So despite some questionable reviews I found myself at the Beerbistro for dinner tonight. (King E of Yonge) I must say I was pleasantly surprised!
Started off with making reservations - originally I was told that they would only reserve for parties of 6 or more but that they did not think that we would have any problems getting in. I begged and they did give me a reservation (even though there was only 3 of us.)
Arrived at the restaurant at 6 - apparently the table was ready. The place is quite popular with the after work croud so the bar section at the front was quite busy. this does make it a bit on the loud side, but this was pretty much my only problem the entire evening.
The server was really nice and personable. Before we ordered she came over to let us know that there was a beer tasting going on and asked if we would be interested - we declined, but it was nice to be asked!
The menu looked interesting - mussles, and other various objects - most of which contained beer in some variety or another. An impressive beer selection as well (not a surprise!)
We decided on the frites and a lamb sausage for an app, I ordered the lamb shank and my dining companions ordered the mussles with beer and bacon and the other had a stewed beef dish.
The apps were excellent - the lamb sausage was very nice and came with a spicy mustard and a small side of blue cheese. We were extremely suprised as to how good it was. The frites were excellent - dark brown with mayo and a smokey ketchup on the side (the ketchup was wonderful!)
My lamb was fall of the bone tender (it could have been warmer but the sides made up for it). It was served with fried potatoes and a braised bean and winter veg mixture that had likely been cooked with the lamb in some way. I believe that it had been cooked with a stout of some kind. Heavy but well done.
The mussles with beer and bacon were apparently excellent! The mussels were quite fresh and the sauce was rather salty whichmatch well with the mussles. I looked at the menu and they offer a number of other types of sauces to enjoy the mussles with.
The stewed beef was also quite tender and served with frites. I tried a bite and it was heavy and very flavourful - good solid winter type food!
The dessert menu is fun - everything (save the apple crumble) had some kind of beer in it. (Even a chocolate fondue!!) we shared an order of a dark chocolate mousse that had been made with beer. Surprisingly it was excellent - not overly sweet and almost had a dry type of taste that actually made the taster salivate. The only thing that would have made it perfect was if it had been served at room temp - as it stood it was still slightly frozen which made it tricky to eat. After we left it for a little bit it really opened the flavours up.
So all in all a really good experience - the service was chatty and extemely pleasant and we all around enjoyed ourselves! I also was impressed that all of the food that we ordered plus coffee and three beers came to just over $110 without tip. Not bad!
So there you go - I take it that the owners must have listened to some of the criticism and took it to heart. Next time we are hoping to go back on a night where we don't need to drive home!