Restaurant review: Bar Willow Eatery
Summering on the biggest deck in Regina at Bar Willow Eatery
by sonali currie, contributor
With the COVID-19 restrictions easing off gradually in Saskatchewan, people are eager to get back to social gatherings and participate in all those sunny experiences that summer has to offer. If you are on the hunt for a place in Regina that offers fantastic views and good food, be sure to check out the Bar Willow Eatery. A friend from work recommended the Bar Willow Eatery to me when I mentioned I was looking for restaurants in Regina that had a patio and a countryside vibe. I was pleasantly surprised to see gorgeous photos available online – they showed me it was just the place I was looking for!
Tucked in a cozy nook of Wascana lake, the eatery is known for having the biggest deck in town. The restaurant is accessible by bus, car, foot, or bike, and has ample parking space off of Wascana lake. The restaurant is located in the heart of the city, yet its lakeside patio balances the divide between city and nature, offering patrons calmness and serenity. While walk-ins are subject to availability, I chose to make a reservation on their easy-to-navigate website. As I entered the restaurant, I was greeted by the pleasant sound of soft rock and the scent of chilled beer. I realised just what I had been missing for all these isolated months during the pandemic! I only had to wait a couple of minutes before I was directed to the table of my choosing by the hostess at the entry desk. Unlike other places in town, the Bar Willow Eatery is open long hours on weekends, as late as nine p.m., but closed on Mondays.
The restaurant offers both indoor and outdoor seating options. I chose to enjoy the view outside on the deck for the evening and was certainly not disappointed. My table was close to the edge and offered an excellent view of the lake and the Saskatchewan Legislative Building. I loved basking in the soft warmth of the setting sun, watching people kayak on the lake and Canada geese trooping across the sidewalk. For those folks always seeking the perfect Instagram shot, the deck is a perfect place to capture some spectacular golden-hour moments.
The restaurant offers a wide range of menu options – both food and drink – to choose from. I ordered their tacos with sauteed mushrooms, kale cream cheese, pico de gallo, and marinated cucumbers with a classic Willow Sangria and a Gran Margarita. A serving of two tacos per order was more than enough to satisfy one person. The Willow Sangria is made of red wine, aperol, raspberry simple syrup, orange juice, soda, and fruit. The Gran Margarita, made with fresh squeezed lime juice, simple syrup, just a squeeze of orange juice, Espolon tequila, and Gran Marnier, comes finished with a salted rim. The two drinks were very refreshing and simply perfect for a warm summer evening.
The service was prompt even though it was a busy Sunday. The waitstaff were polite, quick, and friendly. As more people started to pour in towards late evening, the staff worked swiftly to make space and accommodate their new guests. I particularly enjoyed the pet friendly deck; it was wonderful to see customers enjoying drinks and food with their furry friends playing close to them. I do think that perhaps having more vegetarian options on the menu would add to the dining experience and cater to even more guests, as the current menu is a bit limiting if you have dietary restrictions. However, I would still strongly recommend that people visit the Bar Willow Eatery for the food, ambience, view, and easily accessible location.