Lifestyle

Café of the Week: Alforno

The inner city café combines elegance and affordability

An 8oz vanilla latte with almond milk at Alforno bakery and cafe in Eau Claire on Wednesday, March 9, 2016. Alforno offers a variety of specialty coffees, wines, beers, and spirits. (Photo by Deborah Mebude/SAIT Polytechnic)

An 8oz vanilla latte with almond milk at Alforno bakery and cafe in Eau Claire on Wednesday, March 9, 2016. Alforno offers a variety of specialty coffees, wines, beers, and spirits. (Photo by Deborah Mebude/SAIT Polytechnic)

Located in the heart of Eau Claire, Alforno is one of the newest coffee spots in town that’s bringing a fresh element of class to the city’s café scene.

With exemplary architecture and a modern design, Alforno, part bakery part café, is raising the bar for culinary quality and aesthetics.

“It’s probably the most beautiful space in Calgary,” said Kyle Tisdale, an Alforno employee who works at the espresso bar.

Resembling a high-class art gallery or fancy hotel lobby, the space is vibrant with simple yet striking furnishings.

With a monochromatic and timeless colour palette consisting of white, black, beige and metallic, the neutral tones give the space a comfortable feel.

“It’s very chill and relaxed,” said Tisdale.

Aside from its noteworthy appearance, the café offers a variety of gourmet food and drink options at reasonable prices.

“It’s pasta, pizza and fancy pastries, all baked fresh and in-house daily,” said Kent Lukey, a first-year student in SAIT’s bakery and pastry art program, who works part-time at the café.

“Why shouldn’t students love it?”

The menu comes complete with everything from flatbreads and paninis to tarts, macaroons and pies, all prepared by a skilled team of chefs.

“We have an amazing pastry team,” said Tisdale.

“What makes us different than smaller cafés that source all their food is that everything is made in-house from scratch,” said Alisha Noyes, a barista at Alforno.

Alforno skillfully bridges the gap between restaurant, café and bakery, offering fresh pastries, bread, brunch, lunch and dinner, along with artisan wines and speciality coffees.

“We’re going for a bakery feel, [but] we also have drink cocktails and specials,” said Noyes.

This comprehensive dining experience makes Alforno an ideal location for studying, lounging or enjoying a fancy night out.

“At night, we turn down our lights and I think it’s very romantic,” said Noyes.

“Get candles out, pour a glass of wine and have a nice dessert.”

As a member of the Teatro Group, a Calgary restaurant chain, Alforno features wines, beers and spirits from the Teatro cellars, which house up to 10,000 bottles.

“I think it’d be a great first date spot,” said Tisdale. “Easy to talk [and] not too loud.”

Low noise levels are a nice feature for any dining space, and Alforno offers a variety of seating options that allow for secluded one-on-one time, as well as spirited social interaction.

One of the café’s biggest selling points is its large fireplace. Located on the upper level of the shop, it brings a coziness to the space.

“The atmosphere is awesome,” said Batu Ozbey, an Alforno patron, who was seated near the fire.

“It feels high-end but comfortable.”

Ozbey originally stumbled upon the café while out with friends, who had been in search of a hangout spot they could visit regularly.

“The staff is great. The food is great. No more Starbucks for me,” said Ozbey.

Offering an alluring space for the trendy urbanite, this café is sure to be a staple for young people across the city.

Alforno has only been open since Jan. 25, but has already seen thousands of customers come through its doors.

“We’ve been extremely busy,” said Tisdale.

“It just keeps getting busier, which is awesome.”

Alforno is located at 222-7th Street S.W. in Eau Claire, and is open Monday-Friday from 7a.m.-9p.m. and Saturdays & Sundays from 8a.m.-9 p.m. for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner.

Previous post

Reflections on Native Awareness Week

Next post

Lifestyle coaching made easy thanks to social media