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Feb 3, 2010 10:35 AM

Edm RROTM - February - The Bothy

it was a unanimous decision to make The Bothy our review of the month. I am personally really looking forward to this one.....I wonder if it is the bubbly selection tho ;)
5482 Calgary Trail

post at the end of the month please.

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  1. We went to The Bothy at the beginning of the month. 4 of us on a Sunday night. The place was pretty dead, not surprising for 5:30 on a Sunday. I like the atmosphere, although they have some really uncomfortable chairs. Interesting art on the walls and cool music.

    The menu is very geared towards the lunch/snack/appi department, not so much dinner. I had the chicken pot pie, 2 had the sandwich special, SO had the bangers & hash. Overall we all enjoyed the food. The pastry was very good on the pot pie, the gravy was rich and thick on the inside. Sandwiches were tasty, bangers were great. Ordered 2 deserts this was the only disappointment, the apple pie was really tasty, however it was the smallest dessert I have every seen for the price, not worth it.

    Now of course a huge part of the allure of this place is the wine/scotch. I was very impressed, the guys at our table are big scotch fans. unfortunately the waitress did not know the scotches, but pulled the chef (and I suspect owner) over to help them out. My hope is that the bartender would know more. knowledgeable staff in an establishment such as this is a MUST. The selection of both is fantastic. prices are okay, definitely not cheap, ie. a glass of wine from a $35 bottle was 11$. I have begun to expect this for a decent wine by the glass. There system is impressive. I would like to go back, sit at the bar and get some information on it.

    Overall I like the concept and will be back, but would not rush back for dinner, but drinks and a couple plates to share, for sure.

    1. A group of four of us went to the Bothy for a weekend lunch. We also liked the atmosphere, although I would have liked better chairs too. There were about five other tables occupied while we were there.

      Service was prompt and friendly, although we too would have liked more knowledgeable staff. One of the group looked for a suggestion from the waitress, and her response was not very helpful - he asked for a scotch recommendation given that he likes Lagavulin, and she was kind of all over the place and not very clear with any recommendations - mostly she just pointed out the different sections in the scotch menu rather than supplying any expertise.

      The menu is small but we liked the style. They offer tasting plates of charcuterie and cheese and I like that they offer local options. Two of the table had the soup of the day - a roasted tomato with bacon, and they both loved it. One had the haggis served on mashed potatoes and with a few cute little steamed turnips. He liked it but said it was more like meatloaf than what he was expecting. I had the arugula and parmesan salad with a side of bresoala - it was light and refreshing and I very much enjoyed it - the bresoala was delicious.

      I agree with Cleo999 that I wouldn't come here for a full dinner, but I really liked the space, the idea, and the very full booze menu. I also love the charcuterie plates concept so I'm keen to try more of the delicious looking choices there. My hubby thinks he should try to work his way through the scotch menu - so we may be back often.

      1. of my new favourite places. We went as group of 5 on a Saturday night. A little hard to find and very small, it was rockin' all night. Yes some staff is less knowledgable about the scotch than would be perfect, but the bartender (at least that night a true Scot in a kilt and a laugh that penetrated your soul) was one of the most knowledgable scotch experts I have ever met.

        The wine and scotch list is extensive. Two drinks will be enough for them to open any bottle of vino (if one is not already open). The food, especially the haggis, was fresh, excellent and varied. It is a bit on the expensive side, but it is worth every single penny. No one at the table DIDN'T like the haggis, it was that good.

        Did I mention the what a great selection (last time I saw that extensive a collection was at the Scotch Museum in Edinburgh). One amazing looking scotch was $200 an ounce...was very pretty, but cannot comment on the taste at that price! The bartender though at the end of the evening dipped into his very exotic private stash and gave us a wee dram. The people that own this place and the bartender are passionate about good food and great booze and I love 'em for it.

        It is unrealistic to expect that all the staff will have the knowlegde of a specialized product like scotch. That they have immediate access to that knowldge is all that is realistic in Edmonton (and most places).

        As for a dinner, it is not a big plate place, but I would humbly disagree that a good supper can't be had. This is a tapas style meal. We got out of there for $600 for 5 people after a great night of excellent scotch and grand food. You can eat and drink cheaper (we went for a few higher end tipples). The beauty of tapas style is that you eat slower and it is a much more social event than the 15 minutes of consumption at a non tapas style resto. We ate and drank for 5 hours. We probably ate fewer calories than a big steak type meal, enjoyed every mouthful and had lots of time to compare food notes. If that ain't a great meal, then I don't know what is. We North Americans get caught up in quick giant meals or three course giant meals and it can't compare to a 5 hour long feast.

        This place needs to be supported and is one of the best nights out you can imagine...and no I don't own or know the owners although gawd I wish I did! I give it a full 10 out of ten.

        1. Dropped in on a friday night. Place was absolutely packed but staff were on top of things and suggested the barrel, so we ended up perched on either side of it. We ordered a few glasses of wine, the large size of arugula salad, and a sample of four of their meats and cheeses. I didn't take detailed notes on the wines we tasted or the kinds of meat and cheese we tried, but we were impressed with the quality and presentation of the offerings and had a lot of fun tasting them with each of the wines.The arugula salad was great - a kind of messy pile of leaves with shards of cheese and a very basic dressing. I noticed the entrees on other people's plates and thought the portions seemed a little small for the prices, but that is not a big deal. We tried the tiny apple pie for dessert and found it soggy, though we did finish it off. The crowd meant that service had long pauses at a few points, and they were getting ready for a large table of probably ten people as we were leaving, but it was overall a great night out and we would love to go back. I probably wouldn't go there in that big of a group though, it's best for two to four friends to hang out at the bar or around one of the tables.