Nelson @ Stratford: Here to check out a play in Stratford, we had dinner at Mercer Hall right before.
Good start as the bread service is pretzel buns with a really good mustard. This is an awesome combination. I liked the pretzel bun shape and it could only be better if the pretzels were served warm. Still excellent though.
Our drinks were a Wellington SPA (special pale ale), and a Neutradt 10w30. The second is a brown ale, but it was very much like a stout except in texture.
For appetizers, we tried the steak tartare ($14): chef-cut tenderloin, gaufrette chips, 65° egg yolk, lemon dressed microgreens. I have never ever seen an egg yolk cooked this precisely and the result is a completely unique texture and consistency. It was thick and solid, yet malleable and soft. I asked the bartender how it was cooked and he explained that it is cooked sous vide to the exact temperature, where the egg white will melt off leaving the yolk. Amazing and tasty. The chips were like a light and freshly made hickory stick, which I really like. Meanwhile the supposed star of the dish the steak tartare was good, with the capers making it a tad too salty for my liking.
Summer Risotto ($21): locally grown seasonal vegetables, truffle, cave-aged taleggio. The risotto very rich, which is good because the dish was very shallow. The cheese was quite smelly but good to taste despite the unpleasant fragrance. I found the truffle not that strong in this dish despite it supposed to be real truffle. I sometimes find truffle oil has a stronger taste, but I'm no expert. To round out the ingredients, there were garlic stems, squash and a bit of spinach. It was a well done dish, small, but rich and tasty.
Duck Duo ($26): seared breast, pulled confit, pickled cheery, wild + red rice, reduced duck jus. The duck has some Asian flavour to it, especially when I ate it with the rice. To Definitely not Asian, the cherries lent a nice tartness and sweetness to balance the dish. Surprisingly, the seared duck on top was only OK and a little tough despite it looking like it was cooked perfectly. Much harder to see in the picture, the confit sticks out of the rice in places and is is tastier and more tender. Good job there. The duck had great depth of flavour and the cherries complement the overall dish surprisingly well. Another well done dish.
We don't usually have dessert, but opted for some here. We had the Jelly Doughnut Creme Brulee ($5) with local preserve and doughnut. The creme brulee is very creamy and rich and therefore very yummy. The preserve was a little too tart for my liking. The doughnut in comparison to everything else was very plain as it was just fried dough.
Some green tea to finish the meal. Overall I was impressed by the quality of this restaurant and the skill of their chefs. Service was great as well, so it was a good experience all around!
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