>> Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Recently I’ve been wondering if I am really impatient. I wasn’t shocked really. Instead I attributed it to being an only child growing up. I never really had to wait for anything or anyone. We had two washrooms in my house, one for my parents, and one for me. I always got both of my parent’s attention (often way too much). So really, in my defense, I didn’t really get a good go at it from the start. But now that I’m older, I think I’ve worked well with what I’ve got. I’ve managed. Although, I’ve found a new way for me to gain some of that needed patience. What better way to work on it then to wait for a table at a restaurant. Especially now with all the new places popping up that no longer take reservations? Sometimes the stomach just edges out all else.
Atmosphere: Trendy surroundings with the iconic Model Milk brick wall logo highlighting a two level dining space. The area evokes a casual comfy cool, a place to linger and enjoy your favorite libations.
Price Range: Mid $10s - $20s
Food and Wine: To avoid the dinner time rush, my dinner companion and I decided to have an extra early meal (I’m working on the waiting thing), which lasted until late in to the night (sorry to all that was eyeing our table, just be patient).
To kick start our long dinner feast, we started with a couple of the ‘small plate’ items like the Foie Gras Parfait. A smooth almost mousse like foie served with a thick layer of blackberry compote on top and crispy crostinis. I really enjoyed the blackberry which gave the foie the added sweetness it required. We were utterly amazed by how much foie gras came in the ramekin and had to order extra bread to finish off the parfait.
The Calamari Fricasse also came out at the same time, but I found that I was busy attacking the parfait and as such the calamari didn’t get as much attention. It wasn’t a bad dish, though I did find it to be slightly over salted. I wasn’t sure if it was the bacon or the crispy croutons or both, but they sort of over powered the plate and the calamari taste was lost.
Our server was nice enough to wait until we finished the first two dishes before bringing our next plates, which was the Chanterelles. The dish was decadent and creamy, made with none other than…you guessed it, cream and cheese. It was also served with freshly baked bread (which again we had to ask for an extra order). Many people know that I’m not a big cheese eater, but for those of you that are, you’ll love this dish. Lots of stringy cheese paired with lovely chanterelle mushrooms making it velvety and rich.
When we were finally ready for the ‘large plate’ orders, we choose the sesame crusted Walleye served over gnocchi and mushrooms in a cream sauce. The dish came with two pieces of the nicely seared fish, though I did find it a bit milder and somewhat bland. If you’re in to flavours, then I would stick to the meatier dishes.
By now we were stuffed with all the food over last couple of hours but just couldn’t bring ourselves to skip dessert. So we ordered the Pecan and Bourbon Pie with cardamom ice cream. I’ve never been a big fan of pecan pie, but serve me anything a la mode and I’m done. This wasn’t any different. I loved the cardamom ice cream, nicely spiced (and yes, we ordered an extra scoop), creamy and refreshing. I could have eaten it alone and called it a night, but I didn’t. The pecan pie was chewy with a crunchy crust, nice texture contrasts. My companion enjoyed it quite a bit.
To get us through our long night, we ordered a bottle of the 2009 Chateau Nenine Bourdeaux. It’s a blend of merlot, cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc. It was a fuller bodied wine with lots of blackberry notes and a nice chocolate finish. It was a nice compliment to the creamy foie gras and chanterelle mushrooms, but did over power the fish a bit. It needed quite a bit of aeration to truly bring out its flavours, making it a nice sipping wine.
My Picks: Foie Gras Parfait
Overall: The food was definitely worth the wait and I can see why the lines continued to lengthen as our meal progressed throughout the evening. However, was my patience truly increased? That is yet to be seen, though I did find that the addition of vino to a satiated stomach definitely increased patience all around.
308 17 Avenue SW