The Post Hotel is a lovely place to spend and celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving. The holiday falls on the second Monday in October, but many families celebrate with a bountiful Turkey Dinner on the Sunday. This tradition is upheld beautifully in the dining room at the Post for all of their guests, which on that evening swelled to include many Calgary and Banff-area residents gathering in large, multi-generational family groups and for a delicious dinner.
While the full menu is still available, a luscious, multi-course Thanksgiving meal, crowned of course by a golden roast turkey, was the star of our recent visit this past October. Pop the champagne with us (make it an elegant, sparkling Billecart-Salmon for this special occasion…)
…and first feast your eyes on the menu:
The wine lovers’ dilemma with almost any tasting or multi-course meal is what to pair with all the variety. Glancing at the menu you’ll see that we had a trout tartar, strudel, and turkey- with-gravy riddle to solve. The Billecart-Salmon completed the first piece of the puzzle, complementing the amazingly luscious tartar which was matched perfectly with a sharp-sweet-creamy honey mustard coulis. The photo doesn’t lie – the portion was very generous.
The second course was also a fine partner for the champagne. The strudel filling was a blend of finely-chopped rich and earthy mushrooms wrapped in delicate, buttery phyllo pastry. The red cabbage foam didn’t photograph particularly well (looks a bit like blueberry yogurt) but it was prettier in person and very good with the strudel. The shiny golden ball on the left is the apple jelly – delicate, tart and sweet, and refreshing.
At this point in the meal, our wine was poured – a 2012 Patz Hall Pinot Noir. It had a clear red, purple colour characteristic of the grape, and a smooth, elegant taste. The only red to match roast turkey in my experience. (The wine went well with my last few bites of strudel as well…good timing!)
And here it is – Happy Thanksgiving, Turkey dinner is served!
I have had wonderful homemade turkey meals over the years always prepared by loving hands, and nothing can quite replace the ambience of that special family gathering. But I must say that this meal was outstanding. The white and dark meat morsels of turkey were moist, tender and…just what turkey should always be. The cornucopia of ingredients in the stuffing – chicken, bison, fuji apple, chestnuts, sourdough pretzel bread, to name a few – made for an impressive accompaniment. The turkey port wine sauce was a rich pool of gravy, the kind you encourage everything on your plate to touch and sop up. (And while I admit to eating and enjoying the canned stuff, the spiced cranberry chutney was out-of-this-world – so good!). Even the brussel sprouts and carmelized cubes of sweet potato were perfect.
Apologies – we don’t have a shot of the lovely dessert (must be that Turkey/Tryptophan effect). It was a Pumpkin Mousse with Ginger-Pecan cookie, maple whipped cream and orange/cranberry compote – but like all Post desserts, it was delicious and generous.
The meal may not have been ‘homemade’, but it was certainly made with loving care. The many families surrounding us, clearly engaged in a yearly tradition, confirmed that this is a wonderful place to celebrate the holiday.
While I’m sure we now have you dreaming of visiting the Post Hotel in October, it should be noted that the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend in October is also the last weekend the hotel and dining room is open before a five-week closure as staff prepares for the busy winter ski season. So, our suggestion is to aim to spend a few crisp, early-October days in the Rockies at the Post, ending a great stay with a spectacular Thanksgiving dinner you won’t soon forget.
For more information on dining at the Post Hotel or to view a dinner menu, please visit www.posthotel.com
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