Last night I was heading out to my first Canucks game of the season last minute (I found out in the afternoon), and needed to come up with a place to have a quick dinner before walking over to GM Place. I was asking around for some suggestions, and a co-worker mentioned that I should try the Red Card Sports Bar that has just recently opened up on Smithe Street (in the Moda Hotel, right next to the Uva Wine Bar and Cibo Trattoria). Seeing as it was going to be a sports night, I thought I might as well start at a place just like this!
Dreadlock Canuck And, to keep up with the tradition of the night, I decided to order the Dreadlock Canuck from the cocktail list. It also happened to be made up of pretty much all of the same ingredients of a martini I’d been mixing for everyone at my brother’s Boxing Day party – everyone blamed me for their fierce hangovers the next day, but I think it’s just because the drinks were so good. 😉 It was made with dark rum, spiced sugar, maple syrup, lemon and lime juice, and bitters.
The room was massive and there was a large bar in the center, some shiny silver globe-shaped lights hanging from the ceilings, and a lot of comfy seating space with tall black booth seating or red chairs. There was also a large selection of flatscreen tvs on a variety of channels, as you would expect when going to a sports bar. It was a lot bigger than I expected from the outside, and the high ceilings made it seem even larger.
We took a look at the menu, and noticed it’s Italian-inspired – ranging from pizzas to pasta, and paninis to various primis. I was guessing that the kitchen is shared with the other places in the hotel, but I’m hoping that’s not the case now…or I won’t want to try the food at them!
Strangely enough (for me), I felt like having a burger for dinner, but thought I’d sway from the Classic one they have on their menu, and try the Italian-style version, or hamburger italiano con patate e tegoline. This was a bit weird – our server did tell us that this would be served open-faced when I ordered it (which I’ve had before), but it just looked funny the way it was presented on the huge plate with some potatoes and green beans, and a tiny piece of bread. I actually kind of laughed when it first came to the table. It almost seemed like a 5-year old presenting their dish during some sort of children’s culinary challenge – at least then maybe it would be cute. And after cutting into the meat (ground pork and beef mix) and taking a bite, while I could detect some rosemary, the only other thing that I could taste was a massive amount of salt! The beans were alright since they weren’t overcooked, but the ‘potato salad’ was quite bland overall, and I found that the sun-dried tomato was completely indistinguishable.
Mike didn’t have much more luck when he decided on the pasta. He went with some pesto fettucine, (fettuccine con funghi e pesto di rucola to be exact) and again, it was really quite bland. He ordered a side of chicken breast to get some additional protein, but there just wasn’t much that made this appealing – it had mushrooms and a pesto sauce, but I couldn’t really taste much of either of them!
The worst part was that it took probably 25-30 minutes for our food to actually arrive, and we kept looking at our watches hoping that we would be able to leave to walk to the stadium in time for the opening puck drop. And when looking around, there were maybe 10-12 people seated at the bar in front of some of the televisions, but only two other tables were occupied – I would hate to see it if it were later in the evening and busy!
I’d say to stick with Red Card only for drinks if you’re watching a hockey game or some other sport of the hour. Maybe the pizza will be better (I did get this comment from someone earlier today as well)? But if you’re looking for some good food, you’re not going to find it here – plus, it might take awhile to get it regardless.