Friday, December 10, 2010

The Whalesbone Oyster House

I am in love. The Whalesbone just updated their menu and it is filled with delectable treats. The other night my friend Lara and I managed to make it through a few of the new plates, opting for apps so we could try as many dishes as possible – each one very easily shared. A bottle of Russian River Valley Pinot Noir escorted us the whole way and the chefs selection of oysters set the evening, and what was soon to be one of my best food experiences ever, off to a great start.

It seemed the world around us vanished as we engulfed in conversation, coming back to reality only when our dishes were served. First, Bigeye tuna, flesh tender and surrounded by decadently arranged halved caper berries, celery, fleuron, fennel pollen, black olive, vanilla and a sinful dusting of bitter chocolate flecks.

Next, a picturesque dish of ruby red raspberries, wild salmon crudo, bonito (I admire Charlotte's devotion to the mackerel family as I too am a huge fan), seaweed, black herring caviar, crème fraîche, almonds, lemon and sinful truffle oil. We reveled in every morsel, each one differing from the last as we opted for a more savory bite one minute, and then loaded up with the sweet berries and crème on the next.

Whoever says you need vegetables with your meal is out to lunch. Our third dish, bone marrow and foie gras served on a wooden board, is rustic in nature. Being tasked with digging out the marrow made the dish that much more special. I can still remember watching my grandfather patiently sort through the, what seemed like, millions of bones in his fresh-caught fish. Although way more tedious in comparison, I still feel that last bit of fat found in the bone equally rewarding. And if you don't get your fill of richness from that, the tantalizing piece of foie gras perched on perfectly crisp toast will have you feeling very satisfied. Surrounded by this melt-in-your-mouth pocket of richness was a graceful tumble of parsley, salt, dijon, white fish caviar, Balkan yogurt and sweet honey.

Finally, a lovely cheese plate served as a segue into our final dish – a yummy seasonal Christmas cake. And the last few sips of wine sadly brought the evening to an end. Bellies full and oh-so-satisfied.

Service, as always, was exceptional and every detail made for a memorable evening. Impatiently waiting for my next visit.

Whalesbone Oyster House
430 Bank Street
Ottawa, Ontario

Whalesbone Oyster House on Urbanspoon


Anonymous said...

that looks like a beautiful meal! the cheese platter is one of the best on offer me thinks! next time - i want to go with you (please)! delish!

Rachelle said...

you got it!!

Tracey said...

This post was delicious to read..

S Lloyd said...

Thanks for this write up. I stumbled on your web blog whilst searching for infos on this restaurant since I am planning to visit Ottawa next summer. I am amazed by the creative looking dishes. I do not recall seeing this kind of attractive plating oftently.