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Farm & Fire Banff

My time in Banff had me staying at the modern boutique hotel Elk & Avenue, which meant I frequented their in the house restaurant Farm & Fire when it came time to eat. Here, I was able to try both their dinner and breakfast menu; with everything I sampled from, tasted and shared, listed here in summary.

For those who have yet the visit, the staff gives you a run down of their family-style share menus. Using a dot system, the menu is separated into small bite appetizers that may require multiple orders if you are sharing, and entrees that are larger portion of proteins with the need to add on sides.

As taken from their website, “Launched in June of 2020, the Farm & Fire is one of Banff’s newest and exciting restaurants. The menu designed by Chef Scott Hergott, recognized for his award-winning culinary innovation at the Banff Gondola’s Sky Bistro, pays homage to wood-fired and slow-roasted staples. Hergott’s farm-to-table philosophy is evident throughout the menu with each dish punctuating his simple and fresh approach.”

Hailing from Vancouver BC, and frequenting the Fraser Valley’s ample farm land, the farm to table concept of cooking and dining resonates with me. And I can confidently confirm that the following ingredients were of quality and their preparation spoke to this. So much so that when given the chance, I was able to ask Chef Scott Hergott himself, how they get access to such fresh produce and seafood when the city is landlocked. He relayed the challenges and the need to continuously source the best, and work with as many local producers to get what he needs into his kitchens.

Be sure to start your meal off with some drinks, we would learn that all their drinks are strong and photo-worthy. Like the Smoking Roses with Pursuit Trailblazer Vodka, Park Chili Vodka, Pomegranate Juice, Lime, Rosemary Syrup, and a sprig of Smoking Rosemary that is lit table side.

The Adventure Tonic is prepared with Pursuit Adventure Gin, Grapefruit, Pea Flower Syrup, and Tonic. This one was a little hard to drink with all the ice. And was gin forward, but not much else.

They also have fun mocktails like the coconut cream pie that drinks like dessert with Becketts ’27 Non-Alcoholic Coconut ‘’Rum’’, Milk, Pineapple, Coconut Syrup, and Graham Crackers.

For food, the Compressed Watermelon was one of the most memorable dishes I enjoyed. Ice-wine Compressed Watermelon, Red Onion, Blue Cheese, Cold Pressed Canola, and a Balsamic Vinegar Reduction. All the ingredients paired well together in contrast, like the sweetness of the refreshing and light melon with the pungent and tangy blue cheese. I was sad to have only been able to try a single block of this.

On the same savoury fruit trend was the Strawberry Ricotta Bruschetta. Sweet meets savoury with Charred Shallot, Strawberries, Lemon Honey Whipped Ricotta, Basil, and Balsamic Reduction; all on Toasted Sourdough Baguette.

The Crispy Fried Cauliflower came topped with a Cauliflower Coconut Crema, Toasted Almonds, and Drunken Fermented Raisins. The use of coconut milk cannot be mistaken, and the seasoning had me thinking of curry. I especially liked the curve ball of the pops of sweetness from the golden raisins.

One of Farm + Fire’s signature dishes is the Wild Mushroom Loaf. Think corn bread, but with the baking similar to banana bread; and instead of bananas they have used an assortment of mushrooms. Truffle Cream Sauce, Marinated Wild Mushrooms, and House-grown Micro Greens. The cream sauce doubled down on the mushroom flavour with a thick soup-like consistency for the most comforting morsels.

Being equipped with a wood fire oven, pizza is a must. The Fungi came recommended so we gave it a try. Truffle Cream Sauce, Fior di Latte, Wild Mushrooms, Caramelized Onions, Basil Pesto, and Parmigiano Reggiano. There was plenty of cheese for a stringy and gooey bite, and even more mushroom with its distinct earthiness. Both came together well with the thick drizzle of their homemade pesto.

The “Late Night Snack” pizza was a fun one. San Marzano Tomato Sauce, Coppa, Caramelized Onion, Mozzarella, Pepperoni, Salt & Vinegar Crisps, and Fresh Parsley. The highlight was definitely the salty chips that topped it, I just wished that they were more crunchy like the crust they sat on. Definitely one suited for a chilled pint chase.

Another one of their features is their rotisserie chicken, available in a half order or as whole, our group found it challenging to finish the latter. Tender to the bone and one of the juiciest rotisserie chickens I have had seasoned with Banff Roasting Coffee Brine, House Jus, and Lemon. A must order when at Farm & Fire.

As mentioned earlier, the proteins are without sides, so if you are looking for one, it has to be the Thousand Layer Duck Fat Potato. BC Kennebec potatoes sliced thin and stacked for a terrific mouth feel and a fun pull apart sensation. Dressed with Thyme, Duck Fat, and Maldon Salt. Definitely for sharing, as they ae delicious, but you can only have so much.

To balance things out I would suggest the Grilled Rapini, with Cold Pressed Canola Oil, Pink Peppercorn, and Charred Lemon. The bitter vegetable shocks and cleanses palate.

On a separate occasion we visited Farm & Fire for Breakfast, where we were introduced to their “Sold Out” Cinnamon bun.

A giant house Cinnamon Roll made from rising yeast dough. Its Whipped Sweet Cream Cheese topping resembles Banff’s snowcapped mountains. In the future I have been told that this will be only available on Saturdays, making it even more elusive. A treat for the eyes, that wasn’t too sweet.

It is great for sharing given that it is the size of an 8” cake. Although not fluffy and soft, it was harder on the exterior, with the best part being the centre, as is the case with all other cinnamon buns.

For savoury breakfast options go with their classic Canadian Eggs Benny prepared with an English Muffin, Arugula, Smoked Ham, Two Free Run Poached Eggs, and a Grapefruit Hollandaise. Served with a side of their Garlic Potatoes. Tried as I might I couldn’t make out any grapefruit flavour in the Hollandaise, but the freshness of citrus was there.

I liked the idea of rabbit meat for breakfast, but did find the serving a little heavy with a salty Asian sauce drowning it. Down the Rabbit Hole is basically a Tater Tots poutine with Shredded Confit Rabbit, Deep Fried Cheese Curd, Citrus Teriyaki Sauce, Crushed Hazelnuts, Chives, and Two Free Run Sunny Side Eggs. I was impressed by how much rabbit meat you actually get in this and especially liked when you unknowingly bit into a chunk of crispy and chewy cheese curd. I just had to get some ketchup into the mix for some needed acid.

For something a lot lighter, look to the Lox to Look Forward To. Smoked Salmon, Arugula, Chive & Dill Whipped Cream Cheese, Fresh Dill, and Two Free Run Poached Eggs. With Garlic Potatoes on the side. You classic pairing done with no complaints.

And for those who like lunch for breakfast they have a burger option in the Holy Cow. Certified Angus Beef Carne Hanger, Pico De Gallo, Smashed Avocado, Two Free Run Poached Eggs, and Mojo. With Garlic Potatoes in place of fries. All their roasted potatoes were consistently delicious and well prepared, I hated to leave any on the plate. The steak was well seasoned with a mild fattiness to it, I personally would have liked it more pink. All the tomatoes and avocados reminded me of a fajita, I was just missing some red peppers.

In conclusion, Farm & Fire is a great spot in Banff for a home style meal. Come hungry and bring friends.

Farm & Fire
Elk + Avenue Hotel
333 Banff Ave, Banff, AB T1L 1B1, Canada
+1 403-760-3298

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