The Bison Restaurant – Banff, Alberta

Banff has always been my favourite go to place, and I am always out there for whatever reason! This time, I was out there for Bon Appetite Banff which is their 3rd annual event, and we ventured out even with a snowfall warning! I made reservations at The Bison since it has been a place I’ve been meaning to go to, and this is the perfect time to try new places as they put out special 3 course meals at a set price. This restaurant is located on Bear Street, just off of Banff Avenue and it’s upstairs of The Bear Street Tavern.

We sat down and I ordered my usual drink of choice right now, I seem to have phased into a Virgin Cesars lately, I know, it’s just Spicy Clamato juice in a pretty cup – but who cares! I like it. It was still a tasty drink.

Once we got comfortable, a bread basket came and it was neat as the basket was tree bark! The bread wasn’t anything special, but I guess the butter was… she called it Butter with Olive Oil and Organic Sea Salt. I don’t have an opinion on it as it was kind of like greasy butter? I do appreciate flavoured butter, but I guess I don’t understand this one.

For starters, we had 2. The Bon Appetite menu offers a starter, a main and a dessert for each person… so we just ordered different things to share to get more variety. We had a bowl of Sweet Potato Soup which was absolutely fantastic, with roasted marshmallows on top and a strip of bacon! Everything is better with bacon and this soup needed the salt from the bacon as it’s a sweeter soup! I loved it and I think I will try to make something along the lines of this one day!

The other starter we got was their Seared Sea Scallops which was seared to perfection. It was as though they had one giant scallop and cut it in half on the plate, or they only seared the visual side. It was bare on the underside. Regardless, it was quite delicious and not over cooked or anything like that! It also had a strip of bacon!

Now that we’ve devoured the appetizers our main courses came out! I love seafood so I ordered their Maple Sake Seared Monkfish and it was a nice portioned sized monkfish perfectly cooked and seasoned on a bed of risotto. I love fish, so needless to say, I ate it all up!

The other entree we ordered, more for the husband was the Braised Bison Gnocchi and it had a TON of delicious braised bison on the dish. We weren’t use to the size of the gnocchi, but it was still delicious light pillows of soft potatoes, even though they were “king sized pillows”! This was a fantastic entree!

Now that we’re full and stuffed, we made room for dessert! I ordered their Milkshake with Cookie and it was good! I love any sorts of cookies and this one was pretty good! It was a cookie milkshake but it was quite runny of a shake with cookie crumbs in the bottom. It wasn’t my favourite milkshake as I like them thick and creamy!

The other dessert ordered was their creme Brulee which was a chai tea spiced creme brulee with a shortbread cookie. It was kind of funny as it looked like someone ate half of it! I guess I just would’ve used a shallower dish if I was going to only give the amount given. It was tasty, but I actually thought it was a pumpkin pie flavour, not chai!

Overall, we loved this place! The meal was delicious, the service was fantastic and we had a great window seat table where we over looked the parking lot across the street! It was very entertaining! It was a night to remember and hopefully we’ll be back for more dinners to come! This Bon Appetite dinner was $45 per person, but it was 3 courses – so it was quite alright! This dinner was worth the venture out during the snow storm for sure!

The Bison on Urbanspoon

The Bison

211 Bear St
Banff, AB
(403) 762-5550

Homemade Simple Vanilla Creme Brulee

Home Made Crema Catalana

I’ve always loved Creme Brulee for any part of the day – dessert, snack with coffee/tea, and sometimes, even breakfast! I use to buy the pre-made ones, where you pour some sugar on top and burn the sugar with a torch. Then, recently, I started ordering them for dessert at restaurants, and realized it’s just not the same!! It’s suppose to be creamier and lighter and more “mousse” like than “pudding” like. So, I found a simple recipe which is slightly modified from Anna Olson’s show “Bake With Anna Olson” on Food Network.

Ingredients: (Serves 2)
1 cup cream
1 tbsp of vanilla paste
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar

First, preheat the oven to 325F, and place some ramekins in a heat safe pan with sides – so we can give the creme brulees a water bath when we’re ready to bake. Also, set a strainer with cheese cloth on stand-by as we will use them!

Then, place the cream in a pot and heat it up really slowly. Add the vanilla paste in to infuse the cream. You can use the actual vanilla seeds if you have the vanilla pods. Stir gently and wait until it’s hot – but not boiling over.

Next, in another bowl, cream the 2 egg yolks together with sugar. Then, slowly combine the cream mixture into the egg yolk mixture. Be sure to go slow so you don’t cook the eggs!

Now, pour the mixture through the strainer with the cheese cloth so it’s strained into the ramekins! Use a spoon to take out all the air bubbles that you see on top! Then, place this in the oven and pour some boiling water into the deep dish that holds the ramekins – making sure you fill up to at least half way up the ramekin dish itself to gently cook the creme brulee.

Now, bake for about 20-25 minutes in the oven. I set my oven too high, and caused the egg to cook on the top – but it still tasted great! 🙂

Let the creme brulee chill completely, and then place into the fridge for at least 3 hours. When you’re ready to enjoy, sprinkle a layer of sugar on top and use a torch to burn the sugar!! It’s done and you’re ready to eat!

Sit down anywhere, anytime to enjoy this delicious and somewhat refreshing dessert as it’s creamy and decadent with a hint of sweetness!