Archive for February, 2008

And Then It Was Over… Plus, Dinners At Globe Bistro

Another year has passed.

And, as I’d been expecting, I was underwhelmed again.

Very few people that are close to me even remembered that it was my birthday.

The Everyman took me to Globe Bistro for dinner.  We went there for our anniversary in December, so I was looking forward to tasting some more of their menu.  I was a little bummed that there weren’t as many delicious sounding things as there had been last time though.  As is my custom, I asked to see the dessert menu before ordering.  For some reason they’re featuring a selection of British desserts right now – sticky toffee pudding, trifle and bread pudding.  Interesting.

We were served some delicious red fife wheat bread to start, with that amazing, smoky hummus – yum!  Then, we were brought an amuse bouche of puff pastry with goat cheese, caramelized onions, and a grape half.  It was so good I commented to the Everyman that I wished I could have 10 more. :)

The last time we visited, I’d had scallops with pork belly and they were absolutely divine.  The Everyman had ordered a special called jump up soup, which was a Caribbean spiced soup with peanuts that he thought was great and spicy, but I thought was gross.

Anyhow, for our first course, I decided to have scallops (again) and the Everyman had a beef consomme with cheddar and caramelized onions.  My scallops came with frizzled prosciutto, creme fraiche, pumpernickel croutons and a winter squash puree.  The plate was stunning.  Their presentation is always gorgeous, very colorful and artistic.  The food was amazing too.  The squash puree was so good I ended up using not only the scallop to mop it up, but also an extra slice of bread.  I tried a few sips of the Everyman’s consomme, and it was yumlicious; beefy and reminded me of french onion soup.  I thought it was a nice touch that they brought the broth out separately and poured the carafe of it tableside.  Everyman says: Consomme gooooooood.

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Guess What?

So tomorrow is my birthday.

I’m actually not excited about it.  No, really.

It happens the same way every year.

I get really excited about it in the weeks or months leading up to my birthday, but once it’s really close,  I start to get depressed.  Nobody ever remembers my birthday.  At this point nothing’s even happened yet and I’m already disappointed.  I’d rather just stay in bed tomorrow and pretend like it didn’t happen at all.

Until next time…

Always Carry A Spoon, Because You Never Know When Food Is Gonna Break Out!

So, it’s taken me a few days to collect my thoughts, but I’m finally ready to write about our Valentine’s Day dinner at Mistura.

Actually, to be honest, I’ve just been lazy the last few days, lounging around the house obsessing over a video game.  The fact that it was Family Day in Ontario yesterday didn’t help either, because it just made me want to sit around like a bump on a log even more.

But, on to the exciting stuff – the food!

Let me start off by saying, this was quite possibly the fastest dinner I’ve ever experienced in a fine dining establishment.  We had a 9 o’clock reservation, and we were out the door before 10:30.  You could tell they were definitely trying to maximize the Valentine’s Day seatings, because they had people with reservations sitting down at 10, and even when we were leaving around 10:30.

As an appetizer I had a parmagiano tartlet, with wild mushrooms and herb salad.  It was beautifully presented, with colorful little grape tomato halves strewn about the plate.  The mushrooms were delish, and the whole thing was very satisfying, if a tiny bit salty.

My other half had a Caprese salad which had both fresh and roasted tomatoes.  It had a sprinkling of garlic bread croutons and a massive chunk of bufala mozzarella.  Everyman says: Good cheese, soggy croutons.

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Happy Love Day

I know, I know, everyone says that Valentine’s Day is just a crappy, commercial holiday.  And it is, I’m not arguing.  But on the flip side, I do think it’s nice that a publicly enforced holiday can make men do nice things for the ladies in their lives.  I mean, so many men take their women for granted, and don’t even comprehend all that they do on a daily basis.  So I’m ok with Hallmark forcing them to buy chocolate.  They should.  But really, they should just do it more often, and then we wouldn’t need this day in the first place, now would we? :)

As for me, the Everyman has revealed that we will be going to Mistura for our Love Day dinner.  I was very surprised, since we’ve both been sick lately, and I wasn’t really expecting anything at all.  That’s part of the reason I love him I guess; he always manages to surprise me with stuff when I least expect it.

I’m really looking forward to seeing what Massimo will come up with tonight.  I’ve never been there before, but I do love to watch him on Restaurant Makeover (he’s pretty much the only reason I’ll watch it).

My favorite Massimo-ism is “Always have a spoon, ‘cuz you never know when food is gonna break out!”

Couldn’t have said it better myself.  I’ll post my review tomorrow.

Until next time…

Oliver and Bonacini Cafe Grill – Collingwood

Since we couldn’t get out to Eigensinn Farm the first time around, we ended up going to dinner on site at Blue Mountain at the Oliver Bonacini Cafe Grill.  If you’re ever in the area, you should make a point to go and have a drink with Rob, the nicest bartender in the world.  We told him our sad story and he made it his personal mission to ensure that we had a wonderful evening anyway.  And then we had a snafu, but more on that later.

For the first part of our meal, we were sitting at the bar, because we had no reservations and it was a busy Friday evening.  So we sat there and had a few drinks first, and I discovered one of my favorite drinks of all time.  Rob makes this amazing drink called a Crazy Wisdom, which is fresh lime mix, tequila and green tea liqueur in equal parts.  Might sound strange, but by the end of the evening, I’d had 5 of them, and boy were they delicious.

For an appetizer, I had the beef carpaccio with wild and tame mushrooms, parmagiano shavings and truffle oil.  I loved it.  I’m not usually a big fan of carpaccio, but I could’ve just eaten a pile of this stuff for dinner instead.  Mmm.  The Everyman had a caesar salad with ciabatta croutons; he tends to stick to a few classics when we go out for dinner.  Everyman says: standard bacon-less caesar… boo hiss!

About the time our main courses were ready, they had a table for us in the dining room, so we left bartender Rob.  For the rest of the night though, he continued to look out for us.  (I love him in a non-sexual way – I’m always a sucker for great service) For our mains I had (big surprise) the seared sea scallops with a tomato jam, served on a mixed bed of beans and pasta.  It was tasty, and I really liked the jam, however I wasn’t a huge fan of the bean/pasta mixture, but that’s just me.  The Everyman had a striploin with buttermilk mashed potatoes, roasted root vegetables and caramelized onion jus, with a side of onion rings.  Everyman says: steak was well cooked and seasoned, but onion rings were a little soggy.

Since I was still sort of bummed out that we hadn’t made it to Eigensinn Farm, I decided to order myself a really bitchin’ dessert.  Well, that consisted of two desserts actually.  I had a vanilla bean creme brulee and a Soma chocolate ice cream.  The server who brought them out commented that I was “awesome” because I ordered two desserts for myself.  Well alright then, I’ll take it!  The creme brulee was fantastic, and really, it’s very hard to screw up creme brulee, although I managed to do it the time I tried to make a blueberry one, but that story will have to wait for another day.  The ice cream had a good chocolate flavor, but suffered from ice crystals, a sign that the ice cream had been lounging in the freezer a bit too long.  I can’t really fault them, the Soma place that supplies it is in Toronto, and I doubt they get weekly shipments of ice cream.  Overall our dinner was amazing, considering the circumstances.

And then there was our snafu.  When we were settling up the bill, Rob asked us if we wanted to charge it to our room, so of course we said yes, that would be quicker, wouldn’t it?  Off we went.  We did not find out until the next day when we were checking out of the Mosaic building that the Oliver Bonacini Cafe Grill is not associated with the building we were staying in, and therefore our bill was not charged to our room, but the room of someone in the Westin.  So off we went to the Oliver Bonacini Cafe Grill for a buffet breakfast and to get the matter sorted out.  Forty minutes later, all was handled, and for the hassle they ended up comping our meal, which was completely unneccessary, but nice.

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Eigensinn Farm… Ooh La La!

The Everyman is really a wonderful guy sometimes.

Where The Magic Happens

For Christmas 2007 he got me the gift of a dinner at Eigensinn Farm.  It came with this really cool autographed book from the farm about their Heaven on Earth project.  Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I think the chef is completely out to lunch, but I don’t think there’s any denying that he knows food.  Besides, most chefs are a little crazy, and they have to be to work in that sort of environment every day.

Anyhow, we had dinner reservations for February 1st, and let me tell you, I was looking forward to that day for a month and a half.  Of course, the heavens had other plans that day, which mostly involved thwarting my efforts to get there.  February 1st turned out to be one of the really brutal winter storm days we had, and it took us a good 4 hours to drive to Blue Mountain in Collingwood where we were staying.  Once we got there, we figured we were home free, but it turned out that the weather was so bad that the taxi company would not drive us out to the farm, because they were worried they would not be able to retrieve us after dinner.  And thus, my attempt to have my dream dinner disintegrated before my eyes.  I was crushed, heart-broken, etc, but luckily Nobuyo completely understood and rescheduled our dinner for the following weekend.  The wait was on again.  To appease ourselves, we ended up dining at the Oliver Bonacini Cafe in the Westin building, but more on that in another post.

So, on to round two.  Of course, being winter in Ontario, when we drove up on February 9th, it was snowing pretty badly again.  I was terrified that we were just going to repeat our experience last weekend, but still, we plowed on.  This time we decided to stay in the Westin building, and we called and confirmed our taxi service before we even left our house.  And we made it.  Yes we did.  What follows is as detailed an account as I can remember of our 9 course meal.  I took pictures of each dish, but Nobuyo asked us not to post them on the internet, so they’ll just have to be my own personal memories.  I’ll do the best I can to describe everything we ate instead.

First off, let me say, this place is beautiful.  You walk through what looks like this tiny entrance to a farm house, into this beautiful, dimly lit room with a roaring fireplace.  There are large, colourful circles painted on the ceiling that are outlined in gold leaf, and a sculpture in the corner of driftwood and a pair of naked plastic baby dolls.  It’s strange and eclectic, but it works.  Each dinner party had their own table, and when we sat down at ours, we noticed that there was a small leg bone of meat on the fire.  One wonders whether this is to be served to us later.  Mmm, the possibilities.  Everyone here is incredibly friendly, and adept at service.  They are unimposing, but completely take care of all of your needs.  There were only 12 people dining, and they had Nobuyo (his wife) and another woman taking care of us all.  I felt royally pampered the whole time.

But on to the food, you say!  So to start, we were brought out an elegant, handmade plate in the shape of an artist’s palette.  Our first course was a 5 bite appetizer arranged around the palette, which included a bite of wild venison glazed with raspberry on a twig, a chicken liver on toast round, a vegetarian dumpling in a won ton type wrapper, smoked meat on a tiny piece of rosti and a bit of ham they cure in house.  Words cannot properly convey the deliciousness of this food.  Honestly.  I’m reading my description and thinking to myself, that totally doesn’t even begin to describe how good it was.

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Hello world!

Hey there everybody!

I guess this is the inaugural post to Foodie and the Everyman.  How exciting!  I hope you find my blog as interesting and insightful to read as I find it to write.

Happy eating!