>> Friday, April 29, 2011
I am a list maker. I have to-do lists everywhere and for everything, at work, on my phone, things to do before I’m 30, places I must visit and most importantly: where and what I need to eat. It seems so easy to create these lists to keep everything prioritized even if some items remain on the list longer than ideal. One of those items was to eat at Home Tasting Room. I tried once, twice, three times, but something always came up. Something always comes up right? So finally I just cleared my schedule one weekend and did it. I was able to sneak in a dinner at ‘Home’ and invited a bunch of friends to join me.
Atmosphere: Open and sleek dining area with a cozy ambiance. Great for large groups or intimate dinners.
Price Range: Mid $10s - $20s
Food and Wine: One of the main features of Home Tasting Room is its small plates, which allows you to sample multiple different dishes and opens up many options for your dining experience. Since there was a rather large group of us, we were able to pretty much sample the entire menu, including the entrées (minus one or two dishes since a few people were particular about a certain type of ingredient). I’m going to highlight the favourites of the table.
I’ve heard of the Bison Tartar from a few different people, so that was one of the first things I tried. The truffle aioli went very nicely with the creamy tartar, especially with the nice crispy baguette, a must try if you’re there. Everybody agreed that the Ricotta Gnocchi was delicious. The gnocchi was pan seared, which gave it a crispy outer edge while still remaining soft on the inside and had a light mushroom and swiss chard accompaniment. The Grilled Flatbread was light and fluffy with a sweet topping of roasted peppers, fennel and creamy ricotta mixed with peppery arugula. None of the toppings overwhelmed the dish and came to a nice balance without being heavy
For the entrees, I enjoyed the Duck Breast, which was seared to a perfect medium rare and served over a bed of “cassoulet” risotto. The risotto was creamy without being overly heavy and was perfectly seasoned. Everyone agreed that the Arctic Char was very delectable. Adding the quinoa salad was a nice touch. Finally the Braised Short Ribs were fall off the bone tender, soaking up the mint salsa verde sauce which was served with scalloped potatoes.
The best part about sampling all the dishes is always the end where we get to taste all the different desserts as well. The house-made Truffles graduated in richness and darkness of cocoa, creating a slow flavour progression from creamy white chocolate to a twist on the classic dark while hitting all the different flavour notes. Definitely a nice pairing with red wine. It was a neat idea to have house-made Donuts and Coffee on the dessert menu, each donut is coated with a light dusting of cinnamon and sugar, perfect for a rainy day. The Chocolate Brownie, Crème Brulee and Italian Cream Cake were all devoured as well, but were more on the expected side as desserts go, but still a great way to end the evening.
As for wine, there is a good selection of old world and new world wines on the list. We decided to go with a bottle of the Marchesi Gondi Chianti San Guiliano to start. It went well with the dinner, pairing the oaky notes with our meat heavy dinner. Next we had a bottle of the Canaletto Pinot Noir, which had fruitier notes, less tannins and a soft finish.
My Picks: Ricotta Gnocchi, High Country Bison Tartar
Overall: I feel so accomplished now that I’ve been able to scratch a few items off of my to-do lists, including making it to Home. However, I’m sure it won’t be the last time I visit though, since I heard that they’re coming out with a new menu soon, plus the food was fantastic. Guess it’s going back on that list again. See, it never ends. Can’t say I don’t try though.
Home Tasting Room
110 8th Avenue SW