Tonight fell into the category of “excellent”. It’s always a treat to hook up with Ingenia folk, and I’m constantly reminded of what a great group of people worked there. Jumanji (Keith) and I have kept in touch since Ingenia folded, but I hadn’t seen him since 1996. Way, way, way too long.
We closed the loop and met up after work at the Beer Bistro in downtown Toronto. It’s an interesting place, and most of the menu incorporates beer in one way or another. All the dishes have recommended accompaniments, and for the most part I’d agree with the recommendations. The atmosphere was very casual, and the layout is well thought out, and very comfortable. Service was excellent, and our server was helpful without being overbearing.
Shaver joined us a little later than planned, and some geeky and non-geeky conversation ensued. It’s funny how ten years can pass, and everything but nothing changes in the interim. The conversations flipped from home renovations to family (congrats Janice, glad to hear the operation was a success!) to coding to food preparation to network protocols all without missing a beat. Many different beers were had, and I think we all went home “happy”.
The beer list was suberb, but I’m sad to say the food was only passable. I had the Bacon & Brune mussels, and while the sauce was very tasty, the mussels themsleves were over-cooked, and there were three over-sized and not-very-tasty specimens that should have been removed from the dish. The frites were good, but I’d avoid the “smoked” ketchup and stick with the mayo. Shaver mentioned his stew was perfectly cooked and had a great texture, but was taken down a couple notches from being too salty.
The amazing point of the night was when a waitress dropped $200.00 in twenties, and not a single person noticed. The bills were just lying on the floor for a good minute, so I picked them up and brought them to the bar. It turned out that one of the waitresses had dropped them, so I guess we saved her an evening’s pay. I still can’t get over how no one even considered picking them up – people were walking on them on the way out. Weird.
In any case, a great evening, and it was great to see Keith and Shaver again. As far as the Bistro goes, I’ll give it another chance as everything but the food was superb, and it could be they were having an off night.
In any event, we’ll have to do it more often.