The Beijing Olympics are here. On behalf of my dinner companions at Cowbell on Friday night, let me offer my condolences to all the Mom & Pop Shop factories who were affected by Beijing's 200-mile crackdown on heavy industry during the Games.
Speaking of Cowbell, it was my first time there on Friday. I had the duck and it was delicious. From what I was able to glean, everyone enjoyed their meals and we pretty much covered all the appetizers and main courses. They also make a mean whisky sour; the bartender whips it with some egg whites which gives it a most excellent frothiness. I also really love that the menus are the chalkboards on the walls.
However, I must say the service, while friendly and willing, was not very good. For dessert I ordered a glass of dessert wine and twice I was brought a cafe au lait. Finally, I did manage to get my drink. From the time the first person received their dessert until the last person, 45 minutes had passed.
My group drank quite a bit of booze and wine, each of us had appetizers and desserts in addition to our main courses, and the final tally came to about $220 per couple which, while not inexpensive, represented pretty good value in my opinion. Cowbell is undoubtedly worth a try, but there's definitely room for improvement service-wise.
Inspired by turn of the century French bistros, Cowbell owners Mark Cutrara and Karin Culliton have created an atmosphere of comfort, originality and fun in their very own neighbourhood of Parkdale.
Chef Cutrara is dedicated to serving fresh, simple food. Cowbell's chalkboard menu changes daily to reflect the availability and freshness of our ingredients. Cutrara and his kitchen are working almost exclusively with naturally-raised, organic meat and produce, sourced from local farmers. Cutrara purchases whole animals, butchers, smokes and cures his meat on the premises. And he churns his own butter!
[Side note: Flesh for Lulu’s “I Go Crazy” is playing on the radio while I type this. Very nice.]