On to the B-Side Bistro
B Side is a new Bistro, formerly known as the “lounge side” of the Bears-Den. Located at 254028 Bearspaw Rd. in Calgary’s NW (plenty of free parking), this relaxed, but classy bistro, features a lounge area and lighter menu.
Accompanied by my wife and daughter, we had reservation for 7pm on a Saturday night, so as to take advantage of the live entertainment offered on the weekend. The atmosphere was casual, comfortable, but with an upscale feel. On a relatively busy night, the service was friendly, attentive, but without being overbearing. The live entertainment is not as intrusive as to interfere with conversation, so perfect for enjoying a Martini or glass of wine.
The menu offers a very good variety of appetizers, smaller plates –which are great for sharing, and entrees. Just in case you can’t find something that suits you, they also offer the Bears Den fine dining menu upon request. That didn’t happen here, plenty to choose from, and the food is prepared in the same kitchen, with the same fresh ingredients.
We started off by sharing 3 small plates. The crab croquettes, served with a light and fresh tomato sauce, were excellent. We thought that they were a very nice variation on the traditional crab cake. Equally pleasing was the Calamari, which was bar food brought upscale. Lovely rings served with a garlic aioli, cooked properly unlike the rubbery renditions in most pubs. We also tried the Prawns Corn Dogs, but all of us agreed that they were a bit too doughy, but then again, I guess most corn dogs are, so not a personal favorite.
As for our main entrée, I had all three sliders being offered. The first one was the Bison slider, served with onion rings and cheese. I only had bison once before, but can say that this one was cooked to perfection, and quite tasty. The next one was the chicken chorizo slider, served with bacon, lettuce and tomatoes. Again, great combination of flavors, but found it a bit greasy. The last slider I tried was the one I was actually least excited about initially. However, the Halibut slider with spicy corn relish was hands down the slider winner for me tonight. My wife had the lamb ragout, which consisted of a generous portion of very lean lamb, ratatouille and fresh pasta. She thought it was one of the best comfort food she has had in a very long time. Our daughter had the burger, and she quite enjoyed it, nothing fancy, just a good burger.
For desert, we shared a Lemon Mascarpone Crepe, which had just the right amount of zest for my liking. Only regret was that it wasn’t enough to share, I would have much preferred to have my own!
Overall, our dinning experience was excellent, and we would return in a heartbeat. As my wife would say; “If you don’t want to go to a pub, and don’t want fine dinning, this is the middle ground”.
— Guy Audet twitter: @NavyBoy88