What happens when a chef and a wine expert come together on a new restaurant? You end up with the Glass Monkey Gastropub, a new hangout in the Lendrum area. A gastropub focuses on serving high-quality food instead of the usual greasy afterthoughts often found in pubs. Owner Rob Filipchuk, who’s a former wine merchant, and executive chef Darcy Radies, former owner of the Blue Pear (which is now closed), bring a new dining experience to the residents of Lendrum and beyond.
The menu is broken down into snacks, small plates, cheese boards, entrees and desserts. My dining companion and I decide to share a variety of snacks, small plates and desserts. But we order a few items at a time and then keep reevaluating how we want to proceed with ordering as we drink our big glasses of zinfandel.
A tray holding a bowl of savoury roasted almonds, olives and two slices of soft smoked salmon with capers and horseradish promptly arrives at the table. The almonds are smoked with paprika and salt but the thick, succulent salmon is the star of the plate, and it is gone much too quickly.
Next, we move on to some small plates — fish tacos and yakitori. Corn tortillas cushion large pieces of soft fish, salsa, shaved cabbage and a chipotle mayo with a bit of a kick. The yakitori consists of skewers of chicken covered in a sweet, tangy sauce. The meat is so tender it practically falls off the skewers but the dark, thick sauce makes the dish.
Dessert consists of Jack’s Grill bread pudding, a thick slice of carbs covered in a sticky rum sauce. The caramelized liquid seeps into the bread, providing a perfectly sweet ending to the night. (5842 111 St., 780-760-2228, theglassmonkey.ca)