Restaurant Review: The Libertine Public House

>> Friday, March 9, 2012

Growing up I never fully understood the meaning of Happy Hour. I always figured that they termed it that because people are happy when alcohol is involved (who isn’t really?). But now that I’m a full fledged working adult I’ve realized that it’s not only the alcohol, that really just helps numbs everything. Several reasons why one would be happy:

1) You’re not at work anymore
2) You’re not stuck in rush hour traffic
3) Did I mention you’re not at work anymore? Plus, now you’re nicely inebriated and can’t drive in rush hour traffic?

There really is nothing bad involved in happy hour. So therefore if you can’t beat them…join them.

Atmosphere: Upscale pub feel, with two levels that both face Stephen Ave. A great place to lounge, especially for people watching.

Price Range: Mid $10s - $20s

Food and drinks: After hearing great things about their burger I was looking forward to dropping by and checking out the location myself. I was a bit surprised when I walked in because I was expecting it to look a lot different. Instead, the music wasn’t overly loud and it felt very modish casual as opposed to dark and pub like.

Since it was happy hour when we stopped by, select wines and beers were on special. My friend and I both decided to go with wine, the Malbec for me and the Pinot Grigio for her. Our server mentioned that their flatbread special for the day was a Jerk Chicken, Prosciutto with Pesto, which sounded intriguing and we decided to go with it.

The flatbread didn’t take long to come out and it was the perfect sharing size. It was different in a good way with the mix of Jamaican spices from the jerk chicken and the saltiness of the prosciutto. The pesto pulled it all together by providing a nice herb base. The dough itself is beer infused and I could definitely taste the wheaty hops flavour. It had a nice chew to it, which I personally prefer when it comes to pizza or flatbreads.

At this point we wanted to stick with finger type foods and ordered the Charcuterie Platter and added an order of the Homemade Pretzels. The platter came with different type of cheese (including a Guinness based cheese), house dried beef (jerky like), sausages, pickled vegetables and crusty bread. I really enjoyed the added pretzels because they were chewy and provided an extra texture contrast to the rest of the platter. Both my friend and I enjoyed the house dried beef the most. It reminded me of a very mild jerky without being too dehydrated.

Just perusing through the menu I noticed a running theme of beer based dishes, infusing beer in to different as a primary ingredient (including dessert beer-a-misu!). So I made a note that I would definitely need to come back for a full fledged dinner sometime. Plus, I heard that they do whole roasted pigs on Thursday on the second level!

As for my wine, the Catena Malbec was a nice medium bodied red with sweet black cherry flavours and finishes mildly tannic with a bit of peppery spice. It was great with the jerk chicken flatbread!

My Pick: Flatbreads

Overall: The atmosphere and the fascinating menu (bone marrow appies!) should draw you to Libertine, plus they have some amazing daily specials that are worth a try. All great things that help ease your daily stress. Oh and of course the alcohol doesn’t hurt the happy part of the Happy Hour either!

The Libertine Public House
223 8 Avenue SW
Calgary, AB
(403) 265-3665

The Libertine Public House on Urbanspoon


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