I finally made my way over to Royale Calgary after a few years to celebrate my birthday with my sister. After hearing many good things about the restaurant, I figured it was finally time to let go of Corbeaux and give Royale a chance. I can say, wholeheartedly, that I am very pleased with the food, ambiance, and service of Royale. It’s a shame I never went sooner!
I walked into Royale once – took a look at their menu, and promptly walked out. I think this was a few years back. The menu was a little too French for me (back when I was not very adventurous either) and lackluster. However, this time around things changed (or maybe I did!). When I first walked in – I could not get over how pretty the space looks! Royale boasts a beautiful bar, European inspired tile flooring, and I really liked the tree in the center of the restaurant that is decorated with fairy lights.
The menu is divided into three sections – starters, mains, and sides. The starters are plentiful which makes me happy as it truly means that Royale values the idea of “sharing style” plates. Our server (shoutout to Casey the Taurus), was super helpful in recommending starters for us to share. Prices are reasonable at around $15- $20 per plate on average. I did find that portion sizes were reasonably big and the food was filling but did not sit heavy.
I absolutely enjoyed the meal and the service. I think it’s important to not overlook just how integral good service is. For food – we focused on sharing starters as opposed to opting for a main. When I go out to eat – I like to have a little bit of everything. We shared the elk carpaccio, french onion soup, gnocchi and pesto and a side of frites and aioli.
The elk carpaccio, though pricey for $19, was a reasonable size (good for two people – though I could easily eat the entire thing myself). In fact, the portion size was much better than the Wednesday room that charges $15 for a fraction of the serving. The dish came with hand-cut potato chips which, one of the servers encouraged us to use as a “little plate” for our carpaccio. I found the chips a bit salty and overpowering – so I opted to eat the carpaccio as is.
The gnocchi is generous in size. But what made me happy was the amount of gouda and parmesan sprinkled on top! 🙂 The portion is excellent for two people to be satisfied or for three people to at least whet their taste buds. The french onion soup is tasty though I would have appreciated more cheese in the soup. The tiny slice on top did not do the dish justice! I don’t think I would place it at the top of the best French onion soups I have had (that would be the Keg lol), but I did enjoy it.
Finally, the frites and aioli are excellent. I did not expect thin cut fries – but I was very pleased. The aioli was a perfect complement to the fries. The portion was generous that after everything we ate, we couldn’t finish all of it.
As for drinks – we had cocktails (of which the names escape me but I know my cocktail had prosecco in it). These cocktails are definitely the sipping kind (not the throw it back like you’re 21 kind!). The flavours are developed and pronounced and quite tasty. They complemented our meal excellently. The cocktails are $13 each but they do have a pretty generous happy hour (which we missed lol).
Opinion & Value for your Moolah:
Out of the many restaurants I have been to in Calgary, Royale hits the mark for value for money. For two people, including two cocktails and a total of 4 plates we paid $86 ish dollars. I think that’s great. Royale by no means is affordable or cheap but I think for what we paid, we got generous servings, and really good service and ambiance.
I really enjoyed my time at Royale. The food was excellent (I loved the carpaccio and I recommend you get it). However, I think what made me the happiest was just how genuine the service was. Casey was excellent and attentive, the rest of the staff was courteous – and shoutout out to the other server who placed our dishes down and complimented us on how fabulous we looked 🙂 That made our night!