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“Not Worthwhile”
Review of Xocolat - CLOSED

Price range: $31 - $50
Cuisines: Mexican
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Dining style: Fine Dining
Cross street: 11 ave & 8th St.
Description: newly opened
Level Contributor
22 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Not Worthwhile”
Reviewed December 30, 2013 via mobile

I recently read that this restuarant was one of the top 20 new restuarants here in Calgary, new yes and disapointing. The service is slow, portions are small and overpriced, I would need 2 mains to equal 1 standard main anywhere else I've eaten. The staff are not able to tell me more about the desserts, a guessing game for me when ordering and hoping I would like it. I would NOT recommend this place unless you have deep pockets and eat like a bird - over priced for what you get. There are better Mexican restuarants in Calgary.

Thank thefoodsnob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

27 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
758 reviews
368 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 201 helpful votes
Reviewed December 23, 2013

Let me start by saying that the food was good. It isn't Mexcian food that we are used to - more Mexican influenced or Mexican inspired but nonetheless it was good. Service wasn't. There were four of us for lunch - when we ordered (only mains - no appetizers) there were 7 people in the restaurant and there were maybe 15 by the time we were waiting for the food. The waitress didn't know what the fish of the day was - after I ordered a beer she came back to say they didn't have it (this was the second time that happened here - get it off the menu). The food isn't well described in the menu and the waitress did not assist. We were there for over two hours for lunch. When the mains finally came,only two came out - the other two came five minutes later. The plates were cleared and no one offered us a dessert/tequila menu. I had to ask twice for coffee. For the highend style that they wish to acquire and to justify the prices they are already charging, they need to step up their game.

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Nick D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
14 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed December 2, 2013

Very nice restaurant, well appointed/decorated but very expensive with small portions and poor service. It didn't appear they were short staffed, just inexperience/poorly trained; the manager, was just there and seemed oblivious to how the restaurant was operating which is part of his job.

Our server, thou pleasant, was not what you would expect in a "posh" establishment. She forgot drinks that were ordered, we had to enquire a couple of times we did not receive our drinks; while taking our order, she just up and left, not excusing herself and when she returned a short time later, she did not apologize or saying anything.

Service was very slow with meals not being brought at the same time leaving some at our table of six waiting. There was a long wait between courses and when enquired about this, the comment was "it is coming". Timing was completely off and should not be happening at an established restaurant. The kitchen staff were busy but obviously not well organized.

A three course dinner at $45 seemed reasonable: the presentation was great but very,very small portions i.e. a single shrimp taco with a drop of guacamole and salsa equates to $15 which is way over-priced. One of the dishes was spicy and not noted as being so on the menu.

I will not be returning - there are just too many restaurants in Calgary providing a more enjoyable experience for your money.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank canuckcowboy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
102 reviews
56 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Mexican Wow Food”
Reviewed November 30, 2013 via mobile

Finally there is an exquisite Mexican fine dining experience in Canada! This was a wonderful meal. The staff was friendly and prompt. The host was on the quiet side he needs some work that's for sure.

This is all about flavour and presentation. If your expecting street tacos and enchiladas with belly busting portions don't bother. This is a classy well thought out menu. Great job I was impressed. That's hard to do!

Thank jhmadsen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
159 reviews
114 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
“Fabulous, but the service needs work.”
Reviewed September 15, 2013

Wow! Xocolat almost lives up to its promise to be posh. The decor is gorgeous. The live music is nice (although too loud for our taste). Chairs and seating very comfortable. The food was pretty interesting and delicious: little amuse-bouches of cornmeal pastry and a mexican salsa filling. Dishes range from generous appetizer to meal-size. Our various starters were all excellent, from the lobster to the veggie plate. Mains were also fabulous, with the exception of the duck confit, which was too tough to cut, but that could have been a result of the service problem (to come). The sea bass was perfect, served with tiny potatoes and incredibly flavourful little onions pickled in what seemed like balsamic vinegar. It was definitely a full meal. The pork with pork belly was also tasty, tender and served with the most amazing little 'blobs' of a mango-flavoured sauce. We had only one dessert among the 5 of us - it was called lime pie, but was a very modernist take on the concept of pie: a subtly-flavoured lime cream topped with mascarpone mousse, and surrounded with graham wafer crumbs. In all, the flavours were interesting, unusual, novel, delicious; the presentations were spectacular. In some ways, Xocolat is delivering Michelin-star-worthy food, and some of it is certainly the most innovative in Calgary.

Now for the 'buts': We arrived at 8.15 pm as a party of five, having booked for four. This seemed to cause a couple of moments of consternation but we were quickly seated. The resto was busy, but not crowded.Then we waited...and waited. Finally called over the manager and he brought menus and got servers working. Getting our order taken was another challenge. Once again we needed to wave our arms to get a server's attention. Eventually the manager arrived at our table with a little tequila shooter for each of us in apology.

The unusual menu offers only a choice of prix fixe menus: three courses, five courses, and several even larger options. The items are just presented in one long list, no prices, no separation into appies, mains, etc.. There are no variations from this format permitted. The waitress told us that the dishes were small, so several of us changed from two savoury plates and dessert to three savouries.

Things got better for a bit, but as we finished our second course, we realized that we didn't need a third 'main' as might have been implied by the waitress. Dessert would have been preferable. Then we waited...and waited...and waited. Finally the waitress came over to tell us it would be 5 more minutes to our next course. Fifteen minutes later, it finally arrived. The duck confit was tough as leather - we wondered if it had been sitting in an over for the past half hour just getting more and more leathery. The waitress offered to bring another dish, and we waited, the rest of us finished before the second dish - pork- came. Fortunately it was as good as the other diner's pork dish.

By this time we have been there for two hours, and we were pretty fed up with the service. For a resto that calls itself 'posh' the service was substandard. Our server gave us the impression were were just a necessary evil in her life. We were grumbling when she brought the bill, but we were somewhat mollified by the superb dark chocolate truffles that accompanied the bill.

There is no other resto in Calgary like Xocolat; if it wants to have a long and happy life in Calgary it needs to pull up its socks in the service department. Servers need to explain the menu properly and they need to at least pretend they care about the diners' experience.
We only figured out afterward that there were ways to work the menu so that the hungry folk could get their fill including dessert: One or two in a prty order the five-course menu, and then two of those courses are desserts to be shared with the others. A helpful server could simplify the ordering process. One other quibble - green veg, leafy or otherwise are virutally absent from the menu.

As for value, it's not only posh, it's pricey: $45 for the three-course menu. Plus drinks (the margarita classico is delicious and a full-size serving.). Although that's fairly typical of a good resto in PAris, it's not that common in Calgary, and diners need to feel they've gotten their money's worth. That's where to service comes in.

Finally, will we go back? Yes, for the food (and the beautiful decor).

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

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