n the heart of downtown Calgary, in Stephen Avenue is a small restaurant called, “The Wednesday Room.” It is also safe to say that this restaurant is anything but a place of woe unlike that nineteenth century saying that states “a Wednesday’s child is full of woe.” This is a restaurant that has a historical elegance mixed with a modern hominess. Clean, wooden tables and shelves that houses antique knickknacks, long tapered candles that give off sophisticated vibes, black and white photographs that tells a story, and the fun, frisky look of the 60s carpet takes a person to a place of comfort.
Upon walking into the restaurant, a friendly host takes us to the underground event space where a dark wooden bar sits at the back and dimly lit tables welcome the patrons. On them is a menu waiting to take the clienteles on a culinary journey. However, an adventure does not start without the star of the show and this star is the Yellowstone bourbon. Our bartender serves us a fall-inspired cocktail with spice, cranberries, and bourbon. A wise choice of ingredients that even tastes like the season of autumn. A great start of an evening where you can meet some fascinating new people.
While we stood around chatting about the company throwing this party, an announcement comes from Stephen Beam, the Master Distiller of Yellowstone Bourbon. He said a few words after getting a couple of gifts from the new friends he made in our city. (He does look smashing in his new Calgary Flames Jersey). He reminisced about how the Yellowstone brand came to be through his deep roots, thanks to his ancestors, The Dants, an early bourbon pioneer family, and The Beams. Though Yellowstone Bourbon was created in 1872, it wasn’t until 2015 that Stephen Beam brought Yellowstone back to his family and introduced Yellowstone Select. We raised a glass to the history of the distillery and continued to mingle.
Clearly this bourbon and the family who makes it have some fascinating stories to tell. We had the recent pleasure of listening to the account of how they had survived prohibition. Stephen had shared with our little group of how they used their bourbon for medicinal purposes and the people had to have a doctor’s prescription in order to legally have it in their homes. During this time, we not only enjoy our first cocktails but the delectable appetizers started to come around.
The appetizers consist of tomato burrata, mushroom tartare, and bacon wrapped meatballs. Now being a vegetarian only two of those three nibbles were tasted but rest assured that the meatballs were deemed delicious by the meat-lovers. The tomato burrata is a combination of heat and zest which not only is a perfect accompaniment for the cocktail but puts a pep in one’s step. The mushroom tartare also goes great with the cocktail but it had a more cooling effect. The softness of the mushrooms, mixed with the olive oil and a hint of hazelnut shows just how opposites can attract.
The clinking of the glasses meant that it was time for all of us to sit at our assigned seats. As we sat down, we were greeted with stylishly printed menus that gives rustic chic its name. After a brief announcement to enjoy our meal, we ordered. There were two options for those who have different dietary needs. What we chose was the Beet and Endive Salad, Mushroom Risotto, and Apple Crumble. We were not sorry we did so. Each bite brought on many different kinds of ecstasy that only a well-prepared meal and drink pairings can.
The concoction that went with the first course was called a Yellowstone Spritz. This was a tasty treat that has the Yellowstone Select, St. Germain, Prosecco, and a candied lemon. This was the favourite at our table. It brought out some amazing ingredients in the salad which consisted of beets, apples, fennel, pieces of almond brittle, tarragon, dill, and a kombucha vinaigrette. Each flavour was highlighted in all the best ways even if one or two of those ingredients are not what you normally reach for.
The second course was the mushroom risotto which had the American 108 as a cocktail. This cocktail contains Yellowstone American Single Malt, Dry Curacao, Licor 43, Demerara syrup, cardamom, and orange bitters. So, suffice to say that this drink gets a little spicier. When it comes to the creaminess of the mushroom risotto it was yet another huge hit for the meal. The last slam dunk of this party was the dessert course where we had the Apple Crumble accompanied with the Yellowstone Limited Edition 2023. A perfect end to a perfect meal.
Thank you, Yellowstone Distillery, the Wednesday Room, and all of the people who made such a enchanting evening come to life. It is safe to say that the people of Calgary welcome you with open arms and look forward to seeing what history we can make with you. We look forward to seeing what the future holds for us and what you are going to deliver. Cheers!
Special Thanks goes to:
Yellowstone Bourbon Distillery: For throwing this party and being genuinely awesome. https://yellowstonebourbon.com/