When Capo closed its doors last year, I was sad to see it go. I loved the intimate space and its signature soft blue globe lights. Mind you, I couldn’t afford to eat at Capo all that often. The new occupant, The Fine Diner, offers Inglewood an accessible offering of tasty breakfast and lunch options with enough gourmet twists to please the old Capo crowd and locals alike.
It’s one of those snowy October mornings and I’m expecting to find The Fine Diner packed with warmth seekers looking for their morning fix. Arriving at 9:30 a.m., hubby and I are relieved to get a table for two, lickety-split. At 11 a.m., this could be a different story.
I like what they’ve done with the decor — the dark curtains of Capo are gone and the room is bright and airy, with beige tones, shiny chromes and vintage-inspired lights.
Wood tables are topped with succulent plants, giving the space a fresh pop of flora.
Our server promptly stops by for our drink order and we both get mugs of Phil & Sebastian’s 15 Kilo coffee ($3 with free refills). If you’re feeling festive, The Fine Diner’s drink menu features local beers, a range of diner-style cocktails (Caesars, mimosas etc.), wine and adult milkshakes (just add booze and bam, it’s adult).
Looking over the menu, I secretly wish we’d come for lunch. Don’t get me wrong, breakfast looks great, but lunch looks stellar with five varieties of mac ’n’ cheese, six burger options, and sandwich choices like the DLT (duck breast, lettuce and tomato sandwich). I’ll definitely have to come back for the second-most important meal of the day.
But back to breakfast. I can’t decide between the banana bread French toast ($11, gluten-free) or one of the five eggs benny options. In the end, my savoury side always wins, and I get the veggie benny served with spinach, tomato, chives and hollandaise ($12) with a side of bacon ($3).
Before I go on, I need to give a special shout out to the house-made bacon. Fine Diner takes pork belly and cures it with maple syrup, brown sugar and a variety of spices. The end result is fantastic — caramelized but not sickly sweet, and thick and juicy. Be sure to try it.
For the most part, I like my veggie benny, with the exception of the huge tomato slice served with it. The tomato is fresh but cut so thick that it overwhelms the English muffin and the other ingredients. Other than that, the citrusy hollandaise sauce is tasty and fresh with the addition of finely chopped chives, and the eggs are cooked to a perfect medium.
My husband orders the Pacific eggs ($14), a dish comprised of scrambled eggs topped with smoked salmon, crème fraîche and capers. He likes the tangy flavours of the capers and crème fraîche, but finds the salmon is missing the smoke.
Both of our dishes come with a hearty serving of fresh, sliced fruit. Being a tad under the weather, I appreciate the generous portions of grapefruit, orange, grapes, kiwi and cantaloupe. Our breakfasts also include home-style hash browns. I wish we could say they were great, but we both find them to be dry and bland.
I enjoyed Fine Diner’s relaxed atmosphere and service. Our server was friendly and personable (and quick with the refills). And one of the other gals on the floor, Marty, really stood out — she talked to every kid in the room, making them smile and laugh. It was refreshing to see her buoyant personality light up the room. I think a few tweaks to the food would be beneficial, but overall, The Fine Diner is a good spot for breakfast in YYC.