Southwest, Calgary, AB T2G1P3(403) 265-7343 ‎ · modelmilk.ca
Vancouver, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
66 reviews
38 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“So good!”
Reviewed August 22, 2013

This was the best meal I've eaten in a long time! Was there with 2 friends and we shared a bunch of plates, the white anchovey dish being our favourites (I don't usually like anchovey's AT ALL) every dish we had was great, one we weren't too keen on and it got replaced. Staff are super helpful and friendly. Great atmosphere. Will definitely go back when I'm in Calgary again!

Visited August 2013
Thank jettsgal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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322 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Prince George, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
383 reviews
254 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 251 helpful votes
“Prince Gastronome”
Reviewed August 10, 2013


It was so hot this day...
(“How hot was it?”)
It was real hot!
It was only a few days since the downtown region of Calgary was opened following its cataclysmic flood. I had hoped to slip into Teatro this day, only to discover it closed until Thursday. I left a message hoping for a table then. Having parked and paid my $14, I wasn’t about to abandon that invaluable commodity to search for another restaurant, so I began quickly rifling through my short list alternates. NOtaBLE? 9.2 kilometers. Brava Bistro? 2.1 kilometers. Model Milk? 1.5 kilometers I can do.
Just over a kilometer in 30+ degree weather and I in black pants without a cap. I was going to smell wonderful by my arrival. It wasn’t helped by the fact my trusty iPhone with running navigation system had less than 20% power left and I still needed it to take photos of the meal and guide my way back to my car.
I’m explaining this all so you can appreciate it when I say that the restaurant I eventually entered was totally worth the walk. I would gladly crawl across broken glass with my fly unzipped for Model Milk, one of the coolest restaurants I’ve ever been inside. Legitimately cool, not awkwardly attempting to be cool, if it was on Top Gear’s Cool Wall, it would almost be in the sub-zero fridge. It’s where people go to enjoy food and feel good about themselves while doing it. I actually felt unkempt upon entering, ashamed at my own uncoolness.
All the other patrons were skinny, wearing thick-rimmed black glasses even though most of them probably don’t even have a prescription. Men were wearing flannel, the women skinny jeans. Hair was long and artificially straightened. Beards were trimmed and shaved around the neck.
They’re listening to Journey and Styx for some reason, and they name their kids after Greek and Roman deities, you know, names you used to give to your dog. They wear oversized headphones for microscopic music players! And they buy all their crap from Pottery Barn, like spending $2,000 on an apothecary table when you can get a used one for a tenth the price on Kijiji means it’s better in some way! Everyone works at Starbucks or the Apple store, and they love bad things ironically!
Nutella is not a food group!
And when did bow-ties come back in style?!
I hope they all die!


That’s escalated quickly.

(Clears throat)

So yeah, Model Milk is quite cool in a way that I appreciate. And not because they had good air conditioning. As proof of their genuine coolness, I actually heard the Charlie Brown theme playing over the speakers.
Model Milk gets its name from the fact that it was built out of an old dairy warehouse. The exposed brick walls are stencilled with the restaurant’s name and logo. I was given a table, well more loaned, under a batch of lights holding up an awkward slab of wood. You heard right, though that did sound confusing. Basically, a bunch of lights with long cables suspended from the distant ceiling wind around an unrefined slab of wood half-way down. It was a neat effect. The bathroom looked rustic to the point of requiring a tetanus shot, or at least that was my best guess considering it was so dark, you’d need to trade a doctor 20 menthol KOOLs for a surgical shine job in order to see anything.

(Really? Nothing? Tough crowd.)

The menu was a simple affair, a single page attached to a piece of wood via elastic band. The absolutely delightful waitress suggested something cold to start, so I opted for some strange homemade soda which, like all homemade sodas, tasted fantastic until I got halfway, after which I began sucking ice cubes in water until I lamented ordering it. Thankfully, the rest of the meal was better. I decided to throw the review in Model Milk’s favor and order my signature indulgence, foie gras, specifically, the foie gras parfait (with smoked maple, pickled beets, and milk bread). I have this theory that patrons rarely ever order foie gras so when an order comes in, the chef gets intrigued—someone with a modicum of culinary taste has entered their restaurant. I got this impression when in Chambar because the maitre d later came out later to ask me how it was. And it happened again here, only this time, it was a chef that came out to ask. I doubt they do that for every table.
And it was worthy of praise; once again, foie gras was awesome, part salad, part spread. The only issue with such a dish is that the following order has a lot to live up to. With Chamber, the duck easily surpassed the appetizer. And Model Milk followed suit. The broek acres pig (with crushed edamame, fennel, apple, and celery salad) was like eating a juicy bacon steak, probably the best chunk of pig I’ve ever had. And I usually don’t like pig that isn’t “baconized” in some way. To send it over the moon, it was sided with an edemame, fennel, apple and celery salad, a perfect pair with the pig.
As a finale, I decided on something cold, the breakfast ice cream sandwich, made with corn flakes, peanut butter, jam, and crème fraiche. A great finish.
The meal wasn’t cheap. As a starter, the foie gras was the most expensive dish on the small plate menu at $17, but by only a buck. The large plates were expectedly pricier, with the cheapest being a burger—a burger—at 19$. This is nearing a yearly indulgence price rather than a monthly tradition price, nowhere near a weekly ritual. I’d love to go back, but if I was living in Calgary, it would have to be sparingly. Maybe I’m not as cool enough to appreciate the expense. Sure, I’ve had more expensive, but those were generally high-class bistros and Model Milk is not that. It’s far too cool to be a posh eatery. Most supercars aren’t cool because rich idiots flaunt them. Many cheap cars can be cool. So where does Model Milk fall into this metaphor? It’s a fast, sleek BMW, like an M5. A seriously cool car owned most often by pharmacists and the wives of pharmacists. German made so built like a chunk of granite but with an interior priced above its class, a car we would all love to own. Model Milk may not race to a 100 kph in under 3 seconds but will still outpace nearly anything you pass on the highway. However, despite not being a supercar, most people still will never own one.
Model Milk is a place you would love to visit every week but whose prices will probably force you to save it for special occasions…I’d suggest making such an occasion once a month. You owe it to yourself.


OVERALL: 8.5 out of 10

If you’ve made it this far, let me offer my disclaimer that, as somewhat of a hipster myself, I am being ironic in my condemnation of them. I in no way hate them, but found their clichés appearing within Model Milk amusing.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank PrinceGastronome
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 5 Contributor
67 reviews
37 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Absolutely exquisite flavours, service and ambience”
Reviewed August 4, 2013

Our 19 year old daughter was leaving Calgary for a very long time and this was the restaurant she chose to spend her last evening at - it was absolutely perfect for a night to remember. Seating was wonderful, service absolutely outstanding and the food almost indescribeable - it was so so good. Our table had the calamari as a starter which was so tasty, then for mains we had the lamb (this was unreal and coming from a Kiwi really says something), burgers, and steelhead trout - every one of our meals was so delicious. The younger people in our party finished with an icecream sandwich which which should be an absolute must if you enjoy dessert - the best ever. t

Visited July 2013
1 Thank Hidden_treasures4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
120 reviews
60 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“Very nice food”
Reviewed August 4, 2013

We luckely got a last minute reservation at Model Milk on a very busy evening.
The appetizers were very good. The rabbitt bologna was very interesting and excellent. The salad of heirlooms tomatoes was fine.
For main dishes we had the cod and the veal. The cod was well cooked and savoury. The choice of veal cut let us a little perplexed because we had to fight with it and we ended up leaving half of it in the plate (veal foreshank cut ?).
The sweets were amazing. Great apple tart with home made vanilla ice cream. The ice cream sandwich with peanut butter crumble, blueberries, basil and vanilla ice cream had all the right ingredients, but mixed together there was no harmony.
Service was great. The wine list is modest but with choices that are very good for the food pairing.

Visited August 2013
1 Thank CeeBee130
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sliema, Malta
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Hip - Best Fresh Food in Calgary”
Reviewed July 28, 2013

Refreshing atmosphere, attentive service, a list of exclusive wines and delicious seasonal cuisine make this restaurant the best in Calgary! The portions are appropriate and easily shareable. The flavors and textures are well thought out. We had the honor to meet the chef bringing delicious digestive contacted with passion.
I just moved to Calgary and I finally find something different with twist of sophistication and trendiness.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank juliegeo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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