Showing posts with label Bistro. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bistro. Show all posts

Bistro Mirepoix (St. Catherines)

How sweet it is to be able to dine at a restaurant again – not takeout or delivery, but really sit there and enjoy the whole experience of being at somewhere else. My last experience was back in the fall of 2020, bundled up outside desperately getting in a last meal before the winter began. So, I was practically like a giddy child as I settled into a sectioned off table at Bistro Mirepoix. OMG is that a menu? I get to have a conversation over coffee before the meal arrives. Is this real?!

Go big or go home with this first taste of freedom. The pork belly and brie eggs benedict ($20) beckoned, not merely because of the decadence of the dish, but it being something so intricate that I’d never make myself. Despite all this quarantine cooking, I’m not about to start smoking pork belly, whipping up hollandaise sauce, or even attempt to poach eggs. All this I’ll leave to the professionals.

That first bite was just heavenly. The thick slab of pork belly nicely rendered that I could even overlook it was a bit too sweet for my taste. Despite having a golden caramelized crust, it was surprisingly soft and melded into molten egg yolks so nicely. With all the creamy elements, if that slice of sourdough bread lining the plate was toasted more to add a crunchy complement, the dish would be perfect.

I dove into the plate with gusto, dipping the hot roasted fingerling potatoes into egg yolk. How can I make this hour sitting limit last? Try as I might, I couldn’t finish all the starches. This benny is a hearty dish that leaves you full all day.

Thankfully, I had the sense to get a side of greens ($5), the balsamic tossed spring mix really helps cut the fattiness of the pork belly. Without it, the decadence may be overwhelming.

Just one dish will provide enough sustenance for the day, which is perfect for a day out in wine country. Take the classic breakfast ($22) – there’s a big hunk of pork belly, a sizeable sausage patty and baked beans as well. A big breakfast to soak up all the tipples of a wine-fueled day. The restaurant’s proximity to Jordan station and Niagara-on-the-Lake certainly makes it an easy stopping point.

This one meal at Bristro Miropoix felt like a spring awakening – there is a bright future to more dine-in experiences to come. Let the beautiful brunch blooms begin!

Overall mark - 8 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: St. Catherines, Canada
 Address: 64 Court Street


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____________________________
Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!


Is That It? I Want More!

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Browne's Bistro (Toronto)


Tucked in a corner of a stone building off Avenue, you may miss the steps down to Brownes Bistro. Leading to a rather large restaurant, their décor is classic: the dining room consisting of dark wood and cream linens. If you’re a fan of old school restaurants like me, you’re in for a treat.    

Their Summerlicious menu ($28) was equally traditional, with the exception of the vegetable samosa, suitably safe for non-adventurous eaters. Of course, as a food lover, I love trying new things. But, sometimes I get tired of the shared fusion plates, doused in a variety of sauces and start yearning for timeless dishes.

If Browne’s grilled calamari weren’t so salty, the starter would have been good: the seafood was tender with a gentle smokiness. However, this was ruined by over seasoning the calamari when the aged balsamic and shallot sauce drizzled on top was also so flavourful.  


Despite being thinly sliced, the Atlantic salmon was surprisingly moist having been grilled quickly so it was just cooked through. Unlike the starter, the fish was simply topped with a citrus-herb-lime infused butter and seasoned suitably.


Although the presentation of the apple rhubarb crisp could be improved, the dessert was satisfying – plenty of apples and rhubarb baked until soft but still having bite. Not overly sweet, the dish relied on the buttery crumble topping and French vanilla ice cream to make it a dessert.


Summerlicious gets a bad reputation amongst those working in the industry – I understand, they’re often serving a lot more food to a lot more people than they’re normally used to. With the special pricing, bill totals will ring in less so their gratuities are otherwise lower. Encounter dinner guests that are especially demanding (please don’t ask for substitutions) and I can see why it’s a draining two weeks.

Yet, it’s also the perfect opportunity for restaurants to expand their clientele. If it weren’t for Summerlicious, I would have never tried Brownes Bistro, having found it by looking for dinner menus with a specific price point that’s close to home.

Luckily, Theo, our server for the evening, didn’t mind the event. He welcomed us warmly, offered to take pictures, and joked with us throughout the evening … even though we were rowdier than their normal clientele (residents of the areas).

Foodies, I challenge you to look past what’s flashy and new. Sometimes you need to step back and reconnect with the classics. After all, it’s not that often a business survives, let alone lasts over 30 years, there must be a reason.

Overall mark - 7 out of 10
Is Summerlicious worth it (based on my meal selection)?
Summerlicious - $28
Regular menu - $42 - calamari ($12), salmon ($22) and dessert* ($8)
Savings - $14 or 33%
* The dessert price is a wild guess from me

How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 1251 Yonge Street

Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more - https://twitter.com/GastroWorldBlog
____________________________
Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!


Is That It? I Want More!

Other Gastro World posts similar to this:


Browne's Bistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wish (Toronto)



Wish Cafe Toronto


Wish has a patio that elicits, “This is so adorable!” comments. With the white washed furniture and cream drapery, there’s a Tetro Verde vibe and allows for people watching on a quieter street in Yorkville. Service is rather slow, but when you’re seated on comfortable couches and having a great conversation with friends, the wait is actually enjoyable.

Visiting for a Summerlicious ($35) dinner, the restaurant was still calm at 6:30. However, an hour later, every table on the patio was occupied. Luckily, we had our orders in so the starters came out at a decent time. The grilled New Zealand lamb chops smelled intoxicating with the scent of charred meat comingling with the mint and citrus pesto.

Lamb chops wish cafe

Although our server requested how we’d like the lamb done (medium rare and medium the consensus), they all arrived well done. Restaurants need to carefully consider their ability to execute upon requests. If it’s difficult to meet exact demands during busy periods, I’d prefer the chef just decide what’s best and serve. Although I prefer the lamb less done, it was still tender and well flavoured; if it was just served that way I’d be content. However, I couldn’t help feeling something was wrong as, in this case, as it wasn’t cooked to my initial specifications.

The poached salmon was moist and flavourful having been brined in a spice mix prior to cooking. Vibrant roasted heirloom carrots set off the pale pink salmon while their natural sweetness complimented the creamy kale veloutee (essentially a creamed kale).

Poached salmon wish cafe

My friend’s half cornish hen was succulent and the dish had a rustic feel to it with the simple but delicious romesco buttered vegetables and a sprinkling of burnt rye toast crumbs on top for added texture.

Cornish hen Wish cafe

It was during dessert where the food started to falter. The Summerlicious menu tempted me with an “apple cinnamon divine”, but despite ordering before 7pm, they had already run out. If a restaurant is only responsible for offering three menu items, the pastry chef needs to ensure they have adequate amounts of it. Sure, I understand if something stocks out at 9pm… but, close to the start of dinner service? That’s poor planning.

An apple crumble pie was the mediocre substitute. Although the filling had a fair amount of apples, it was served cold and unadorned – no scoop of ice cream or even drizzle of caramel – hardly an adequate replacement for something that was “divine”.

Apple pie wish cafe

The spiced kraken rum rice pudding was thick and its paste-like texture not the most pleasant. Personally, I feel just a splash of coconut milk would help thin it out and help it develop a velvety texture. A huge slab of white chocolate speared the dessert adding a decorative element; if broken into smaller pieces and mixed into the pudding instead, it could have provided the much needed texture and flavour contrast.

Rice pudding wish cafe

Wish's plating is on point, providing Instagram worthy photos that will certainly draw in crowds. Sitting out on the patio, with the natural lighting and pale grey back drops, it was a breeze to snap a picture I was happy with. But, what keeps people returning to restaurants will always be the food. In Wish’s case, the savoury dishes (especially the mains) were a hit. However, the lackluster desserts hardly provokes a positive last impression for diners.  

Overall mark - 7 out of 10

Is Summerlicious worth it (based on my meal selection)?
Summerlicious - $35
Regular menu - $47 - lamb chops ($21), salmon ($22) and pie* ($8)
Savings - $16 or 31%
* The pie were based a wild guess from me

How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 3 Charles Street East

Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more - https://twitter.com/GastroWorldBlog
____________________________
Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!


Is That It? I Want More!

Other Gastro World posts similar to this:


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