I’m the worst blogger ever. I have gone to quite a few restaurants over the last couple of months but just never had time to blog about them. Well one that I would love to blog about is Vin Room. This is one of those places I wanted to check out for a long time.
I can say Vin Room is one of my favorite places in Calgary. I say that because I love the casual chic atmosphere in the Mission area of Calgary. They have a beautiful selection of wines behind the bar (in a very fancy looking machine which I believe assists in preserving the wines after they’ve been open).
I will admit I am a white wine lover, I prefer white over red and a rose over white. As you can see above, the cover on their menu is made out of cork. Fancy huh! Love that, I love the attention to detail this restaurant has, to the wine glass, menus, tables, chairs, … we sat on a wonderful cushion couch right behind the bar. It was such a relaxing atmosphere.
For our first dish, Ben and I decided to each get the Stuffed Bone Marrow. This was a little different from how I usually have bone marrow. Generally, I’ve eaten them roasted but Vin Room’s was stuffed with this kinda bread like filling. By stuffing it actually helps cut the fattening taste of the marrow. Usually with roasted bone marrow you would need some sort of toast or bread to spread the marrow on, but here you don’t need that at all since it’s stuffed with this bread filling and by doing so gives the bone marrow a fluffy delicate savory taste. By having the little salad beside it actually compliments it very well because it gives it that sharp, tarty, crunchy contrast to this very delicate marrow.
Next came the Braised Pork Belly with Mantou (Steamed Chinese Buns), now, please correct me if I’m wrong but I do believe this was a special or off their standard menu. This is really fantastic, when I was in NYC last year pork belly was all the rage in restaurants. I actually had one served to me kinda like this with the Mantou excepted that it wasn’t braised, the pork belly was grilled and season and made into a little sandwich bun. This was awesome. I love any meat and fat…. especially fat that’s been braised and is kinda melt in your mouth type of texture. A great balance of sweet and savory in the meat, it tasted like it was braised in a soya sauce base and it was topped with a fennel slaw which gave it this citrus liquorish taste and was just wonderful. The mantou was warm and soft, just the way it should be. If you spot this on the menu, I would recommend you to get it.
This dish was a little hard to share. Maybe it’s because of the soup and sharing a spoon between the two of us, but this was fantastic as well. I just love the taste of leeks and the white wine just gave it a refined taste- I mean really, anything cooked in a white wine base will taste fantastic to me. Another dish that if you see on the menu you must get. The bread was nice and warm too, also I loved how they sliced their bread half way in so it’s easier to rip off when you’re wanting a piece to dip into the bowl for the white wine sauce.
Ahh, the Lobster Nachos. I saw a lot of people ordering this so Ben and I figured we’d give it a go. To be honest I thought this dish was good, I love lobster and I love nachos. I just kinda thought it might have been a bit of waste to have lobster served like this. Maybe it’s because I’ve always seen lobster as something that was expensive and should be served in a very expensive way. Therefore, but seeing it served on a bed of nachos took me a little off-guard. But hey, no harm to try it. I mean a lot of people have ordered it so I’m sure it’s popular. But for me, I think I might be hesitant to order this again. I think if I was a lobster I wouldn’t want to be served on a bed of chips. Ben loved it though, and surprisingly it’s not as spicy as you would think it would be. I remember it having a more sweeter tangy taste to it than hot and spicy taste.
Pork Rillette was the last dish from came from the charcuterie menu. This was a bit of a disappointment, I know we had a lot of big flavors before and I think that might have been a factor of feeling that it tasted a bit bland. It tasted like it was lacking something- maybe salt, maybe fat. I don’t know, just didn’t hit the spot for me. They made it in-house and the pickles were delicious, but it just didn’t do it for me. Maybe I should have had this served first to me followed by all the really strong flavored dishes afterwards.
All in all, Vin Room is still one of my favorite places in Calgary. The atmosphere is fantastic and the wine selection is outstanding. The only downside being it’s in the Mission neighbourhood of Calgary, is that it might be a bit hard to find parking, especially in a popular night like the Friday and Saturday. But overall, I put this on the list of places I would want to take my friends too. It’s a great place to even sit and people watch with a glass of wine and one or two small dishes.
Yup, you’ll find me here again soon….. :)