Sunday, November 8, 2009

Canoe Restaurant with Les Chevaliers du Tastevin

This event, the Chapitre, is an annual event at which potential members are inducted into this burgundy wine society.

The staff at Canoe were extremely professional. The chefs created some very ambitious dishes that were well executed.

Our dinner began with warm Qualicum Beach scallops, and remarkably, since one so rarely sees this presentation in Toronto restaurants, the scallops had their wonderful roe sacks attached. Not being able to eat that wonderful morsel for a scallop lover is like a marrow bone lover being presented with the bone....with no marrow!! The scallops were perfect! The scallop, barely cooked, was actually raw in the middle and exceptionally sweet. It was presented on a highly complementary finely chopped fennel, chervil, thyme beurre blanc sauce.

The next course  was a gratin of a slice of Cookstown beet and a sunflower blossom puree on top of which was placed shredded duck confit. The beet and the duck...what a wonderful marriage of flavours.

The following course was a "choux farci" of pulled Spring Creek organic brisket aside some petit gris escargot, all on a bed of a blend of pureed celery root, parsely puree and beef jus. Another highly flavoured and enjoyable dish.

The intermezzo was a Green Coronation grape sorbet.

The final main was rare Conquest Hill squab breast, a thick slice of simmered butterball potato, a barely cooked slice of warm fois gras, a confit of squab leg and bluefoot chanterelles. A single sprig of coriander leaf was presented with this group of made no sense because in fact eating that 1 small leaf added a flattering dimension to the tastes, but the presentation was too precious......I believe that a small dab of the leaf pureed would have been more meaningful from both a taste and presentation perspective.

The dessert followed, Forelle pear, poached in red wine syrup and made as an intensely falvourful tarte tatin was presented with a small scoop of vanilla bean ice cream and a smear of highly reduced and viscous Coronation Grape syrup. A great finish to a wonderful meal!

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