>> Saturday, July 17, 2010
Calgary is a pretty young city when you look back in history, even Canada as a whole has nothing on Asia and Europe, so it’s always a treat when you see the city trying to preserve the historical buildings that we do have in and around the city. One particular building recently renovated was the old Nova Scotia Bank on Stephen Avenue. Built in the early 1900s, the building use to house the old Nova Scotia Bank or what we know as Scotiabank today, it briefly turned in to The Bank nightclub and was a restaurant once before, but today it’s known as BR& Steak.Frites aka Brand at the Bank.
Atmosphere: The impressive dining area highlighted by the amazing majestic staircase is the perfect setting for any grand event.
Price Range: Mid $20s-$30s+
Food and Wine: Looking at the selection on the menu it was hard to resist ordering the platters for two, where you can choose from different preparation styles and cuts of steak. Starting from your modest French sized portions of a 16oz tenderloin to a whopping American 40oz porterhouse, BR& ensures that all guests are well covered. We decided that we’ll stay on the more conservative side and ordered the Argentinean style 22oz flat iron steak with fried plantains and chimichurri sauce. While we waited we expected the waiters to serve us our bread, typical of restaurants these days but to my surprise we were served popovers instead, which I thought was a nice treat and a great way to start the meal. When our platter did come, which didn't take long the steak was done perfectly to order and since I enjoy a nice rare piece of meat, I was very pleased with the outcome, although I’d have to say that the plantains weren’t as crunchy as I would have hoped, but that truly didn’t stop me from consuming them all. However the frites were sadly neglected because I enjoy my fries super crunchy and these were less appealing than the plantains.
The best part about our meal was actually ordering the sides, where you can pick and choose a different number of sides for only $1.99! Sounds like a fast food commercial but is far from anything fast food tasting, the crowd favourite was the crab lollipop, which sadly didn’t look anything lollipop like, but was more so a crab cake but it was the flavor of it that was impressive and for that price you can’t go wrong. If you choose to order a steak instead of the platters, you can also try different sauces, potatoes and frites sauces as well, the Banana Ketchup and the Dijon Truffle Honey was unique, definitely wasn’t what we were expecting.
We couldn’t end the night without trying one of BR&’s signature desserts, especially the Deal Closer, a plate fully loaded with chocolate mousse and whipped cream, the menu states that it’s good for 2 people but you can definitely share it between more than that. The Profiterole, which reminded me of an apple fritter was amazing when paired with vanilla ice cream (I don’t think you can ever go wrong pairing anything with vanilla ice cream!), the warm cinnamon dough was a great way to top off the evening.
I was amazed with BR&’s wine selection, not because they had a good variety of different red wines (which I prefer) but the fact that they had 50 wines under $50! Since BR& is a steakhouse, you’ll find that their white wine selection is definitely not as big as their red wines, but for those who rarely venture in to the red wine realm, what better place than to try it now!
My Picks: Crab Lollipop Side and The Deal Closer
Overall: It’s nice to see the old become new again and the amazing scenery accompanied by some fantastic food.
125 8th Avenue SW