...Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant (Calgary)

Overall - 7/10
Food - 6.5/10
Service - 7/10
Ambiance - 9/10
Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant on Urbanspoon

The Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant has been a special occasion destination for us since we've been together. We find the beautiful surroundings of Fish Creek park and the quaint gas lamps that light your way to the welcoming heritage home makes for a memorable experience. This evening the ambiance definitely lived up to our expectations but unfortunately the food and service didn't quite match up. Our meal started off with great promise with delicious appetizers but the mains had quite a few flaws that prevented the meal from ending on the high we expected.  As well, we had to wait more than half an 
hour for our appetizers to arrive and then 50 minutes for our mains, which is not very enjoyable while sitting on hard wooden chairs.

We were started off with an amuse bouche of crispy fried crab dumplings. The filling was creamy and full of delicious fresh crab meat. We could have eaten a dozen of these each, they were that good.
Our appetizers were the highlight of our meals and included a couple of the freshest oysters we've had served with a shallot mignonette and fresh grated horseradish. The Brome Lake duck leg confit was crispy and tender but not too salty and complimented the arugula and pomegranate salad. The crispy Hog Wild Farms wild boar belly was perfectly cooked and melted in you mouth.

The main courses had some tasty elements but overall, didn't wow us like the appetizers. The Wagu striploin was cooked just right to a medium rare but it just wasn't as juicy or tender as I would have come to expect with the Wagu name. I am suspicious that the Wagu moniker can sometimes be a bit of gimmick as I've had more flavourful, juicy and tender steaks from other breeds of cattle.  The foie gras mousse with fig syrup served on the side though as absolutely delicious. 
The lamb sirloin again was cooked to a perfect medium rare but the cut of meat had quite a bit of sinew which made for a pretty chewy dish. The vegetables on the dish were on the undercooked side, particularly the celery root pave. Instead of layers of creamy soft celery root we had layer upon layer of crunchy root vegetable that was pretty unappetizing. 
Unfortunately, we were not in the mood for dessert and left feeling disappointed with the food and service.  We hope this was just an off night for the Ranche and when we do decide to come back we will have a better experience.


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