>> Friday, November 20, 2015
Atmosphere: Upscale dining in a modern steakhouse setting with lush décor and cozy finishes.
Price Range: Mid $10s - $40+
Normally we tend to stick to one appetizer; however the people at Carver’s were so generous that they encouraged us to sample various dishes to gain a better feel for their cuisine. Firstly we had the Crab Cake made with chunks of Dungeness crab topped with lots of panko bread crumbs and served with a meyer lemon mayo, black truffle shavings and a fricasse fennel crisp slaw. I really enjoyed that they opted to pan sear and not deep fry the crab cake. This kept the appetizer quite light and makes for a healthier option. With this course we were served the Bellavista Franciacorta Cuvee’ Brut. The sweetness of the sparkling wine really highlighted the flavour of the crab and nothing goes better with seafood then a bit of bubbles.
To round out our appetizers was the Carver’s House Salad made with fresh spring mix, cucumbers, cashews, tomatoes, snow goat cheese and topped with a marmalade vinaigrette. I thoroughly enjoyed the vinaigrette; I need to somehow get my hands on this recipe. The tanginess of the dressing paired perfectly with the bitterness of the greens and crunchy cashews. We were served the Cedar Creek Platinum Series Chardonnay and Meyer Family Pinot Noir to accompany these two dishes due to the nuttiness of the salad and the earthy mushrooms in the gnocchi.
I myself tried the Sea Bass, which was a nice contrast to the steak. The fish was served with a trio of cauliflowers, apple wood smoked potato croquettes, baby root vegetables and coconut cream sauce. Similar to the rest of the dishes, it was extremely light. The cook on the fish was perfect, with each layer remaining flaky and moist. I really enjoyed the creaminess of that sauce, made again with a light hand preventing it from overwhelming the fish. I also thought it went very nicely with the Chardonnay from before and it also complimented the Lemon Butter Asparagus side that we had. The sommelier also suggested the Francois Litchtle Gewürztraminer as a pairing. Although sweeter, it plays nicely with the creamy sauce and the flavours of the root vegetables.
Before dessert arrived, we were treated to a Bourbon tasting involving various ages of bourbon along with different flavouring techniques. The first was the Basil Hayden’s flavoured with citrus peel. The second was the Booker’s Kentucky Straight with smoked pecans and the third being the Knob Creek Single Barrel with smoked coffee beans. I’m not a huge fan of bourbon, but since my husband is, I let him take the reins on this one. His favorite was the Knob Creek, which is aged in barrel for 9 years and definitely a lot smoother than the other two. However, for wine drinkers, we might tend to veer towards the Basil Hayden’s due to the fact that it’s less robust and oaky.
To end our amazing meal was the Chocolate soufflé with crème anglaise. It takes 20 minutes to prep but definitely well worth the wait (plus it gave us some time to digest). I don’t often find soufflés on menus anymore and always order them when I get the chance because they truly are a testament to the quality of the kitchen. Being an extremely tough dish to create, the soufflé also needs to be served immediately meaning it’s always made fresh to order. This soufflé was top standard. They were able to achieve a perfect puff on top which held throughout and the flavours were on point. I personally didn’t even need the crème anglaise, but didn’t complain either. You can never go wrong with a creamy custard sauce. Overall, I thought it was a delightful end to an outstanding meal.
My Picks: Potato Gnocchi, Sea Bass, Chocolate Soufflé
Overall: We thoroughly enjoyed our evening at Carver’s. The food was amazing, the wine was heavenly and the service was fantastic. I’ll definitely have to remind myself of all the great establishments up in the NE of our city. Not to mention the hidden gems like Carver’s.
2620 32 Ave NE (located in the Sheraton Cavalier)