We had dinner at culina (highlands) Friday and enjoyed our experience very much. We'd been waiting to go to Bacon so I can not offer any comparison to their old offerings. That said, I can't complain about any food that comes with sour cream... something the Borscht, crepes, and Ukranian style platter had plenty of. I also had the Cote du Rhone selection and the other half had the Aussie Shiraz/Grenache/Malvedre - both wines stood out enough to warrant purchasing a bottle for home. A little noisy, but cosy and great atmosphere.
We went there a few days after it opened and it wasn't great. I'm hoping that was because it had just opened. They didn't have enough menus to go around so we had to wait for another table to finish (although this only took a minute). We got a bunch of appetizers so one person ordered the salad as an entree with a chicken breast added and it was literally an unseasoned plain cut up chicken breast on 50 cents worth of lettuce with some flavourless dressing for $16 or something. There was nothing else in the salad like cheese, nuts or other veg. The fondu was tasty but not well plated and pretty basic that you could make at home. Not even close to the fondu things they have at the other culina. That's the bad stuff, the other entrees we got were good but not great but they were also all under $25.
Also one of us has a gluten allergy and she asked the waiter what stuff she could have. He went back and we saw him ask the chef. She said something like "I have no idea" and shrugged her shoulders. Then he came back and said you can have this and this and this but I think she played it safe and ordered the over priced nuts and a salad or something.
My wife's favourite restaurant was bacon and she said she'll never go there again. I want to give it another try though after it has worked out the kinks.
Went to Culina Highlands last night. I was a big fan of Bacon and so am of two minds about it. First the braised bison short ribs were absolutely fantastic, even at $25. The perogies were as awesome as they were at Bacon. The decor is nicer, the cutlery heavier, but the menu even shorter than Bacon.
I had a choice of three red wines and picked the Cote de Rhone to stand up to the ribs. It was good at $10 for a somewhat meagre portion.
There are several vegetarian options, a roasted chicken and on Friday the special was fish. I will certainly be back but given the limited menu and the fact that so far it is only open for dinner, not as often.
I would certainly reccommend it to Chowhounders. It is worth a visit. But do call ahead, I counted 30 seats.
Thank you for the review pengcast. I recently read a relatively favourable article about it elsewhere but cannot recollect in what publication.
A little surprised by the absence of more wine choices because the wine list has always been an attraction ... at least for me ...at the original southside location.
With the new start up perhaps they have intentionally decided to limit the menu options and wine selections until they judge the market.
Reminds me that I have not been to the original one is quite some time. We used to be regulars for Saturday lunch but it became too "brunchy" for me as something like their beef and chocolate and blue cheese would have been great to say nothing of those bison short ribs you had on the right wintery afternoon.