The newly opened and renovated Leopold’s Tavern is a great addition to the Cathedral area in Regina. It’s a small space that’s always been a tough go for any restaurant. Remember Sage, Passionate Pizza – Sensuous Sushi, Mojo and Fainting Goat? Each started out as great restaurants that were always busy, but slowly lost their following (in part because the space is so small, you just couldn’t count on a seat… so why not just go elsewhere?).
Leopold’s has done a great making the space feel fresh and quirky (loved the guitars on the ceiling!). They have also removed the fine dining tables and benches and added tall round tables throughout the dining room. It’s a tight squeeze and it makes for a loud environment, but the extra tables make the space feel right for a pub. A few of us at the table have been to England and all felt like it had a small english pub feel. It just works. There is also a patio space out back with a few picnic tables (if you are lucky enough to get a spot!).
Now to the food and drink… which was exceptional all around! Lots of different types of beers to choose from, and according to one of my friends (who is a Caesar connoisseur), one of the best Caesar’s in town (thanks to the montreal steak spice around the rim). The menu itself offers true pub fare – lots of burgers, chips, poutine and bar food.
Dave and I both chose burgers and fries. I had the Leopold burger with pico de gallo and guacomole and Dave tried the Mushroom burger with pepper jack cheese, bacon and mushrooms (obviously). We both raved about our burgers, which had the “m” trifecta down pat – moist, melt in your mouth and messy (in a good way). Oh and the buns… to die for. Incredibly fresh and light, and taste just out of the oven homemade. The fries were generous portions, salty and perfectly cooked, in a small cut that I really like. Fantastic meal.
Our dining partners chose panko-breaded chicken fingers and fries and the pulled pork sammie, also with fries. Both were a big hit and looked absolutely delicious. In looking at the menu and our dinners, we realized the menu is likely small for a reason. The kitchen must be very small, so every ingredient should have multiple uses. Lots of burgers, mushrooms, pulled pork and chicken on the menu – just in different forms. Great idea.
For our first visit to Leopold’s, it got a big thumbs up! Looks like the word is out on this place, as it seems packed each time I drive by – so getting a seat may be difficult. But, it’s worth a try and we are looking forward to go back again, and likely again!