Donna Mac brings new neighborhood cuisine to the Beltline

Most of us have memories of going over to grandma’s house for dinner. It would have been an evening full of warmth, comfort, fresh ingredients and communal dishes between family and friends. The owners of the newly-opened Donna Mac look to resurrect what grandma used to do with their new neighborhood cuisine in the Beltline.

Inspired by what grows regionally and seasonally, Donna Mac rotates items regularly using as much of each whole ingredient as possible. This can be seen in how the items are listed on the menu with the focus on the main foodstuff like carrots, endive, duck breast, and fingerling potatoes. This may be a bit confusing as the menu items may not clearly indicate exactly what the dish is. For example, the Wild Mushrooms is meant to be a mushroom risotto dish. This isn’t clear on the menu as it doesn’t say risotto so that could be startling for patrons. I recommend asking your server about the dishes you’re interested in so there are no surprises (note: it looks like the restaurant has updated some of the menu items to be more descriptive, like this risotto dish. Yay).

The duck breast, one of my favourite dishes at the new Donna Mac.
Simple endive salad for starters.

There are quite a few dishes that satiated my hunger including the succulent duck breast lined with squash and pear. These sweet fruit and gourd additions are a great contrast to the protein.  The short rib is also well done but I really love it for the jalapeno mashed potatoes that comes with it. The mash is smooth, creamy, and with a pop of heat that adds a punch of flavour to the plate. The grilled endive is also a must as a starter salad to get your taste buds going.

Simple endive salad for starters.

Not everything quite works as well as I’d like such as the Pork Belly dish. I love my pork belly warm and crispy, whereas this dish comes in an Asian influenced clam broth that is too unusual for my tastes. Like I mentioned before, make sure to ask the server about the dishes before you order as you can expect the unexpected with the preparation.

The entire restaurant space is superbly done by SarahWard Interiors providing a simple, yet modern home just like its namesake.  Bright windows line the entire length of the restaurant bringing in tons of natural light in the day. Long comfortable booths take up most of the dining space running parallel with an equally long bar with seating space as well.

Housed at the bottom of the Versus apartment building, the restaurant is just outside of the usual downtown dining establishments. But if the restaurant can continue to grow and shine like I’ve seen, then hungry diners will be willing to make the trek down.

Donna Mac
1002 9 Street SW

Irene Seto is a Calgary lifestyle influencer supporting local from all angles.

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