My sister-in-law The Enforcer flew to Calgary for training. I took her out to a restaurant that I thought she would enjoy – Bar Von der Fels. In honour of The Enforcer, I’m going to play the theme song Cops.
I tried a few wines and found a new love – Las Tres Filas – a Spanish red ($12). I thought it was juicy, silky and full-bodied. I also tried a glass of sparkling Italian rosé – Rosa Bella G.D. Vajra ($16). I found this rosé tart.
Las Tres Filas is more to my taste and one that I’ll hunt down. I told our server that whenever I try to find a wine from their restaurant at my liquor store, I’m always told that particular wine is only sold to exclusive businesses. He responded that I’ll have to frequent Bar Von der Fels for my wine fix.
I did something I rarely do. I let The Enforcer pick all the dishes. I wanted to make sure she was able to try everything that tickled her fancy.
Enforcer’s favourite dish of the night was the smoked mussels with pickled peppers ($9). She thought the mussels were better than she gets back home in BC, which she finds too salty. These mussels were plump. I enjoyed drinking the warm, sweet liquid and chewing on the gently poached meat. I’d order this again.
The beef tongue with Asian pear ($9) was a delicate and clean tasting dish. Enforcer mentioned beef tongue is a popular dish in Sweden.
On my favourite dishes was the golden beets with concord grapes and goat feta ($12). I don’t normally like beets because of the damp flavor and I find the texture unpleasantly wet. Bar von del Fels version was tender and light. I enjoyed the sprinkling of salt, the sharpness of the goat feta and the light dressing of olive oil.
The endives with sour beer plum and fresh cheese ($14) also wowed me. The endive was a touch bitter, which contrasted with the fresh cheese with sour beer plum. This combination reminded me of whipped cream and strawberries. The Enforcer wondered how the chef came up with the ingredients. This dish was unique, a generous portion and decadent. I’d order this again.
The last savoury dish we tried was the Fogo Island crab red with romaine speck ($21). We didn’t know what speck was so The Enforcer looked it up. Speck means smoked aged ham. The dressing was crunchy and salty, reminding me a bit of a Caesar salad. There was a good amount of sweet crab meat. We thought the salad was overdressed and the crab itself was so juicy, the whole dish tasted a tad waterlogged.
The Enforcer ordered the Sugar Pumpkin cheesecake ($9). She only took a bite and declared she was too full. She told me that she rarely eats like we did that night. She eats for subsistence, not taste. If that is what it takes to be skinny, I want nothing to do with it. L and I were suppose to take her out to Cassis Bistro the next night, but all that wine and food made her too woozy. What a lightweight. No, really she is. The Enforcer had a boxing scholarship throughout university.
I’ve been to Bar Von der Fels three times now. Yes, I’m most definitely a fan. Hitting the Sauce gives this wine bar two fat thumbs up. The wine is different and the food is delightful. Remember to make reservations, as this place is regularly packed to capacity.