Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Play Food and Wine

If you want to have a nice evening out with friends surrounded by yummy food, this is the perfect place to go. The menu has a fair selection of small plates, just enough to make the evening last, but not so many as to overwhelm your choice. The clean blue walls and simple décor are somewhat cold when you walk in but the glow of the candles at the table and fantastic service warm you in seconds. We started off with a glass of white wine that quickly turned into a bottle it was so good. I’m typically a red drinker but this Chardonnay (Triomphe, Southbrook 2006), which was very reasonably priced, couldn’t be passed up. I started to skim the menu. Normally I’d jump on the charcuterie selection but decided to skip it last night. My first dish, which was recommended by our server, was the coconut dusted Crispy Shrimp served with a light and summery cucumber sauce. At the same time we also ordered the Artichokes smothered in a parmesan polenta sauce and topped with a sweet, heavenly hazelnut granola. For the following dishes, I would normally have gone with the Pork Belly Bun and the Duck Confit but I wasn’t sure how the person we were dining with would feel about it, so we went with the Frites served with aioli and cooked crisp to perfection, the puffy Onion Fritters with tamarind dip, the Digby Scallops, velvety and browned on top, served with thick bacon slivers, cippolini and edamame, and my favourite dish of the evening, the Moroccan Lamb Panini, with raita and delectable harissa onions. At this point we were torn as to whether or not we should order another dish. That’s when the cheese selection jumped out at us. I quickly ordered a glass of the Grahams 10 year tawny and belted out my cheese selection – Le Clos St-Ambroise, a semi firm, sweet, beer washed cheese, the ever-so-flavourful and my absolute favourite – Smokin’ Back Forty, a firm, intensely smokey, rosemary and bacon cheese that is to die for; and last but not least, a soft cheese with a vegetable ash that wasn’t on the menu but will be shortly and that I unfortunately can’t remember the name of. Prices for the small plates range from $4 to $15. A great place to relax with friends and chat over some fun food and great wine.

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