Most of you will know Nick auf der Mauer from a little shop he runs with his wife Vicky that serves one of the city’s best sandwiches. It’s called Porchetta & Co. Ya heard of it? Well it’s a good place to be whenever you’re hungry, and even more so when they’ve got specials coming out of their kitchen such as their Breakfast Sandwich and Soft Shell Crab. A few doors down there’s L’Ouvrier, a restaurant and bar that recently began having a “Guest Pass Chef.” Last Monday, for their third one, it was Nick’s turn.
Here’s the 5-course menu. Only $35! What a steal.
After noticing this beautiful round table right by the window, I knew I should’ve made this into a girls’ night kind of thing. It was more of a sausage fest since I went with 3 guy friends. Not complaining though since the food was bomb and the conversation was flowing.
Bar. I’m digging the light fixtures. I found the décor at L’ouvrier so precious, like it’s right out of a pinterest page. You know those pins that you pin on your “DIY” or “Dream rooms” boards that you know you’ll never actually achieve? Yup.
Course 1: cream of tomato & lobster bisque, tarragon cream
Bold flavours is exactly what you expect and exactly what you get. I love me a chunky, creamy, thick soup so I would’ve liked it even more if it was a bit thicker.
Course 2: pork belly and perogie, truffle sour cream, cracklings
I overheard someone mentioning to Nick that he should open up a perogie shop. I CONCUR! Well, maybe not an entire shop but whipping this up as a special at Porchetta & Co. would be really neat. And much appreciated hint hint!
Course 3: open faced tuna fish sandwich, tomato sauce, preserves
This was a standout course for me. The tuna was cured hamachi I believe? A little more refined, alluding to his past as a (CHEF? COOK?) at some notable restaurants in the city, I liked that it was still fun. And to have the garnish, watercress, foraged that morning, it’s so personal!
Course 4: fried chicken, mexican cheddar hush puppies, pickled jalapenos
Oh yes times a million. This dinner had “FOR FUN TIMES ONLY” written all over it. Communal-style fried chicken is where it’s at! What other way is there to eat it? It even came with two takeout boxes of coleslaw! Again, $35, such a good deal!! The chicken was so juicy and crispy. If I wasn’t getting so full I could’ve wiped half of that board! Another special that should appear at Porchetta &Co. “Fried chicken takeout.”
Course 5: maple butter tart, rhubarb
On the left, a maple butter tart. To the right, a rhubarb semifreddo w/ black peppercorn. Too good. The pastry was so buttery and flaky. I’ve only had a couple of butter tarts in my life, and any future ones will now have to live up to this! The dehydrated rhubarb was a really witty touch. Kinda crunchy, the tart hitting you after you chew a bit. Even the guys, who aren’t huge on desserts loved it.
This was some solid fried chicken!
Verdict: THANK YOU L’OUVRIER for having Nick as your guest chef!! I missed out on his pre-Porchetta & Co. food cooking days so couldn’t have looked forward more to this tasting! I especially enjoyed the dessert (regardless of my sweet tooth bias, it was amazing). My only regret is not having pushed my girlfriends enough to make it out to this dinner!
Check 'em both out!: http://www.porchettaco.com/ & http://www.louvrier.ca/
5 out of 5 NOMs