Catch & The Oyster Bar has had a makeover. Located at Centre Street and Stephen Avenue, the first floor boasts a redone oyster bar, but the comfortable seating area has just been freshened up. The second floor Catch Restaurant, however, has a brand-new look and feel. It’s much more of an upscale casual feel with rich wood tables – no white linen table cloths anymore – and wine racks from floor to ceiling. It still feels intimate, but much more relaxed.
As part of the revamp, the restaurant’s extensive new menu is no longer a long, book-like printout. Instead, an iPad is brought to the table with an interactive wine list app by new, Calgary-based developer Neutrino Enterprises Inc. The app, called “Sommelier,” allows the user to refine the wine list (and beer, cocktails, and specialty drinks) by type, year, country, winery, and region. The app includes prices, as well as wine pairings and information about each winery when you select a bottle. In addition, the app is updated in real time by staff to include news and announcements, as well as to remove or add wines as they are available. If the restaurant runs out of the 2009 Byron Pinot Noir, it will no longer appear on your interactive menu. The app can even be downloaded to your personal iPad in case you’d like to browse the selections from home.
Downstairs, the oysters are jet-flown in from both coasts. The variety was impressive and all were incredibly fresh. Standouts from the menu upstairs included the yellowfin tuna on a bed of navy beans and the braised short ribs on a carrot compote. For dessert, you absolutely can’t go wrong with the pumpkin cheesecake crème brûlée. Overall, the food was fresh and deliciously uncomplicated, with Executive Chef Kyle Groves living up to his 2010 title of “Stampede Iron Chef”. Definitely worth a visit!