Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Restaurant Review: Fat Cat Wine Bar, Far From Purrfect

My wife and I hadn't been out in ages, so I asked my Dad to come over to look after the kids while we stepped out for a Date Night. We were really excited to try a wine bar that had opened a year or two ago in our 'hood, Fat Cat Wine Bar. Well, from the lost reservation to the screwed up bill, this was nothing short of a comedy of errors. We still had a nice night, but we hadn't been out in so long, a date a Popeye's Chicken probably would have worked for us. I had made a reservation two days earlier, but that had apparently been lost somewhere along the way. That's fine - we sat at the bar, sipping a glass of 2005 Burgundy (Frederic Magnien). It was very nice - 2005 is looking like a stellar year right across France, so stock up folks. I believe that a wine bar, should use Riedel glasses or something similar, but the glasses at Fat Cat had more of an Ikea feel to them.

Eventually, we got a table and manage to get an order for food in somehow (it was unclear who was our server, and most of the attention was being paid to larger groups). I must admit that each of our four selections from the Tapas menu were good, if a little small. The Baked Shrimp was done perfectly and the Escargot baked in Gruyere and White Wine was divine. What really pissed me off is that our bottle of wine (something from Midi - with a Carginan/Syrah based) came well after our food and was unbelievably warm. A request for a ice bucket was accommodated, but it took them by surprise. What kind of wine bar serves piping hot wine? Anyway, eventually a decent cheese plate was ordered to end the meal. The crackers provided were woefully stale, so more baguette was requested (each basket after the first is $2). Luckily, I love my wife and we have a nice time anywhere, if I had been really trying to impress anyone, I would have crashed and burned. The best part definitely came at the end when I was presented with a bill that excluded all of our wine, as well as the cheese plate. Know, I like to save $100 as much as anyone, but I had to point out the slight miscalculation to our server. We got 2 free cheeses as a reward. I guess I've got to be happy with the small victories in life.

All in all - avoid. If you want a real wine bar experience, grab a bottle of 2005 Corbieres and drop $40 on cheese at the Thin Blue Line further south on Roncesvalles head home a light a few candles. For the record: http://www.fatcat.ca/winebar/menu.html

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