BottleHouse, CalgarySo once again, a restaurant occupies the doomed corner of Memorial Drive and 10th Avenue NW, where other eateries have tried and failed. This time though, I hope the BottleHouse Beer Parlour — despite the cheesy name and font — gets a chance.

First of all, the space is huge, so there’s no cramming elbow to elbow like the other pubs in Kensington. Service has improved drastically from the other restaurants that have been in this location. And finally, the food is actually quite good. Surprise!

(Here’s a convenient spot to mention that my column in Metro Calgary has now turned its focus from dinners to lunches for all the commuters out there. BottleHouse was today’s topic.)

Yes, BottleHouse serves mostly pub food, but it’s done well with a few fresh surprises.

Three mini bison burgers ($8.85) were juicy on glossy buns, while popcorn shrimp ($8.95) were crisp and hot to the last pop.

I can honestly say I’ve never known pubs to make good salads, but the BottleHouse does a very respectable one packed with field greens, grilled Okanagan pear, candied walnuts, crumbled blue cheese and a perky raspberry vinaigrette ($11.95).

Pubs are also not known for pasta but taking the waitress’ word for it, I went out on a limb and tried the seafood curry fettucini ($12.65). I almost fell out of my bar chair. Six pieces of plump seared prawns were mixed in with meaty sea scallops, not-clumpy pasta and a just-right cream sauce.

Jason’s roasted turkey sandwich ($10.95) had REAL carved turkey meat with caramelized onions, Applewood smoked cheddar, and cranberry mayo on fresh ciabatta bread, and a side salad that wasn’t iceberg out of a bag.

It’s unfortunate that the only good photo I have is of chicken wings because they were just OK, while everything else we’ve had has been really good.

The beer menu is heavy on Canadian products, including microbreweries, but the price is right with bottles averaging $4.75 and pints $6.75.

BottleHouse Beer Parlour, 102-10th St. NW, Calgary, (403) 265-0018.

The BottleHouse Beer Parlour on Urbanspoon