Fortuna’s Row: a new Latin American restaurant opens today in Calgary

Fortuna’s Row is the next exciting place to come to Calgary’s already thriving culinary scene.

Designed by the folks who brought YYC Orchard restaurant and Shelter cocktail bar, this new concept offers an upscale menu of modern Latin American food and drink.

Open today, July 21, this massive riverside restaurant features a visually stunning dining room that perfectly complements the colorful and dazzling food on every plate.

Fortuna’s Row’s mission was to bring a bigger and different experience than any other Latin America in western Canada and Dished was lucky enough to discover it early.

In many ways, the restaurant feels tucked away, between the bustle of the city and the calming rush of the Bow River. As soon as we walked inside, it was obvious this was going to be a special addition to Calgary’s culinary scene.

As soon as you walk in, there’s an intimate cocktail bar that you have to walk through before entering the dining room. It teases a number of great places at the bar or in the corners of the room to have a date, have a drink or order a few small plates, but once you enter the huge dining room it’s where you want to be.

The room has impossibly high ceilings, side rooms, and wide pillars throughout, with unpainted walls that leave the gray cement structure exposed. Every light, table, stand, frame and more makes the whole restaurant feel warm and lively. It looks like a restaurant that has been lost in time, with nature slowly creeping inside over the decades.

From food to drink, from the open kitchen concept to the trendy bar, you’ll find a menu of traditional comfort food created to be upscale and presented in fun and imaginative ways. Each brightens the room as much as the many sunbeams on the roof.

We were originally hoping to try a few glasses that had the same spirit of decor that we couldn’t find anywhere else, and that’s it.

We had the wasabi cocktail, made with gin, soju, watermelon, MSG and wasabi. We tried one of the tequila-based honeydew drinks, which also had avocado and cilantro for a crunchy creaminess. Our favorite had to be the yuzu, shaken with Japanese whiskey, sesame rice vinegar shrub, apple brandy and lapsang souchong.

Diving into the food, we started with the taco, which came with braised pork belly, hibiscus, and black pepper. It was perfectly balanced with salt, sweetness, acidity and fat.

The pincho, perfect for the steak lover at the table, was a charcoal-grilled sirloin topped with thin potatoes and Morita salsa on the side.

The best vegetarian dish we tried was the cauliflower which was served with grilled florets, poblano cream and a clever pistachio chimichurri.

The most beautiful dish we tried was the colorful Hokkaido scallop ceviche, with Leche de Tigre, octopus jerky and crisps.

The arepa was a whole soft-shell crab, and the huge plate of Pato came with green rice, confit duck legs, roast duck breast, grilled carrots, and a sun-baked duck egg to mix the whole thing.

Orchard recently ranked 87th on the list of Canada’s Top 100 Restaurants and Shelter has one of the coolest hidden rooms in Calgary, so another location opening up has us incredibly excited.

See for yourself and experience this awesome new restaurant for yourself the next time you need a culinary getaway.

The row of Fortuna

Address: 421 Riverfront Avenue SE, Calgary


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