Canoe restaurant has undergone rather extensive renovation. It feels lighter and more open. The service is invariably impeccable. But, how was the food? We had the good fortune of being cared for by the # 2 chef, John Horne, a gent who seems well assured, attentive, observant and very good with the execution and fine tuning of the concept of a dish. We worked with him planning an event for the Chevalier Du Tastevin (Burgundy Wine Society).
We began with various hors d'oevres, Screech marinated fois gras torchon, topped with peach compote, on toasted brioche. The Screech braces your palette for the rich foie gras and sweet contrast of the fruit.
Pristinely fresh east coast oysters were topped with cucumber pearls, a highly flattering match of flavours. We did not add the flavours of lemon. It was not only not needed but would be unflattering for our rich white burg wine.
Our final app was tempura fried pickerel cheeks partnered with a lovely tarragon flavoured mayonnaise and candied blood orange. This chef is very wise with his flavour pairings.
We enjoyed a pan seared Qualicum bay scallop with a very sweet, perfectly underdone centre that was paired with maple braised St Canut pork belly, aged sunflower seed oil, all mounted on a sweet and slightly earthy cauliflower puree. The fat of the St Canut pork is a favourite of mine, the pig being finished on sweet cream the past few weeks of it's life and was enjoyed with the flavours of the puree and scallop.
Apple wood smoked goose, once again perfectly cooked rare and so pleasantly flavoured with smoke was well paired with the flavours of a sweet squash puree, a ball of Swiss chard, huckleberry and concord grape jus and the wonderful texture of the red quinoa.
Wellington beef tenderloin that had been rubbed with green elder flower and black plum, was perfectly rare and juicy and so well matched with a chestnut tourtiere, seared leek and earthy flavoured steel cut oats that added a wonderful texture to this dish.
Caramelized Niagara pear tart was presented with a caramelized birch sauce and a Labrador tea ice cream. A perfect dish for a well matched sweet flavoured sauterne with a pleasant and necessary mildly acidic finish.