Chef Jinhee Lee’s Calgary hangouts

Written by P.A.P. (Staff, Kandy Markets & Macrograph Press), DTSA (Travel + Leisure)

Chef and mixologist Jinhee Lee has a recipe for blowing the doors off any crowd: bring on the drinks, cocktails and snacks.

And that’s exactly what she has done with P.A.P., her Calgary-based concept serving modern cocktails, wine and shareable food.

“We’re an award-winning hospitality company,” Lee said. “When you step through the door, you’re going to see a happy party. It’s always fun to try something a little bit different.”

Below, Lee shares her picks for the best places to eat, drink and shop in Calgary:

“Dinner for Me”

Cecconi’s by Derek Dammann

This Italian-focused, five-course meal, showcased by ex-Bond and “Fatal Attraction” star Christopher Walken (along with Katey Sagal and Bryan Cranston), tends to draw crowds when it’s on in the downtown Ginza Chophouse .

While the dining experience is certainly offbeat, it’s well-executed, fresh fare, excellent food and wine pairings and contemporary cooking that keeps diners coming back.

Five Star Elephant

The Elephant

By far the most acclaimed of Lee’s ventures, Five Star Elephant is an upscale casual restaurant that serves award-winning dinner, cocktail and beer.

A modern take on Thai cuisine, the dishes come in various iterations — including tacos, stir-fries and more — for those looking for a truly high-end dining experience with some excitement and pizzazz.

Scott Street Pizza Co.

Both in-person and online, many of the crowds head to downtown Calgary’s Scott Street Pizza Co. for the pizza itself.

It’s a Mediterranean-style twist on the Italian classic, boasting traditional toppings, but adding an Asian twist — which Lee says works because of the Canadian heat.

Skywatchers, “And the Universe Shines.”

“As a company, we focus on using Alberta ingredients,” Lee said. “And everyone knows if they’re heading to Calgary, one of the places they want to see is the Square Mile. That’s the constellation that’s centered in the area.”

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