I almost end up at the wrong pub. I vaguely recalled seeing a "Three Boars Opening Soon" sign across from the Legislature, right where 9th Street Bistro (an anachronism that actually did a mean fish and chips) used to be. I'm out for a night on the town with Marlow Moo and Adventures of a Saskatchewan Girl when (thank goodness for the heads up from Marlow), Three Boars is not where I think it is.
Off we go south of the river!
I've noticed that the majority of fantastical and delicious places are north of the river right now and it's gratifying to see that Three Boars dares to buck the trend, especially when its chosen neighbourhood, Garneau-Strathcona, has witnessed a loss of locally-owned spots.
Three Boars occupies a vintage building with a decidedly rustic feel. Wooden walls, old windowpanes and the like. It's gorgeous. The menu changes often and is divided into several sections, including bar snacks, "Rabbit Food" (i.e., lighter snacks) and "Sharesies" (i.e., larger things meant for sharing. Sorry, Three Boars, but the word "Sharsies" doesn't mesh with your gorgeous abode and sounds like it was written by a gaggle of eleven year old girls.
Nonetheless, we forge on and nosh on Duck Rillettes with beer mustard and pickles. The rillettes - salted duck cooked in its own fat until spreadable - are unctuously sumptuous and nudged into the realm of heavenly by the tangy mustard and crisp toasts.
We are informed that Beef Cheek Poutine is off-menu and available. Who can resist an archetypical bowl of Canadiana when surrounded by pine planks and beer? It would be unconstitutional. This decidedly non-traditional poutine presents longitudinal slices of purple and golden spuds caressed by voluptuous shreds of beef and morsels of squeaky cheese curds. We only wish there was more cheese...
We segue into Patatas Bravas, which are superficially similar to the poutine in their use of golden and purple potatoes, but present a much simpler dish meant to showcase potatoes and only potatoes. They are tender-crisp and gently anointed with aioli. Beautiful in their simplicity.
The meal winds down with Biscuits and Gravy. We're already feeling quite full of duck fat but it is difficult to resist the flaky biscuit and juicy bits of sausage. The gravy could be kicked up a few notches; to complement the biscuit it needs quite a bit more flavour. Deadly good sausage, though. House-made granola is on deck for dessert, but after such a rich meal, we decide to sneak off to Tutti Frutti for something cool. Final verdict? Satisfying in a way that only upscale comfort food can be, but decadently rich to the point that my arteries would protest if I made this a daily occurrence. I'm sure the menu has changed multiple times over since our visit. I wonder how Three Boars' menu will evolve?