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Tuesday, 18 June 2013

The Bothy - Devil's in the Details

The Bothy, a long-standing bastion of wine and whiskey on the south side, now holds a presence on 124 Street (in the former digs of the ever-fantastical The Common). An encyclopedic and geographically representative whiskey selection drives The Bothy's reputation, but the menu does not quite hold its own.

The wine list is brief but astute; the evening commences with an energetic bottle of El Petit Bonhomme. This youthful, splashy, but never obnoxious, red is a great big glass of energy that befits the red walls and high ceilings of this room. Brie with Honey and Pistachios is the evening's special. And that dish is, literally, exactly as the title implies. Brie covered in honey and sprinkled with chopped pistachios. This trio of ingredients is well suited to one another, but somehow they do not quite meld. Heat - a quick voyage through the oven - would be welcome. The honey would melt sumptuously over the softening brie and, inevitably, consummate these distinct flavours into a union most welcome. Alas, the cheese is cool, the honey static, and the pistachios are, well, pistachios. Slices of baguette are crisp, and two warm and yeasty flatbreads are a treat.

A Trio of Sliders presents agreeably juicy patties of beat topped with mushrooms and cheese. A side salad is befuddled with unpleasantly sharp red onions. The palm-sized sliders are pleasant, but one cannot help but wonder what would happen if the kitchen chose to top these patties with one of the cheeses off the "create your own cheese board" menu? The varieties of cheese from which to choose one's own adventure, so to speak, are numerous and commendable. These patties deserve more creative toppings.

Bananas Foster are stingy with the bananas. Generous maple syrup and toasty pecans are intuitive partners, but the banana component is deficient. The crepes underneath are properly tender but, in the present incarnation of this dish, "maple pecan crepes" would be a better descriptor.

The devil is in the details here: good concepts with good ingredients, but the sum of the parts does not equal the whole. A few tweaks in both ingredient choice and preparation style would make these dishes taste as good as they sound on paper.

The Bothy Wine & Whisky Bar on Urbanspoon


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