My father-in-law, Bob, picked Parkerhouse Restaurant to celebrate my brother-in-law’s birthday. In the heart of the downtown core, the restaurant has the typical high ceilings and old school fixtures. Though it was six o’clock, there were less than three tables occupied. Two hours later, we only saw two more couples enter the restaurant for dinner.
On Urbanspoon and Yelp, I read that the complimentary bread was yummy. I guess times have changed. The texture of the bread reminded me of brioche, but it tasted like it was day old. Well, it was free. For drinks, we ordered wine for the women and draft beers for the boys. The wine list was long and varied, with plenty of options for under $60.00. However, though Ruth’s Chris and Saltlick have a smaller wine selection, I much prefer their picks in terms of value.
For appetizers, we ordered Grilled Calamari ($14.00) and Mussels with Chorizo, Velvet Fog and Creamy Tomato Zauce ($17). I wasn’t expecting much as I found that mussels can be hit or miss in Calgary. The broth was yummy. When we finished eating the mussels, we still stole spoonfuls of the broth. The mussels were on the small side, but I’m happy to report that it was fresh. I like the fact the calamari wasn’t deep-fried nor rubbery.
For my main dish, I picked the 7-ounce tenderloin ($35.00). The menu stated it was from the Reserve Angus Beef Program, in which the meat was aged for a minimum of 28 days. I thought it was the perfect size – just enough meat so that I was comfortably full. The steak was tender and tasty. Trying to be healthy as possible, for the steak sauce, I chose the cabernet reduction while L picked the bearnaise sauce. L enjoyed his steak as well, but he noticed it wasn’t cooked to his requested medium. I’m sure if he mentioned it to our server, the chef would have whipped up another steak.
No dessert for us – we were full and ready to call it a night. The steak was delicious but if you are looking for a place with overall value, food and service, I can think of better options. Poor Bob needs a second job with all the birthday dinners he hosts for each of his kids and their partners. For Bob’s upcoming birthday, we need to take him somewhere special. I think Vintage Chophouse would be a solid bet.