Nelson @ Queen Street West: We went here because we couldn't get seating at The County General next door, but it turned out to be a good thing.
Kitty and I started with the Burrata - Ontario Peach, Szechuan peppercorn, cava rosemary, pistachio, almond cracker ($19). The burrata was extremely light and didn't have much taste, but the texture was so delicate, almost egg like. Very unique. The peppercorn were not only spicy but also had salt in them making them little balls of extreme flavour. The cava stuff was slightly sweet and the almond crackers were crumbly and not that distinct. Overall pretty good and very nice to look at, but the portions were a little small.
Kitty had the rabbit - sweetbreads, adzuki bean, clover, hay ($26). The way it is plated seems like a piece of art. Almost so nice that I wouldn't want to eat it. The sweetbreads were really really good (at first I thought it was dark rabbit meat, haha) while the white meat of the rabbit was a bit drier, but not objectionably dry. The rest of the dish was pretty good with the paste (I think made of adzuki bean) tasting much like a walnut puree.
I had the Ontario grass-fed beef with potato risotto, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, marrow ($25). The beef itself was really really good, tender and flavourful throughout with just the right amount of fat. Surprisingly the potato risotto was even better. It had a great texture with a complex depth of flavour that I have no idea how they created it. The brussel sprouts were quite good as well as I believe they were grilled and had none of the bad ammonia flavour of improperly cooked brussel sprouts.
Ken picked a Cabernet Franc - Chateau Roudier 'Montagne St. Emilion' 2005 ($65) and it was splendid.
Overall the dishes had really outstanding presentation and it was all set in a really eye catching restaurant space. A lot of attention was paid to the visual appeal of everything here, but the food's taste matches that attention to detail. If only there was a little more food, it was really be a perfect Canadian dining experience.
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