Monday, March 29, 2010
one of Ottawa's real foodies”, who left a comment on one of my posts a few weeks ago about her trip to Allium for their Monday night tapas. Getting out on a Monday is a bit difficult for me, so in the interim I've been jumping at any tapas-like meal I can.
Well, tonight I finally ended this charade (oh how I've been suffering), and made my way to Allium. One of my coworkers has also been at me to come here, although he felt quite strongly that I must go again on a non-tapas night when I told him I was going there this evening for dinner. What? Go a second time? Twist my rubber arm!
Since it was my obsession that brought us there, my husband and friend let me drive the boat. I immediately jumped in and started ordering.
Olives in herbs, chili, lemon, oh how delicious you are to me. We also got some bread for dipping that came with herbed goat cheese, olive oil and balsamic.
Roasted yellow beets. I love beets! As does my husband, my friend Gina, and many other people I know (Marysol!). These ones came with a pepper puree, creamy herbed goat cheese, heavenly candied pecans, radish sprouts and tiny round slivers of radish.
Another light dish as we slowly worked our way up to the heavier ones, Albacore tuna tataki with a sweet mango and red pepper salad, soy marinated mushrooms, spiced honey, lime, shiso.
This maple roasted duck breast was one of my favourites, served with red cabbage, foie gras vinaigrette and pea shoots. The menu stated it also came with candied pecans but they were nowhere to be found. That was ok with me though since they were replaced with these tiny little lentils that tasted just like homemade baked beans, yummy!
The smoked fish cakes we ordered were delicious. Smoking + fish cakes = heaven. These tasty bites were served on a bed of mango salad, guacamole, Daikon sprouts and roasted jalapeno mayo.
Then came the shrimp lollipops – so fun! Tempura shrimp, so light and crispy, melted to an oil as soon as it hit your tongue. The sweet chili sauce for dipping was to-die-for and made you want to eat so many more than the three on your plate. And the slivers of carrot on the side were doused in aromatic truffle oil.
The seared foie gras with roasted pepper French toast and maple syrup was painfully rich, but the pickled apple and apple chutney helped bring you back to normal levels of indulgence. The entire thing was like butter in your mouth.
And last, but certainly not least, the steak tartare. One of the more mild tartares I've ever had, flavoured beautifully with truffle oil, my favourite herb – cilantro, chives, lime, 8 year old balsamic, bacon candy – ohhhh bacon candy, and aioli.
Petite portions with a multitude of ingredients that made each dish unique, along with good service and a warm atmosphere made this evening one to remember. Tapas prices range from $3 to $12 per plate.