Upon stepping into Thomsons, the first thing I noticed was how very Calgary it was. Large pictures of cowboys and horses adorned the walls, adding a Western theme to an otherwise comfortable but unremarkable dining space. I hadn't been to Thomsons before the reno so I don't have anything to compare to, but my friend stated that some of the walls had been removed to create a more open atmosphere with an open kitchen.
For our mains, we ordered the smoked double pork chop, braised lamb shank, and grilled cornish chicken. Again, the portion sizes were huge, especially the pork chop and lamb leg. The pork chop was full of flavor, perfectly seasoned and complemented by tart apples. My lamb leg was fall-off-the-bone tender, but my favorite part of the dish was actually the sweet potato gnocchi it was served with. I only had a very small taste of the chicken, but my friend seemed to enjoy it.
Despite the fact we were all stuffed to the brim, we decided to go all out on what Thomson's had to offer and ordered all four desserts on special - berry gateau (cake), pecan pie, white chocolate cheesecake, and the "grown up sundae". The plating was stunning, especially the "grown up sundae" (middle left). The pie and cake were the standouts - the cake was flavorful, soft, and loaded with sweet berries, and who doesn't love pecan pie? Unfortunately the brownie in the sundae was very rich and quite bitter. Although some may enjoy the taste of cocoa alone, I would have preferred a hint of sweetness. Although the cheesecake was good, it wasn't anything special - I wasn't able to pick out any white chocolate flavor.
Overall, I was really impressed by Thomsons tonight. The flavors were spot-on, the plating was beautiful, and the portions were very generous. However, I would prefer to see smaller portion sizes at a lower price, because I was only able to finish about half of my appetizer/entree/dessert meal. Definitely a matter of personal preference however, because I am sure true cowboys will appreciate the sheer amount of food more than a small Asian girl. I would also recommend Thomsons for those who are visiting from out of town and want to experience a true Calgary meal, because I think Thomsons has really made the effort to reflect Calgary in everything from its atmosphere to its menu.
Disclaimer: Food and beverages were complimentary of Thomsons. I was not asked to write a review, nor expected to, and all opinions (positive and negative) are wholly my own.