I received an email to drop by the Bank and Baron for its reopening. The invite included three guests of my choosing, so I brought along fellow co-workers AC, GR and BF. We all had dined at Bank and Baron before, so we were eager to sample their new menu.
The Bank and Baron Pub is a nice alternative to our usual after work haunt, The National. Generic the restaurant’s decor is not. Located on Stephen Avenue, the pub is located inside the heritage Scotia Bank building. The vibrant rock music contrasts with the dark wood fixtures, ornate decor, and the high stain glass ceilings.
I have to give props to our server, Lindsay. In the past, I found the service at the Bank and Baron to be somewhat lacking. However, Lindsay was ever so courteous and attentive. Our glasses of Thorn-Clarke Terra Barossa Shiraz were never empty. This was a feat, considering she looked after the entire half section of the upper floor, which was completely packed with people.
The first dish I sampled was the Tomato, Basil and Prosciutto Slider. The exterior of the bun was crispy, stamped with noticeable grill marks, while the interior was still soft and fluffy. The basil was fresh, the mozzarella soft and slightly melted. The prosciutto was sliced thin, with just the right amount of saltiness to bring out the mellowness of the fresh buffalo cheese.
AC really enjoyed the Maple Glazed Short Rib on Toast. He thought the glazed beef with maple and red wine reduction tasted a bit like Stampede, it wasn’t anything fancy but pleasantly simple and satisfying.
AC also thought the Bank and Baron made one of the best burgers he’s ever consumed. The patty was as large as the brioche bun. I enjoyed the juicy Wagyu patty as much as the array of gourmet toppings: melted aged white cheddar, vine ripened tomato, apple cider aioli and arugula.
Everyone at the table devoured the Short Rib Grilled Cheese. The beef was so tender, chewing was unnecessary. The horseradish aioli and au jus dripped all over the meat onto the sour dough bread, making it a messy but decadent mouthful.
Last but not least was the prawn tempura. The super sized prawn was cooked just so that it had a slight snap to it. The batter was a thin shell that held up to the ponzu sauce. We could have easily eaten a half of dozen each, it was so good.
I’m happy to find a new after work hangout. The food I sampled was fresher and tastier than the nearby pubs, and the ambiance couldn’t be beat. Add in the super service and great daily drink specials, and I think we have a new winner on Stephen Avenue.