A Valentine’s Day Dinner @ The Living Room


Happy Valentine’s Day!  I hope you’re enjoying a great day with those you love; whether it be your spouse, significant other, family, friends or pets.  I always see Valentine’s Day as a day to celebrate all the love you have in your life – no matter who or what it’s coming from.

Today I’m doing something a little different on my blog – a restaurant review!  One of my goals this year was to grow my blog – and I want to do that not only in readership, but in topics I write about.  As much as I love writing about beauty and makeup, I want to start incorporating more lifestyle topics into my blog as well.

The Living Room Calgary

For Valentine’s Day this year we decided to go low key and just go for a nice dinner and forgo gifts.  I started researching restaurants earlier this week via Open Table and landed on The Living Room.  I’d been wanting to pay them a visit for a while now and it seemed like a great spot for a Valentine’s Dinner.  I should mention that we never go for our Valentine’s dinner on Valentine’s Day – I hate fixed menu’s and crowds, so we always for a few days before or after V-Day.

The Living Room Calgary

When we arrived the first thing I noticed were the two outdoor, wood burning fireplaces that flank either sides of their patio.  It was chilly the night we were there and it created a lovely ambience as you walk up the door.  I can only imagine that this is a highly popular spot during the summer months.

The Living Room appears to be an old bungalow converted into a restaurant, with a centre bar, a more private dining area at the back and a variety of table setups throughout the front and side of the restaurant (I wish I had taken pics of the inside).  The lighting was soft and light and it had a warm and cozy ambience. It suits its name very well.

We were greeted by a friendly hostess who led us to a cozy corner table in the back dining area.  I immediately observed that the table was pretty small.  Thankfully we didn’t have anyone sitting next to us until about halfway through our meal but if you had people on both sides of you it could get cramped pretty quickly.

The Living Room Calgary

Our waiter came by and introduced himself and offered us still water. We each ordered drinks – I had a Fresh Cherry cocktail that was a mixture of Black Cherry Grey Goose Vodka, dry Curacao, cherry Morlacco, fresh lime, and soda.  D ordered the Dealer’s Choice, which is essentially is whatever the Bartender feels like making for you that night.  I forgot the name of what ended up getting but it was some kind of concoction that contained whiskey.  I found my drink to be fairly refreshing and light; D’s drink was quite strong and sweet.  Let’s just say he ordered one of what I had ordered when he finished his.

We perused the menus for a bit but the choice of a starter was an easy one – fondue, of course.  I had heard great things about it and because it’s cheese and bread and cheesy bread so I didn’t see how we could go wrong.  The fondue comes with bread to dip but D, being the meatatarian that he is, decided he wanted to add sausage to it as well.  So we did.

Cheese Fondue at the Living Room Calgary

The fondue arrived shortly thereafter and it was delicious!  It was smooth, rich and creamy and had a great balance of flavours.  Despite containing both truffles and truffle oil, it had just a hint of truffle which was good because I’m not the biggest truffle fan.Cheese Fondue at the Living Room Calgary

The fondue was accompanied by a generous basket of baguette cubes that were the perfect texture – firm enough to pierce and dip into the fondue without falling apart but fresh enough not be dry.  The Italian sausage we ordered was actually pretty lean (which is a little weird for an Italian Sausage) so we both found it lacked a little flavour although that didn’t stop us from devouring it.

We had ordered our main at the same time as the fondue and given that I had skipped lunch that day, ordering the whole chicken seemed like a good idea.  Typically our eyes are always bigger than our stomach and after stuffing ourselves full with the fondue we realized the error in our judgement.  Especially when this arrived:

The Living Room Calgary

Apparently we didn’t think a whole chicken was going to cut it so we had also ordered sides of the smoked pomme puree and orange-glazed carrots.  Everything looked delicious so we dug in.

The Living Room Calgary

I found the chicken to be moist and juicy with a distinct lemon flavour.  It was good – but I’m not sure it was the best chicken I’ve ever had and for the price I was kind of expecting more, to be honest.  The accompanying gravy definitely added to it and made it more enjoyable.

The Living Room Calgary

The potatoes were creamy and most definitely smoky – perhaps a little too smoky for liking.  When I topped them with some gravy that diffused the smokiness a bit; however the carrots were sweet and crisp and we definitely enjoyed those.

Unfortunately we had no room for dessert so our meal ended there, so we finished our drinks, grabbed our doggy bag and went on our way.

Overall, I was pretty pleased with our experience; the fondue was fantastic and I’d definitely go back just for that.  I think you could easily make a meal of just the fondue if you ordered additional accompaniments.   I don’t think I’d order the chicken again though.

I was very impressed with the service we received – our server was prompt without being intrusive and friendly and personable.  We never felt rushed and were able to relax and enjoy our meal.  Which is totally what I was looking for in a Valentine’s Day dinner.  If you’re ever in the area, I’d recommend it.

Thanks for reading!


Valentine’s Day Essentials

Valentine's Day Gift Guide 2016

So what are everyone’s thoughts on Valentine’s Day?  People seem to have some very strong feelings about it.  Like they hate it because it’s a highly commercialized, Hallmark holiday and technically you should be showing your loved ones how much you care about them, more than once a year.  I can understand that.  And then there’s those that love it and go all out and get the flowers, chocolates, candlelight dinner, teddy bears, etc.  I get that too because it’s kind of fun.

Personally I’m a little indifferent to it.  D and I have been together for a long time and there’s been years where we buy each other expensive gifts and go for an expensive meal and others where we do absolutely nothing.  I tend to like something that’s somewhere in between.  This year I think we’re going to keep it simple and just go for a nice meal on Friday or Saturday, instead of Sunday, so we can avoid the crowds, higher prices and fixed menus.  And we’ll probably skip the gifts this year.

Despite that, I thought I’d put together a collection of my favourite Valentine’s Day things, in case you needed some inspiration for the big Day:

  1. Grower Direct Vibrant Dreams Arrangement:  I love getting flowers any time of year, and I don’t depend on D to buy them for me – I’ll happily buy them for myself!  I love this arrangement – classic V-day colours but a little more understated than a dozen red roses.
  2.  Pier One Pink Champagne Ombre Filled Candle: Could there be a more perfect Valentine’s Day candle?  With notes of grapefruit, citrus and strawberry you really can’t go wrong (not to mention the beautiful ombre jar).  Plus let’s be honest, real champagne is over-rated.
  3. Nova 7 Benjamin Bridge Wine: Wine wouldn’t be my drink of choice…unless it’s this one.  This is my favourite wine ever – it’s sweet, sparkling but not at all dry.  And it’s from Nova Scotia!  #whoknew
  4. Urban Decay Gwen Stefani Lipstick (Firebird): No better day to break out a bright and bold fuchsia or red lip!
  5. Purdy’s Cinnamon Hearts:  Whenever I see these hit the stores, I am instantly reminded of my childhood dog (RIP Twinkle) who ate an entire bowl of these in one sitting.  She was home alone and we had left a bowl on the end table.  We came home and they were gone.  Still makes me giggle to think about it.
  6. Kate Spade ‘One in a Million’ Initial Pendant Necklace: Okay I know I have a bit of a Kate Spade problem but I’ve been eyeing these for years.  I think they’d make a really great gift, especially for V-Day!
  7. Cookies by George Junior Cookie Box: Have you ever had a Cookies by George cookie?  If not, you’re missing out (highly recommend the M&M ones)!  These little boxes make great gifts for anyone and they deliver all throughout Canada and the US!
  8. Remy Olivier Cast Iron Fondue Set: If you’re planning on hanging out at home, may I suggest a fondue party for 2?  We fondued on NYE and it was really fun (and delicious!) and it was nice to do something a little different!
  9. Tokoyo Milk Tainted Love No. 62:  I have a mini bottle of this from a set I bought on Black Friday from Sephora and I think it makes a great V-day fragrance – warm, a little mysterious and a little musky.
  10. PS, I Love You:  I can’t remember how many times I’ve watched this movie, nor read the book.  It’s a tear-jerker, comedy and romance all mixed into one.  If you’re looking for something along those lines to read, I’d recommend this (it’s usually on tv at least once a weekend as well 😉 )
  11. Brooklyn Brew Shop Home Brew Kit: I hate buying D presents, he’s always disappointed in whatever I get him.  He’s definitely not into the sappy gift thing so beer is a safe bet, even if he does have to make it himself.
  12. Ricki’s Heart Intarsia Pullover: I’m a bit of a geek and like to wear holiday-themed things, whether it be jewelry or clothing on holidays.  I like that I could wear this sweater after Valentine’s Day as well.
  13. Purdy’s Peanut Butter Hearts: Valentine’s Day 101: Chocolate.  Add peanut butter and you’re golden.
  14. OPI’s Hello Kitty Collection Nail Polishes (Small + Cute = ❤Charmmy & Sugar):  I picked up a few of these polishes from the Hello Kitty collection a few weeks ago and these two are my favourite and couldn’t be more perfect for Valentine’s Day.  I like using Charmmy & Sugar for an accent nail.

Thanks for reading!