Canvas Bistro's Autumn Menu Launch

>> Thursday, September 4, 2014

Now that fall is just around the corner many restaurants are starting to roll out their autumn menus featuring seasonal ingredients. A couple of us were lucky enough to be invited to Canvas to preview their fall menu which officially rolls out this month. Before we started Chef Guru Singh mentioned that the menu at Canvas is meant for sharing and the dinner was laid out to showcase his preferred way of sampling the food – family style.

We were treated a number of different appetizers starting with a light Bocconcini Carrot Salad. When the plate arrived it looked like a painting with splashes of color from the rainbow carrots and beets, accented by the pesto oil and crispy basil on top. Whimsical and inviting the plate really pleased all senses and was a nice play on the traditional Italian bocconcini salad. The frying of the basil really enhanced the aromas of the herb and the dish was a beautiful way to start off our meal.

It was hard to miss the aroma of the Risotto when it entered the room. Truffle oil brings elegance to any dish when incorporated perfectly and this was a classic use of the ingredient. Creamy arborio rice cooked with saffron and topped with wild mushrooms and black truffle oil. I do prefer my rice a bit more al dente but aside from that everything was excuted well. I could probably eat this for the rest of the evening.

Our Filet Mignon appetizer was presented in a deconstructed format with the filet resting on top of a phyllo wrapped mushroom pastry and served with a creamy pea puree resembling a beef wellington. It was a creative twist on a classic and in this case it worked out well. It was fun to try some of the meat with and without the pastry elements allowing the guest to choose which they preferred, but in the end everything was devoured.

The next two courses were presented at the same time. The Rabbit was braised and served similar to a rillette style with bell peppers and roasted garlic that is meant to be eaten on top of an olive naan crisp. The rabbit itself was extremely well seasoned and I could have easily eaten it all on its own, but the naan was a nice additional making the dish more interactive. The Prawns were accompanied by spinach pulled pork, sundried tomatoes and some charred lemon on the side. My favorite on this dish was the pulled pork, savory and moist, it was sublime.

I was nearing capacity at this point due to all the wonderful appetizers and libations, but the entrees were up next and I had to muster up some room to forge on. The Duck Breast was complemented with a hearty seven bean sauce, such as chickpeas, black beans, red beans, kidney beans, black eyed peas and more! The dish tasted like home with the robust sauce reminiscent of a heartwarming chili on a cold winter’s day, a perfect dish for fall!

Next came the Seafood course and it sure did make an entrance, served over sizzling hot stones, the basa was wrapped in banana leaves with sweet pears, carrots, coconut milk and lemongrass, a true fusion dish. We were afraid that the hot stones would overcook the fish but that wasn’t the case. The basa was done to perfection. The fragrant spices mixed with the aromas of lemongrass which all got absorbed in to the vegetables making them sweet and juicy, just lovely with the rice that was served on the side. I was quite surprised at how delightful the pears tasted and it was a hit among all guests that evening.

At this point, it was tough to not throw in the towel so to speak but we still had the dessert course left. The platter was composed by Brulee Patisserie and consisted of Chocolate Ganache Cups which were dark and decadent, a true chocolate lovers dream. The Walnut Brownie was rich and chewy with a nice textural crunch of the walnuts, the third being a Coconut Lime Cakelet the lightest of the three dessert offerings where the tang of the lime and the milky coconut was a nice compliment to each other.

Everything that evening was perfectly executed from the wonderful plating and presentation to the artistic dining room featuring various pieces of artwork from the Gerry Thomas Gallery (including a cozy outdoor patio with fireplace). There is no better name for this restaurant then the one that it already has, a true Canvas for Chef Singh’s creativity.

Canvas Bistro
602 11 Ave SW
Calgary, AB
(587) 353-1299

Canvas Bistro on Urbanspoon


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