Sunday, March 6, 2011

Big Taste

Bistro 2210
2210 4 St SW
Big Taste 2011 is officially here (two days ago)! Formerly known as Dineout Calgary, it is one of my favorite times of the year! I've been looking forward to it since the menus were posted online a couple of weeks ago. All of my free time the last week has been dedicated to organizing lunches and dinners! For those who have not been, The Big Taste is an event held in the beginning of March where participating restaurants around the downtown area offer 3 course lunches and/or dinners for a set price of $15/$25/$35 and a gourmet menu that comes with a wine pairing for $85. There are good deals to be had, and some not so great deals.
First up, Bistro 2210. One of my favorite restaurants of all time, this restaurant, located in the Mission district featured a $15 lunch and a $35 dinner menu. I rounded up some friends from work this past Friday to check it out. Bistro 2210 is not the biggest restaurant in the world, so I decided to phone the day before to make reservations. No one picked up and I was sent to voicemail. "Thank you for calling Bistro 2210. We are open for dinner Tuesdays to Sundays from 5 pm..." I was like WHAT?!? Why do you have a lunch menu posted?!? I left a super convoluted message asking if they were going to be open for lunch for the duration of The Big Taste event. I got a phone call back later that evening confirming that they will be indeed open for lunch. At 11:30. I was like sweet. I decided to not make reservations at the moment as I needed to confirm who all was still in since I told everyone that they might not be open. I phoned back at 11:00 on Friday to make reservations. No answer. Uh oh. Phoned again half an hour later and a lady finally picked up and confirmed that yes they are actually open and they did not take reservations for lunch. 
We arrived at the restaurant right at noon. I pulled on the handle. Locked. I was like what...? I swear I phoned and they said they were open! I stood around the entrance feeling like a complete idiot. Thirty seconds later, the door suddenly burst opened, confetti flew from the rafters with a choir singing hallelujah (slight exaggeration) as one of the staff members invited us in. Hooray! We took a seat at the booth at the back of the restaurant as our waitress brought over the menu and some tasty water. There wasn't really a choice as to what we could actually get and really, we were here for one reason only. The $15 dollar Big Taste feature. Just sayin’.
First course consisted of mixed greens over roasted beets with a walnut dressing. It is then topped with a perhaps too generous amount of goat cheese. Maybe just a right amount if you love the stuff. Me and goat cheese are not BBFs. It's a nice cheese. Just not my style. The dressing was not all that walnuty either. And it looked about the same as Jon’s salad which came with a regular vinaigrette since he was allergic to nuts. He didn’t need to be rushed to the ER after chowing down so I presume he got something different.

Good ol fashion mac n cheese was the second course. A thin layer of aged cheddar and gruyere cheese were melted over a generous pan of macaroni with smoked ham and tomatoes. It was really tasty. The cheese sauce was a little runnier than that of other places I've tried but I think I like it better than the super thick variety. Probably more milk than flour. It was pretty flavourful. Way better than the KD you buy at the grocery store for 99 cents. 

Dessert featured a vanilla creme with a mixed berry coulis and a chocolate pocky stick in a jar. The vanilla creme was a little sweet which offset the slightly less sweet taste of the berry purée. Chunks of real berries can be found in the coulis. So good. The pocky stick was a nice touch. I haven't had one since I was a young'un. Good times all around.

Points as follows:
Atmosphere: 8 out of 10. Sitting up at the elevated giant booth gave us a nice view of the restaurant. Simple decor furnished the restaurant with many of the original parts of the building restored.
Food: 8 out of 10. Aside from the goat cheese salad, I thoroughly enjoyed my meal. So tasty.
Presentation: 8 out of 10. I loved the Pot de Creme. It was so cute. And tasty too.
Price: 10 out of 10. 3 course lunch for $15? Probably one of the better deals off the Big Taste menu. 
Service: 6 out of 10. Good service overall. Our only complaint was that they were a little slow given the number of people that were there (2 tables). 
Overall: 8 out of 10. Bistro 2210. Check it out. Great deal. Not open for lunch during the week after the Big Taste event. Unfortunately. Dinner is equally amazing so I guess it's not that big of a deal. 

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