Presiding over the kitchen is Stéphane Prévost, an accomplished Banff chef with a personal website subtitled “Passion for Food – Appetite for Life.”
The chalkboard announces his specials—today, lingcod with root vegetables, Royal Miyagi oysters and Butter Pig curry with vegetables (the latter dish reflecting Prévost’s love of Asian cooking).
The crispy chicken sandwich I ordered for lunch was flavourful and moist. “Why can’t I cook chicken this tender?” was my first thought upon taking a bite. The ingredients were packed into a fresh ciabatta bun garnished with spicy Asian mayo. On the side was a yummy Thai chicken, mango and vegetable soup with a coconut curry base.
While I devoured my meal, my dining companion feasted on a pepper sausage sandwich with meat from Meadow Creek Farm (located in Claresholm, Alberta), smoked cheddar, Asiago and caramelized onions. Both dishes were interestingly presented on a wood block.
At the bar, the bartender was entertaining her customer by making a cocktail that incorporated fresh watermelon. The Block is known as one of best places in Banff for innovative drinks and tapas, especially late-night. The cocktail menu is reasonably priced, and doubles go for only $10.
The Block’s orange Mojito, made from fresh mint, oranges and limes, is sweetened with homemade yuzu marmalade. Yuzu is a rare and costly citrus fruit from Japan that resembles grapefruit with overtones of mandarin orange.
This restaurant’s custom approach to food and drink even extends to their coffee. Each cup is individually pressed, which makes for great taste (but no free refills).