We went to Thomsons during Calgary’s Big Taste – a three course meal for $35. We wanted to try a restaurant that had validated parking – in downtown Calgary this is a bonus!
Our first impression wasn’t that great – the huge restaurant was mostly empty and we were put into a corner table for 2 (small) that was so wobbly, whenever we put any weight on it, the whole table would tip over and shake all our dishes! We asked to be moved, but rather than moving us the waiter spent a few minutes adjusting the dirty feet of the table with his fingers, and we moved the table around and pushed it up against the wall more so in the end we basically turned the table 180 degrees and had to reset the place settings so they were actually in front of us again. We were both a little perplexed at the effort it took to rework the table versus moving us.
But moving on to the food… the homemade bread they served was super delicious. It was nutty and fruity – I’m guessing dates – and I truly wanted to take a loaf home for breakfast. It was just so hearty and flavourful… I’m drooling right now thinking about it!
The three course Big Taste Menu gave a limited selection of their normal menu. We both had the smoked trout salad to start. It was really good – better than expected. The flavours went well together, and the fish was subtly smoked. There was a good variety of textures and colors in the dish. Jay really liked it too! I’d love to come here for lunch during a work day and get the bread and the salad! Mmmmm…
Smoked trout salad: mixed greens, pickled beans, red onion, brown butter dressing, preserved lemon
I ordered the duck confit and Jay ordered the lamb chops. I was expecting more duck on my dish, but it was shredded, and mix in with the wheat berries and barley. The duck bits were kind of few and far between. The dish had a unique flavour to it – very nutty with the wheat berries and barley.
Duck confit: slow cooked duck leg confit, prairie grain risotto, wheat berries, barley, cream, gouda, fennel – orange salad
Lamb chops: grilled ‘lambtastic’ lamb chop, mushroom charlotte sauteed greens, rosemary jus
The lemon tart was great… but then again, I’ve never had a bad lemon tart. The crust was a tad hard to break through, but it tasted damn good.
Would we return? Jay says probably not – he wouldn’t go back just for a salad (even though it was damn good). But I’ll probably head over during a workday lunch hour for the bread and salad!