They say necessity is the mother of invention. In the case of the gorgeous new(ish) Flores & Pine restaurant in Bearspaw, it was a working mother’s necessity…and invention. In January 2019, Kristin Romeril and husband Mahyar Khosravi found themselves with two full-time jobs running nine car dealerships (Kaizen Automotive Group is a Romeril family business) while parenting two toddlers – and nowhere to eat out. When Bearspaw’s iconic Bears Den restaurant closed its doors, left the busy family in a bit of a pickle.
“Skip the Dishes doesn’t deliver past 12 Mile Coulee Road,” says Romeril. “And now our neighbourhood place had closed. We needed a place to eat, so we decided to open one.”
You’d have to meet Romeril to get that this isn’t as crazy and idea as it sounds. Perhaps channeling a few of the restaurant’s namesake Flores LaDue’s tricks, the smart and energetic entrepreneur has a gift for getting things done. And there was a lot to do. After an extensive renovation by designer Amanda Hamilton, recruiting a chef (Toronto import Rory McGouran via Chateau Lake Lousie), designing a menu and even recruiting the help of some on-property bees for fresh honey, Romeril and Khosravi opened the doors in August 2019.
The busy parents decided to open their own restaurant when their neighbourhood place closed down.
The response was immediate and exceptional. The bright, inviting and beautiful new space welcomed Bearspawians and Calgarians alike in droves in its first couple of months of operation. With an invitation to “come as you are” and “linger longer,” Flores and Pine instantly became the place where locals gather.
“The response was beyond our expectations,” says Romeril. “We really wanted to create a place where people could come and stay awhile. We’ve actually ended up joining tables daily as people who haven’t seen each other in a while come together here.”
While the space and the company are certainly excellent, the food keeps diners coming back, many of them several times a week. Chef McGouran’s approach to “elevated casual” dining treats patrons to familiar ingredients with creative interpretations that are both accessible and surprising. With vegetarian and gluten-free menus, accommodations are easy and no one will go hungry here.
The new jackfruit croquettes on the winter menu are a delicious option for vegans and meat-eaters alike.
For dinner, we recommend starting with the F&P signature salad ($13) featuring little gem lettuce, tomatoes, radish, edamame, feta and their signature dressing. The bison meatballs and perogies ($19) are also excellent and sharable prairie food at its finest. New on the menu for winter are crispy jackfruit croquettes for the vegan in your party as well as a great house-made ricotta with truffle honey and basil on sourdough.
All meats at Flores and Pine are sous vided and imbued with smoke from a beautiful wood-fired rotisserie and grill. If you’re with friends, and we hope you are, treat yourself to the 4K Berkshire pork chop ($36) which is also soaked in brine for a couple days before hitting the sous vide bath the winter menu pairs it with a navy bean cassoulet, bacon, smoked tomato and baby kale. Add the king crab legs (Market Price) for an extra special treat. For dessert, you absolutely must try the copetta, and enjoy one of many excellent cocktails including the flashy Smoking Mirror which will have your Instagram followers liking up a storm.
Just catching their breath after a wildly successful opening, the Flores and Pine team have just launched their Sunday brunch, which has something for every taste from beautiful charcuterie, passed croque monsieurs, eggs benedict featuring house-made lamb sausage, omelet bar and a beautiful buffet featuring meters and meters and meters of freshly-prepared brunch favourites. Brunch is $49 for adults and kids under five eat free. Ages six and up priced $2 multiplied by their age.
The brunch spread is exceptional with plenty to choose from with beautiful, fresh ingredients.
Everything about this restaurant works. The space invites an extended visit, the food is exceptional and accessible at a reasonable price and the service is excellent. Make a reservation and go linger longer in Bearspaw – it’s well worth the drive.
Flores & Pine
254028 Bearspaw Rd, Calgary, AB T3L 2P7