Ticino (Banff) Review
Friday evening around 7:30. Seated promptly even without a reservation, although this might be a good idea for future visits as the place got quite busy starting just after we walked in. And this is in January, which must rival October-November for the least busy time in Banff.
Server (Gary) was a real pro. Knowledgable and friendly without pretending that he was our friend, which is a trend that really annoys me these days. Somebody who I assume was the owner also came by to check on us and greet us midway through the meal.
Decor is traditional in the extreme, but in a ski resort, this works...lots of warm wood lends a very cozy feel.
The restaurant offers food from the Swiss region of the same name, which means an interesting twist of Italian/Germanic.
Winelist had some Swiss choices, which might not be surprising except for the fact that Swiss wine is next to impossible to find in Canada. Another interesting choice was a BC VQA take on a Swiss classic, the Fendant style (Chasselas grapes).
Appetizers of raclette cheese and a veal ravioli with a pesto sauce came out very fast and piping hot. Both were delicious.
Mains were hazlenut crusted chicken breast stuffed with goat cheese, and veal medallions. Excellent preparation. 4 sides (including starch) accompanied each dish, which was a really nice variety. All were delicious and prepared with care and quality ingredients. The hazlenut crust on the chicken was particularly interesting. The food is very traditionally European, but with so much emphasis lately on Asian influenced food, this may seem "new" to many diners.
Without our request (we didn't even know about it) Gary included us in a special that was apparently supposed to be for locals only and resulted in a nice discount off our bill.
Total bill (after applying the special discount) for 3 glasses of wine, 2 apps, 2 mains, 2 coffees, 2 desserts, and tax: a huge bargain at $103.
2 people can barely get out of Earl's for less than that so I felt this was a great dinner out, with much more interesting and well-prepared food and vastly better service.
I ate at Ticino in October, and was quite impressed. I had been there for breakfast about 5 years ago, but never dinner, and from what I remembered of the breakfast it wasn't on my list of places to go for dinner. But some colleagues, who had never been to Banff before, found it in the guide book and were adamant that they were going to eat there. As they offered to pay, I went along. Far better than I was expecting, and I would go back.
re: Dan G
Ticino was a regular post-day of skiing "haunt" when I first moved out to Alberta in the '80's. I have not been back in years and years and it may very have moved from the location I remember.
I do recollect solid if unspectacular food at a decent price which was certainly a concern back then. I seem to remember we usually had a form of table d'hote including a soup.
Nice to hear that it appears to be doing well.