Though there were some nibbles provided at Avenue Edmonton’s Top 40 Under 40 shindig at the Art Gallery of Alberta, they definitely weren’t enough to make a meal. So Dave, Kyla, Mack and I decided to get something more substantial to eat as a group, and surveying the immediate area, ended up wandering over to The Treasury Vodka Bar & Eatery.
The Treasury has such a great location – both in terms of visibility on Jasper Avenue, but also with easy access to public transportation. And really, it’s hard not to cheer when an otherwise vacant space downtown is reclaimed by an establishment that would ideally bring further foot traffic to the core. In that context, our lacklustre experience was even more disappointing.
Save one pair of diners, we were the only customers in the entire restaurant. Granted, it was about 8 p.m. that Thursday when we walked in, but we were assured that the kitchen was still open.
The interior is excessive, bordering on gaudy, with its gold chandeliers and plush red velvet, but I can appreciate that such features would likely complement The Treasury’s other identity as a nightclub much better (up until 9 p.m., minors as permitted in the restaurant). I should note, however, that the volume of the music was surprisingly low, meaning a conversation could be had at a regular volume.
The menu is massive – three pages, with nearly three dozen dishes to choose from (as we were able to order from the lunch menu as well). Still, with no other tables to serve, we weren’t sure why our food took twenty-five minutes to arrive.
Mack enjoyed his Guinness “fish & chips” of the sea, featuring black cod, calamari, shrimp and Cajun-spiced fries, though it was nothing special.
Guinness “fish & chips”
The roast beef in my sandwich ($15) was all right, and was definitely a generous serving. The multigrain bread, however, needed to be sliced thicker, or have been substituted with ciabatta or a similar loaf that could stand up to the moisture from the meat. Also, it was my mistake to order the soup at the end of the day, especially when what was presented was, instead, a puree. Topping it with moisture-drawing puff pastry croutons didn’t help matters either.
Roast beef classic with squash soup
Dave found his steak sandwich okay, while Kyla simply shrugged when I asked about her frittata ($16) – that shrug sort of summed up our meal. Twyla’s review back in September, albeit for their soft opening, wasn’t much better.
Frittata a la carte
Service was perhaps the only redeeming quality – our server hovered a bit, but she was there whenever we needed her, and in particular, was lighting quick with replacing empty glasses of water.
I can’t say I’d be anxious to return to The Treasury – with neither food or atmosphere that would draw me back, I do hope their nightclub scene is more happening. It’d be a shame for the renovated space to return to an empty state.
The Treasury Vodka Bar & Eatery
10004 Jasper Avenue