Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Parkside (March 23, 2007)


Two reviewers: ts and js; no reviews by csc and the 3 g-ongs

I don't think I remember too much about this meal, so I guess this will be short... or shorter than usual.

(I guess everybody sighs a collective sigh of relief?)

[js] Short and sweet I can do as well. LOL

Spring garlic and spinach soup, basil cream

Salad of roasted beets and their greens, clementines, herb goat cheese, pecans, hazelnut vinaigrette

Salade paysanne: sautéed chicken livers with duck prosciutto, frisée, poached egg, red wine dressing

Crisp brandade cake with shellfish bisque sauce, melted leeks, wild prawn, micro celery leaf

Very subtle the garlic. It was mainly soupy (didn't really get to taste the spinach at all) with the underlying sweetness and pungency of garlic.

(As per usual, there was the usual haggling prior to the ordering. My choices were the brandade or the salade paysanne, but those were already spoken for, so I have to make do.)

A note about the brandade cake: that was csc's choice and she REALLY liked it!

I had the beet salad. Beets are "OK" for me, in general. I don't find them offensive nor do I find them to be especially good. So, the beets were OK.

Speaking in csc terms, the "combo" that I chanced upon in this dish was the clementine-goat cheese combo -- that was good!

Braised veal cheek agnolotti, sage butter, shaved parmesan

Cavatelli with basil pesto, potato, and prosciutto

The cavatelli was the surprise of the whole evening. Based on the description, I really didn't think I would like it, given that it has prosciutto (I'm all prosciutto-ed out) and basil pesto (I'm all pesto-ed out).

But lo and behold, the magic of Andrey Durbach, and this was a dish that sings.

Cavatelli was fresh hand-made pasta and really I'm a sucker for fresh pasta. Once you've had fresh pasta, there's no going back. LOL The basil pesto, prosciutto, and potato are wonderful together, with the potato perhaps soaking up the stronger flavours of the prosciutto and the basil.

I was angling for the spaghetti Sicilian-style, but truth be told, this was the better dish.

Tasted this (Jojo's dish). I thought I would be nauseous from the pesto (coz, i smell it everyday!), but this was actually pretty good. Hand-shaped pasta! So good!

Spaghetti with Sicilian style calamari sauce

[ts] No complaints. =)

First of the season halibut, crisp bacon, braised chicken wings, pea purée, jus rôti (+3)

Poached and roasted truffled breast of organic chicken, gnocchi & spring vegetables, sauce Colbert

Formula milk fed veal sirloin, wild mushrooms, pommes dauphinoise, red wine jus

Grilled medallions of venison, Lyonnaise potato, braised endive, crushed pepper and cranberry sauce

Wanted the halibut but two people were already getting the halibut so have to switch gears.

Second choice was the chicken but csc took the chicken as well.

It was between the Berkshire pork and the veal, and given that I had Berkshire pork at Rare, I thought I'd try the veal instead.

Veal is veal, as in I don't really find it too flavourful and would probably have been happier with the pork. The mushrooms are nice, but I wasn't WOWed by this dish so much. It was a fairly standard dish, I feel, and didn't have anything to put it over the top.

I had the halibut.

Again, the thing that sort of "ruined" it for me was the "meaty" braised flavor of the chicken wings! That thick, brown taste! I don't know why I can't seem to stomach that now. Insanity!

Anyway, the halibut was good. I like halibut and its firm texture. Bacon is always good. I've completely forgotten what the other components on the plate were.

Oh! I know! The potato fondant!

Grace was singing the virtues of the potato on our dish all throughout the meal! (She also had the halibut.) We were trying to figure out why this block of potato was so good. It really was just a block of potato! Turned out it was potato fondant, potato poached in butter. No wonder! Haha. It was "flavorful", very fragrant, with the outside having a little bit of crust.

The pea puree would've been fine with me, but it was a minted pea puree. I like or dislike mint on a case-by-case basis. In this case, I didn't like it! (Although, mint and peas are a classic combination.)

Parkside banoffi pie

Surprisingly good, given it's custard-like/flan-like texture. I thought it would be a more cake-y pie, but I liked this very much.

Banana and toffee -- wow. Never thought it'd be that good.

Molten chocolate beignets, Williams pear purée, white chocolate ice cream

Pineapple tarte fine with brown sugar ice cream

I had the pineapple tarte fine. So very good! The pineapples were caramelized, crisp pastry... It was the best dessert of the bunch, I feel. =D


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