I received a gift card in the mail for the Bears Den restaurant (www.bears-den.ca) last month, which was good for a 30% discount on our bill, for July only. It was only a 15 minute drive away, so my wife and I went the past Sunday night. Had heard mixed reviews, but was intrigued by the concept. We don't go out particularly for beef/steak, but with 30% off, why not?
Driving on the way there, my wife said "If the restaurant is good, we can make this our early anniversary dinner. If not, we'll go to The Muse!".
The restaurant sort of looks like a bunker or pillbox on the outside (you'd figure for all the money they spent, they'd make it a bit nicer), but is very intimate and stately (re: dark) on the inside. Their claim to fame is the Grade AAAA Beef (and my wife loves beef).
No wine tonight, but I did have the Bellini for a drink, which was quite nice.
We started with Tempura Dusted Calamari with Cilantro Citrus Aioli sauce (upon our server's recommendation). It was excellent and huge. The Calamari was the perfect texture and just crunchy. Didn't realize it was going to be that big though!
We also had the Sweet Baby Spinach Leaves with Grapefruit filets, candied watermelon rind, wonton & beet ribbons and a vanilla muscat vinaigrette. Really enjoyed this salad, since it was so unusual - and the real vanilla beans in the vinaigrette were a pleasure.
My wife wanted the prime rib (medium rare of course), so she ordered the 12 oz cut (I was going to help her). The server recommended the Bears Den Trio for myself, which looked good, so I went with that. My wife's jaw dropped when the prime rib came out - no way was it 12 oz - it had to have been over 16 oz! Served with a stuffed potato and vegetables, the whole plate was covered! The prime rib was excellent, especially with the "White Lightning" horseradish - super-hot but really amazing stuff.
My Bears Den Trio was fantastic. A 6-oz beef tenderloin steak (medium rare) was the centerpiece - without a doubt one the best cuts of beef I've ever eaten (and I'm not that big of a beef fan). My wife was a huge fan of that as well! The trio also had two giant prawns - also very tasty. The surprise was the Red Spring Salmon Darne - a delicately poached salmon with an incredible hollandaise/Bernaise sauce. I am not sure if I have had a more perfect piece of salmon before. My wife went absolutely ga-ga over it. She looks at me and says "I want you to cook it like this!".
For dessert, we shared the Molten Chocolate Cake - a luxuriously chocolately dessert - my wife said she was so full, yet she still had to eat a third of this dessert...
Service was impeccable and our server a fantastic wealth of knowledge - my only complaint, if you could call it that, was the food almost came out too quick. Would have preferred to rest between courses a bit more. Otherwise we had a tremendous meal - the 30% made it all the better - $85 for the dinner.
My wife said "Ok - that was our anniversary dinner! Now let's go walk this off!"
The restaurant is probably not for everyone, especially if you don't want beef or would rather cook it at home - there is an otherwise limited selection of entrees. But, my wife and I had an enjoyable time, and would recommend it for a high-end beef experience, especially with the discount.