Earlier this year, Michael and I attended a silent auction fund raising affair at the Varscona Theatre called the Crystal Ball. It was a hoot, and I came home with lots of loot (mainly on account of not understanding that I could have bid amounts lower than the suggested price, and just bid the value). I spent a lot of money that evening, but did not mind one bit as the Varscona, and in particular Teatro la Quindicina has provided us with brilliant entertainment. One of our successful bids was a gift certificate to The Bothy.
If you read my blog, you know we love The Bothy. We have been there several times, and each time become a wee bit more impressed with the place.
Our first visit was on Christmas Eve 2009, just shortly after opening, and a few weeks before official opening. We have watched the place mature since then, and now it runs like a well oiled machine. Not that it didn’t from Day 1. In fact, the place has offered us nothing but perfect service and food selection since our first visit. But now, nearly a year in, the place is getting that comfy, broken in feel about it. You know what I mean. Think of a brand new sofa. You’ll sit upright, declare that absolutely no one can eat on it, you’ll treat the leather regularly, or brush the nap of the fabric lovingly every week, etc. etc. After a few months, you slouch, eat popcorn on it, allow a few stray crumbs between the cushions when no one is looking, and it becomes the most comfortable place in the house.
If you can visualize that comfyness, you can visualize what The Bothy has become. It’s comfortable. We are remembered. The food is consistently delicious. The wine selection one of the best in town. The staff are knowledgeable, friendly and accessible. Doug and his lovely wife exceptional hosts. And Andrew. Andrew is his own category.
Tonight, we were seated on the new patio, enjoying a lovely warm September evening, watching the sun set, and there, speeding up the street towards us on a skateboard, in kilt, rugby shirt and with cigarette in hand, was Andrew. It was a beautifully eccentric sight, and sums up Andrew perfectly.
Tonight we tried several wines, but were most impressed with the Catapult Shiraz Viognier 2007, and the Zentato Amarone 2006. Best of all was the 2006 Petite Petit which hails from California, is labeled with a gorgeously funny label of elephants, mice and cards portraying a circus feel. This was even nicer since the Townhend’s shared their bottle with us, AND, it presently isn’t on the wine list (laughs greedily) but will be soon.
For food, we started our evening traditionally with the cheese and charcuterie, selecting a sinfully creamy Pont L’Eveque brie from France, a lovely sweet Tomme du Manoir from Quebec, lovely mild prosciutto de parma from Italy, and Sopperesata calabrese from Ontario. This was served with a memorable blazing carrot chutney.
For our main course, our hearts were set on the ever present steak and mushroom pie, but were enticed by tonight’s special which was Irving farms sausage with mashed potatoes. Good old bangers and mash. It was homey, and heavenly.
We passed on a proper dessert, and opted for a Scapa 14 Year whisky instead, based on Doug’s recommendation. Smooth is how was it described, and smooth it was. A bit too slippy for my taste as it just disappeared down my gullet with nary a burn, but by gum, I drank it like a trooper. Best part, was we got a stamp in our Whisky Passport.
If you are a fan of The Bothy, head down this week while the weather is fine, and enjoy the new patio. The Townshends are waiting for next year, when the area surrounding the patio will be landscaped properly, but even without, it is still charming, has a nice view of the neighbourhood, and is a great place to sit, relax and chat with friends.