Sunday, July 26, 2009

Johnston Canyon Resort Dining Room

Johnston Canyon Resort
Located approx 10 to 20 kilometers west of Banff
Highway 1A on the Bow Vally Parkway.

Johnston Canyon Resort is beautifully situated at the basin of the Johnston Canyon's lower falls on the banks of the Johnston Creek. The resort, set amongst tall valley pines, boasts 42 unique cabins most with awe inspiring views of the majestic Rocky Mountains . The air and water are clean and are great for clearing the senses and rejuvenating ones palate. This of course leads to one of my favorite subjects, food.

The resort has two places to eat next door to each other.
One is a cafe/road grill type of restaurant where you can order a good simple meal. The decor is reminiscent of the 50s soda shoppes with a counter and stools backed with booths for larger parties.
The other is the main dining room done in rustic mountain decor with lots of wood and knick knacks to reflect a mountain tourist trap. The menu follows suit with the usual Salmon/Trout/Beef fare but holds a few surprises that betray the fact that there is a skilled and creative chef at the helm of this kitchen.

The New York Strip - $29.00
The Menu described it as,
Aged AAA Alberta Beef grilled to perfection finished with caramelized shallot butter.
I ordered the steak medium rare. It came with small half cut potatoes and a helping of lightly steamed vegetables.

My impressions:
I'm of the opinion that for a meat eater there are two ways to tell if a chef knows his business.
1. The house burger.
2. The New York Strip.
If the chef gets either of those right, you're in a good restaurant.
In this case I was in an outstanding restaurant. To this point in my life I don't recall ever having a New York Strip as tender, juicy and tasty as that steak. The steamed vegetables still had some crunch to them and the small halved potatoes were served with skin on and not over cooked.
In my notes I wrote a one word summation.

The Rocky Mountain Sizzling Trout Platter. $26.00
Menu says,
Served on a sofrito of bell peppers, garlic and red onions topped with a basil pesto.
(Sofrito is a Spanish word derived from the Italian soffritto which means to saute. The ingredients being sauteed and how they are prepared varies from country to country.)
This dish also came with a side dish of lightly steamed vegetables.

Mrs. B's impressions:
She said "elegant and tasty." it was served sizzling on a cast iron plate. She enjoyed the meal thoroughly.

BEVERAGES: A Corona each.

Deserts at the resort are shipped in with the exception of the Sticky Toffee Pudding.

I had the Sticky Toffee Pudding with caramel sauce. $7.95
Recommended by our server Emily. I'm a sucker for any desert with toffee, caramel or butterscotch so I was an easy sale on this one.
This was a true English pudding, not a Bill Cosby pudding. A heavy cake type toffee pudding served in a puddle of warm caramel sauce. OMG!!, it was to die for.
Ahem, I mean it was very good and I liked it...a lot.

Mrs. B had a cold slice of Apple Strawberry Rhubarb pie. $5.95

The total of the bill was $91.63 with the GST but not including tip.
There are a lot of factors that go into determining whether you get value for your money in the food industry. In this case the remote location is an added factor. The nearest grocery supply would be Banff and then probably Calgary.
The food was very good but perhaps a bit pricey.
Regardless if you get anywhere near Banff, I highly recommend the steak. It was awesome and you won't be sorry you took the detour.

The service has been first rate every time we've been to Johnston Canyon Resort.
No exception this time, our server Emily, was friendly and engaging and knew the menu well.
We hope to see her again on our return stop.

You can find the Johnston Canyon Resort website here.
One note, the menu posted on-line is not the menu currently in use.

I welcome your comments.


Matty B said...

I'd really like to hear about the Coronas! tee hee

Cheryl said...

Bev told me to drop into your blog - since we are heading for Banff (Castle Mountain) next week maybe we will try the excellent New York strip?

Angus said...

Richard, you're making me crave steak. It's too late to go out and actually get steak, despite my desire to do so.

What Richard's Eating said...

Cheryl, Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment.
Some folks that were here last week said Castle Mountain was great and there's some good food to be had in the area.
Enjoy your holiday and if you find a great restaurant come back and tell us about it.

What Richard's Eating said...

Angus, sorry about that.
I guess reading food blogs is something best left for the day light hours.

Katie said...

you need to eat out more at restaurants. WE need an update!!!