Wednesday, March 24, 2010
One of the things I used to love more than anything in the world when I lived in Moncton was going out for a nice dinner by myself. There's something just so therapeutic about it. Every single sip of wine, and every delicious morsel of food has your full attention. And did it ever tonight.
Ever since I saw their tasting special (5 apps or dessert of your choice for $37), I've been wanting to come back and dig in. The evening I saw it I had to be somewhere by a specific time and didn't want to rush it. It's been calling me since. However, after a few words with my server, I quickly realized that that would be too much food for me on my own (I guess I'll have to go back!). So I dumbed it down to 3. Three magnificent choices.
Before any of my apps arrived, a plate of olive bread and fresh rolls straight from the oven were delivered with olive oil and balsamic for dipping. As I began pulling the warm rolls apart, revealing their dense, doughy center, I begged myself not to eat too much. I hate filling up on bread, but it's so damn difficult to pass it up sometimes!
Luckily my soup arrived before I made it to the second roll. One of the best French onion soups I've ever had, made with rye rarebit croutons. I cut into the slice of bread with my spoon and realized that this was not your typical soup-soaked crouton. It was like a dream, melted cheese blanketing a slice of toasted bread that was still crispy, yet melted in your mouth. Each spoonful got softer as I worked my way to the other end of the slice, but the final bite still had a slight crisp. Mustard, thyme and beer were the added flavours that made your heart sing.
I love fruit in savoury situations, which is why I went for the rosemary caramelized pear and garlic confit tart as my next dish. These delectable slices of pear were framed in a light, flaky crust and served underneath a dollop of soft fromage du maison. Yumm.
Finally (and yes, I was getting full at this point), fish croquettes with smoked tomato remoulade and échalottes-lemon oil. Three tasty dumpling-shaped fritters breaded a little too dry and coarse in comparison to the succulent interior, but the mouthwatering remoulade made up for it.
This restaurant is a staple of mine for breakfast, but after tonight will have to include dinner. Although the view of the busy street outside isn't the most appealing, the warm and inviting decor inside, paired with the easygoing, cordial staff, make you feel like you're dining at a friend's place. Apps range from $6 to $9 and mains from $17 to $40. They even have smaller portion options!