Click inside to read their reviews.
Matt's PerspectiveIt was a cold cold night. Bitterly cold. I picked up Cindy at 5:30 from her place of work. She had a funny winter hat on that quite amused me. We went directly to the restaurant (actually, we went to my apartment for a bit, but don’t tell her boyfriend. Anyways … sheeeesh … she just wanted to see my TV). We left the apartment after 10 minutes and went directly to the restaurant. We were greeted by a very friendly waiter who offered to take our coats. We both declined. I think Cindy was planning on stealing the silverware sometime during the night and needed a place to stash the goods.
We sat down. My shirt was a little wrinkled, so I was a bit self-conscious about that. I let Cindy look at the wine list because she’s fancy … and is generally better at picking out wines than me. We had a slight disagreement about one of the wines, but of course she realized I was correct. It was a 2001 Bleasdale Mulberry Tree … I told her we had it before but she didn’t believe me. I knew though … I knew. Cindy ordered the wine, and we went on to discuss things such as current events, politics and fine wines. Actually, we talked about how I have a reputation for being a player.
The wine came to the table. It was awesome! Seriously. At this point I should describe Cindy’s pants. She had these red chords on that she really likes. I enjoy them as well.
We ordered our meal. Cindy ordered Quail for an appetizer and beef tenderloin for her main course. I ordered scallops for my appetizer and then beef tenderloin as well. And then, I was feeling a bit frisky and decided to order yet another appetizer for the two of us to share … a mushroom tart.
First off … the amuse bouche. That’s a little “pre-appetizer” appetizer that is served on a small spoon. I can’t remember what it was, but it was sort of like a hard pate. It had a small pickle on it that reminded me of Christmas. I think at this point, I went for my first pee of the night. I had been drinking water all day and it had just started to hit me.
The appetizers arrived at the table. The scallops were among the best I have ever had (rivaled only by Da Maurizio, which are served in a port reduction sauce I believe). I don’t really remember what was served with the scallops but it sort of had a texture of ginger. Cindy put little pieces of Quail on my plate and they were the tiniest tastiest little bird legs I have ever had. After we had both finished our individual appetizers, we went on to share the mushroom tart. It was like we had moved onto dessert before the main courses even arrived. I think people should make mushroom tarts instead of apple pies this Christmas … seriously. If you could describe happiness as a taste, I would describe it as mushroom tart. “How are you today, Matthew?” “I am feeling very MUSHROOM TART today … thank you for asking”.
The chef, Dennis Johnston came out from the kitchen at this point to greet us. Dennis is one of the nicest people you will ever meet, and if you have a chance to go to FID, make sure to have him come out to talk to him about your meal. He cares a great deal about the food he serves.
After the appetizers, we continued to drink our wine. At this point we started discussing Cindy’s current boyfriend “situation” and I talked about the girl I am dating. We also talked about what we would do if we didn’t have to work anymore. Cindy would like to go to Spain (or maybe she said Italy) and sell flowers. I think I would like to work with animals. We were served an apple sorbet at this point. Very tasty. Very very tasty.
At this point, I had to go pee again and I think that Cindy had to pee too.
Main Courses! We both ordered the same entrees (with the exception that Cindy ordered her tenderloin medium and I ordered mine medium rare). The beef was sitting on a bed of spinach. On the side, there was a small bowl filled with a creamy, cheesy something (I think whipped potatoes … but fancier). The beef was amazing. However, I think that Cindy and I got our beef mixed up. No matter … we switched and everything was peachy again. I was in beef tenderloin heaven. I’m not good at describing food … so picture Homer Simpson salivating over a donut. That’s how Cindy looked (except much more attractive). I tried to finish all of mine, but I failed.
By this point we had finished the bottle of wine but were still feeling a bit parched. So we each ordered some more wine by the glass (same wine). I was no longer feeling cold from being outside at this point. I was also probably flirting with Cindy a bit, as I tend to do when I’m drinking … but I’m sure it was very subtle, and of course just in a friendly manner.
The desert menu arrived. Cindy chose a mixture of three different deserts! One of them was a ginger crème Brule, another was a chocolate desert (I’m allergic to chocolate so it was all hers) and the final desert totally escapes my memory … although I think it was like a creamy green tower, if that makes sense. Afterwards, Cindy had herself an espresso. I tried a little bit of it, but I don’t really like coffee. She downed it like a shot of tequila. What a girl.
The entire meal lasted approximately 3.5 hours from start to finish. It was an amazing experience. Everything, from the appetizers to the deserts, was exceptional! At one point, the waiter even took a small comb to the table to remove the crumbs. You can’t get service like that at every restaurant in the city, that’s for sure.
One more pee … that’s right … three times during the course of the evening. At this point it was the wine that was affecting me I think. Also, both of us were having trouble moving from all the food. At the end of the night, we thanked the waiter. Dennis came out again from the kitchen and we thanked him as well. We went out into the cold night again, sat in the van for a few minutes while I made Cindy listen to John Frusciante on the CD player and then I drove her home. Altogether, it was a great evening out at a great restaurant. And Cindy was fortunate to have a great guy like me to share the evening with.
Cindy's Perspective"Oh hello Pat," chirped Matt as Cindy hopped into the passenger seat, sporting her finest –40 proof winter gear. "Well hello, mister fashion over mittens" she replied pulling off her toque and stuffing it into her laptop packsack.
Entering the restaurant, they were greeted by a warm smile and shown to their seats. "Something to drink?" offered the waiter. After a quick scan of the wine list and light debate over whether or not the vintage was in fact liked, Cindy asked for the Bleasdale while Matt concurred knowingly. In a flash a bottle appeared, glasses were filled and the toasting and savoring began. "Okay, you were right," Cindy admitted quickly changing the subject to the menu.
While Matt order not one, but two appetizers, "because one is for sharing", he was careful to show the waiter that the caramelized scallops should be placed directly in front of him, while the shitake mushroom and cheese tart should be placed more in the centre, and yet still closer to his side of the table.
A wonderful smell suddenly hit the table as the appetizers were arranged with great care and presentation. The crab apple lacquered quail was divine as was the bed of Savoy cabbage it rested on. The scallops had their own unique flair being kept completely in tact, tasting as if they come directly from the ocean and taking on the hint of mandarin orange that also graced the dish. The shitake mushrooms were filled with flavor as was the delicate tart encasing them. Polite sharing was entertained, but it was clear that these gastric treats would not last for long. With strategic timing, Matt ensured the lion’s share of the central appetizer with distraction techniques. Placing a succulent piece of scallop on Cindy’s plate he was careful to pick up a large portion of tart upon retuning to his own plate.
Very chatty now, warm from extravagant food and wine, and ready for the main course, they were not disappointed when two beautiful tenderloins appeared in front of them, arranged on a nest of sautéed spinach. The steak drizzled in a decadent sauce and sprinkled with crispy onion chips, was cut like butter and the accompanying dish of puréed cheese potatoes had a melt-in-your-mouth flair.
As if this feast wasn’t enough, the waiter returned again with dessert menus and soon a trio of key lime mousse, moelleux au chocolat and ginger crème brûlée were placed in the centre of the table. Single espresso shot ended the night and feeling the force of many additional pounds, the two diners waddled out the restaurant.