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“excellent service in cozy setting with (mostly) very good food” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Grapes Wine Bar

Grapes Wine Bar
Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel | 405 Spray Avenue, Banff, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada
+1 403-762-6860
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Ranked #1 of 132 Restaurants in Banff
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $15 - $33
Cuisines: French, Bistro, Wine Bar, Canadian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Scenic view
Dining options: Dinner, Drinks
Description: Savoury charcuterie, fine cheeses and award-winning wines are showcased nightly at the cozy Grapes Wine Bar. Sample from a tempting menu of tasty gourmet favourites made in-house, including cured meats and pates, candied salmon, freshly baked breads and delicious pickled vegetables. This historic, charming room was originally established in 1926 as a writing room and a place for people to gather their thoughts, share experiences and converse with family and friends. Enjoy the entertaining, interactive atmosphere of Grapes Wine Bar, a dining experience like no other.
Rockville, MD
Level Contributor
248 reviews
161 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 142 helpful votes
“excellent service in cozy setting with (mostly) very good food”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2013

Based on Trip Advisor reviews and the menu, we decided to try Grapes for dinner while staying in Banff about 10 minutes walk from the hotel. Our experience was so positive that we went back for dinner the next night. Overall we enjoyed both meals, but the quality of the food was a little inconsistent. However, the service was excellent at both meals, and the cozy and romantic ambience (to me it seemed like an old English lodge or small dining room in a castle) was just right for a special vacation meal.
At dinner the first night, my husband had venison medallions with "port macerated" berries and walnut (see menu for full description: http://www.fairmont.com/banff-springs/pdf/bsh-grapes-menu-june-2013/). The meat was perfectly done and tender, and the sauce/glaze was delicious (I kept stealing from his plate). The server recommended Cedar Creek merlot with it, and my husband said the wine was also delicious. I had the salmon bouillabaisse from the "healthy" menu (it is a DASH dish), which included mussels, clams, and navy beans in a saffron broth. I found the flavor a little bland (I tend to like salty dishes but was trying to be healthy at this meal), but the salmon was done right and my husband ate some of the dish and liked the flavor. I had a pomegranate lime non-alcoholic cocktail, which was refreshing and not too sweet. Good, very fresh, crusty bread was served with dinner. Even though we were full, as a chocoholic I had to get the Valhrona dark chocolate mousse for dessert. It was actually three parts--chocolate cake, near-solid chocolate mousse, and cream. We shared it and agreed it was decadently rich.
My husband thought this was a "perfect meal" and the venison medallions were among the top three dishes he's ever had. The meal was expensive (most entrees are $32-$44 and desserts are $10, though you can make a meal of less expensive appetizers and sharing dishes), but we felt it was worth it for a special meal on vacation.
We went back for dinner the next night and had the same excellent service experience (both waitresses seemed to remember us, and we enjoyed chatting with them). This time I ordered the venison medallions, but one of the medallions was overdone so that was disappointing. My husband had the Alberta beef tenderloin, which was perfectly done with very good taste. He had Syrrah wine and I had a kiwi gin cocktail--both were enjoyed. The bread did not seem quite as good in texture or taste as the night before.We skipped dessert this time.
For the money I feel that they should be more consistent about food preparation, but overall both meals were good experiences.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
1 Thank freedshop
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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99 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Birmingham, Alabama
Level Contributor
72 reviews
37 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Lovely spot for quiet dinner & drinks”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2013

We didn't have reservations for any of the Fairmont's restaurants so on our first night in the hotel, this was one of our only options for dinner. There were about 6 tables of people having drinks &/or dinner when we arrived. It was a friendly group who began talking across tables and sharing travel tips for the area. Our hostess was terrific and when the others left, she moved us to a window with a beautiful view so we have a lovely dining spot. Our food was tasty and comforting - just right for travel weary people. I'd recommend this location over the other restaurants in the hotel.

Visited July 2013
2 Thank Lynne4078
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Wonderful little hideaway with a view”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2013

Grapes is one of six restaurants in the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel. Service was great, the view was outstanding, and the food was excellent. It's not cheap, but you are getting the amazing ambiance of this classic old hotel, which is in remarkably good shape. Don't miss the Fairmont!

Visited June 2013
1 Thank Tom L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlotte, North Carolina
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Loved it!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2013

Good wines, cheeses, views and ambiance. Originally it was a "writing room" in the hotel, today it has historical value and charm with the dark paneled walls and Lead glass windows. A cozy fav on our trip to Banff.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
1 Thank Tripen-Charlotte-NC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
126 reviews
77 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
“intimate and delicious”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2013

I was looking forward to visiting this once again and it did not disappoint. The menu is excellent with great wine pairings. The service is knowledgable and friendly. The cosy atmosphere is a wonderful experience.

  • Visited April 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
1 Thank fluffybinks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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