I’m very happy to see that Edmonton is finally getting its wine bar groove on. Moriarty’s Bistro & Wine Bar and LIT Wine Bar (on Jasper Avenue and 104 Street) are joining the fray that already includes Bibo and TZiN. While LIT is still in the works, Moriarty’s opened at the end of December, and after the Winter Light gala at City Hall last week, Mack and I popped over to check it out.
Moriarty’s Bistro & Wine Bar
Moriarty’s is the third business in two years to occupy the space that used to house Ching’s Asian Dim Bar and Mimi’s (10162 100A Street), right across the street from Hundred. I hope the space isn’t cursed, because I do think downtown could use another place for a glass of wine, and Moriarty’s, at least from our first visit, is a great addition to the core.
Moriarty’s is owned by the same people who run Sherlock Holmes and the Rose & Crown, but you wouldn’t know it from the interior. The black and white colour scheme is sleek and elegant, with one wall lined with cozy white leather banquets (where we chose to sit). The plastic black chairs that made up the bulk of seating options didn’t look too comfortable, but they were aesthetically pleasing. I loved the oversized light fixtures, and large black mirrors on the walls.
Moriarty’s is the fourth establishment in Edmonton to install and utilize an Enomatic wine system (Vinomania, The Bothy and Hardware Grill are the others). The system allows wine to stay fresher longer, meaning wines served by the glass can be preserved for a longer period of time. We both selected a glass of wine from the Enomatic menu, with eight options to choose from. I won’t even pretend to be a wine connoisseur to say that I can taste the difference between a freshly opened bottle and one with a life lengthened by nitrogen gases, but I think the technology is neat.
We weren’t particularly hungry that day (having sampled some food at the gala), but opted to order something to share. The menu wasn’t as exciting as I had hoped for (particularly after our server told us the chef trained at the Hardware Grill), and consisted of pizza-like flatbreads, sandwiches, salads, and a handful of appetizers. We ended up with the leek and house-roasted ham French tart, recommended by our server.
The server told us the phyllo pastry was made in-house, which was a welcome surprise. Buttery, flaky and rich, it was definitely not an everyday dish, and accompanied with the crunchy shredded leeks and ham, it was wholly satisfying.
Leek and Ham French Tart
Being the only patrons that night had its pros and cons. Our food arrived in no time, but the lack of co-diners made our experience somewhat awkward. Our server was on top of us from the moment we walked in, but given his genuine nature and obvious desire to please, it was excusable. And if anything, his sincerity was much preferred to some of the more condescending service we’ve encountered in the city.
Best of luck to Moriarty’s – I hope to be back for a glass of wine after work soon!
Moriarty’s Bistro & Wine Bar
10162 100A Street