Maple Leaf Grill: "A Real Let Down" Maple Leaf Grille and Spirits Tip by sean1411
Maple Leaf Grille and Spirits, Banff National Park: 3 reviews and 1 photos
I chose Maple Leaf for an anniversary dinner and was sorely disappointed. I made the reservation via Open Table, then I called to confirm my reservation, and to specify that I would like a booth or quiet area as it was a special occasion. Upon arrival, however, the confused hostess told me that all booths were taken, but that we could wait for a table if we liked (which kind of defeats the purpose of making a reservation). Ultimately we were sat at a small table in a noisy, high-traffic area (where I had a great view of the booth I was hoping for). I did get a perfunctory 'happy anniversary' as we were seated, though.
As a former chef and an avid food enthusiast, I can safely say that the food was truly mediocre. My appetizer, the lettuce wraps, arrived with each of the 5 or 6 bib lettuce leaves drizzled in olive oil. The oil added zero flavour and ample mess - so much so that I asked for a new napkin for my main. My date's butternut squash soup was just OK.
The waiter did a great job in selling the chef's special: a bacon-wrapped bison fillet with cranberry jus reduction, mashed potatoes, vegetables and a pheasant wonton with truffle oil. I ordered it, but it arrived sans said pheasant wonton or any explanation as to why it wasn't there. When I enquired (why would I have to point it out?), I was told that the kitchen had run out; no apology or concession was offered.
My meat, ordered medium rare, came out swimming in a way too-sweet reduction - and was actually blue rare. When they recooked it, it came back without any bacon. Again, no apology or concession given. The vegetables were several steps on the raw side of al dente. Hard to say what the potatoes tasted like because the sauce overpowered them.
Dessert (creme brulee trio) took forever but tasted OK. In fact, "OK" was sort of the operative theme for the evening. I have tasted similar offerings elsewhere that far surpassed those offered at Maple Leaf Grill - for the same or lesser prices.
Altogether sloppy, careless and lacklustre from start to finish. I felt that we were being 'turned over' by an overworked staff rather than shown a decent time by people who have passion for what they do. Having dropped over $200 on the experience, I left miffed and will likely not be back.
Address: 137 Banff Ave
Price Comparison: more expensive than average
Directions: You can't miss it.
Price: US$41 and up
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