Cross-posted from Calgary is Awesome.
LeVilla has been open in my family's neighbourhood for several years now, but it was never on our radar until my mom saw an advertisement in Trend Weekly, a local Chinese tabloid, advertising their special for November - a four-course prix fixe menu for $39 available on Sunday to Thursday nights. The fact that executive chef Rick Chuk is Chinese and used to work at the 5-star Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Hong Kong sealed the deal.
Clearly their advertising campaign was a success, as when my family and I went out for dinner earlier this week, all but one table of diners were Chinese.
LeVilla serves up very classic, French-inspired cuisine (despite Chuk's nationality, there are no crazy fusion dishes here) in a cozy, cabin-like dining room with lots of wooden touches and warm tones. One of their main advertising points is their second dining room, which features large windows and a roaring fireplace; a large group was dining in there when we went. The meals are prepared in a small open kitchen on the east side of the restaurant - it was interesting to see the contrast between the harried line cooks preparing our main courses while the one pastry chef carefully crafted the desserts.
For the first course, I started with the lobster bisque, which was smooth and savoury, with just a hint of sweetness. My mom is obsessed with lobster bisque and is trying to perfect her own recipe and finds many other ones she's tried are too tomatoey (acidic) or salty. She liked this one.
My sister was the only one who ordered the salad option, which didn't look particularly inspiring - just the generic spring mix greens with some yellow tomatoes.
For the second course, I chose the crab cake with honey, chipotle aioli & mango coulis while everyone else had the Coquille St-Jacques. The crab cake was probably my favourite part of the meal - the crab cake itself was tender and full of flavour, but what I loved the most was the smokiness of the chipotle aioli. The mango coulis was sweet with a hint of citrus.
I had a bite of my mom's Coquille St-Jacques, which was lovely with its rich and creamy cheese sauce. I was still glad I ordered the crab cake though.
Despite there being three main course choices and six people, as a family we only tried two of the main courses that night. All of us, except my brother, ordered the rack of lamb.
I liked how the lamb was just lightly seasoned with a mustard and herb crust to really allow the lamb itself to shine through. It was good and I liked the assortment of vegetables that came with it, but overall it was nothing special - I have had lamb that was more tender elsewhere.
My brother ordered the cajun rib eye, which I didn't have a chance to taste, but he gave me a bite of his Boursin mashed potatoes, which were very rich and buttery. Yum.
Dessert was another highlight of the meal. I had the cappuccino crème brûlée, which was creamy but light. The cappuccino flavour came through a little bit in the crackly, caramelized sugar on top (though a corner of mine was burnt), and I thought the tart berries were a nice foil to the sweetness of the dessert.
My siblings had the chocolate truffle mousse cake. My sister offered me a bite of hers and it is as rich and decadent as it looks.
Now you must be wondering, what's the point of telling us about a menu that was available last month? Fortunately, for the month of December, the restaurant is offering a similar promotion for $49 instead of $39. Items like lobster bisque, roasted rack of lamb, rib eye (not Cajun this time), a Bailey's crème brûlée and the chocolate truffle mousse cake (now served with espresso ice cream) remain on the menu, joined by new items like Lobster Thermidor and a chicken breast supreme stuffed with shrimp, scallops, crab and swiss cheese. The four-course dinner is available on Sunday to Thursday nights only, and reservations fill up fast! You can still enjoy many of these items on their regular menu on Friday and Saturday night, but it will be slightly more expensive (though portions may be larger).
404 - 1851 Sirocco Dr SW
Calgary AB T3H 4R5
Open for lunch Tues-Fri 11:30 AM-4 PM; dinner Sun-Thu 5-9 PM; Fri-Sat 5-10 PM. Four-course dinner available Sun-Thu by reservation only.