Yes, this dinner happened all the way back in November, what’s wrong with me why did it take me so long to post?!! To be honest, I got distracted and was looking for cool photos of pheasant feathers…then finals came along and my blog productivity plummeted as it happens at the end of every semester so I’ll try to post more before I disappear for a month in April. Speaking of school, I can’t believe I’m in my final semester now! Very scared for that “real world job search oh hello student loans coming back to haunt me” future that awaits me in June. But I digress...
66 Wellington St. W
TD Bank Tower, 54/f
Reservations: on their site / 416 364 0054 / for ‘licious events: 416 307 3322
Transit: 4-min walk from Union Station (free parking underground on weeknights!)
Hours: Mon-Fri 11:45am-2:30pm (lunch), 5pm-10:30pm (dinner) (NOTE: Closed on weekends!)
**Winterlicious reservations kicks off today so call into their ’licious number now (you will need to call multiple times to get through) to snag some of the hardest to get seats!
|Menu for the evening. :)|
You know if you’re dining at Canoe, while a little heavy on the wallet it’ll be a great meal so this’ll be mainly a food photos post with short descriptions. When we were leaving, one of the servers got into the elevator with us and informed us that out of all the years that they’ve done “Canoe Wild”, this year (at least in his opinion) had been the best. Though I’ve only been twice (went last year as well), I did really enjoy this year’s format.
Rather than a tasting that you can order separately from the regular menu, Canoe Wild was an event that took up the entire restaurant for the night. There were only 75 spots and tickets were purchased beforehand. The “wild” theme was apparent throughout all elements of the dinner; from the moment you come out of the elevators, to chefs and cooks dressing in plaid and of course the food—some of which was hunted by Canoe’s very own Chef John Horne.
Unlike last year, there was a cocktail “hour” where oysters from both west and east coast were served along with wine, a special cocktail, beer and hors d’oeuvres.
Once again, Chefs John Horne (@ChefHorne) and Anthony Walsh (@Chefwalsh) paired up with Société Orignal’s (@societeorignal) Alex Cruz (from Québec) for Canoe Wild. On top of that, there was also Chef Derek Dammann (@maisonpublique) from Maison Publique (in Montréal) who joined the collaboration. They make an amazing team and note to self, I must finally go to Maison Publique next time I’m in Montreal!
Hors d’oeuvre: Moose Rillette and Wild Rabbit Parfait on Cattail Pancake
Hors d’oeuvre: Moose Sliders on fried Bannock
East and West coast Oysters with service tree mignonette
Bread & butter: the butter is Societe Orignal’s own Haute-Yamaska butter. It’s an 84% cultured butter and it tastes like heaven. I’m a rather shy person but at one point in between courses, I manned up and went to go chat with Alex (the director of research & development, also a former chef). He was so nice and went into some detail about their 2-year development to get to a butter that they’re satisfied with. Also, I got to practice my french a bit! One day I will be fluent…
1st : Ivory Salmon and wild gribiche
2nd : Pheasant velouté (poached egg, kale, arugula purée, pheasant breast rolled with sea arugula and thigh bacon)
Alex in action.
Intermezzo: 3 tree cleaner (cedar, wintergreen & juniper)
Main: Venison loin, venison heart, minced meat pie (venison stew, mustard, cranberries, crust made from lard of the deer)
And as if there wasn't enough food already, there were two sides as well! Beans & Radishes. I don't remember the full description but everyone was loving them both! How can dishes so (deceivingly) simple taste so good?
Dessert: Walnut filo baklava with Northern woods mushrooms & porcini dusted meringues
Dessert: Poached pears
I would’ve loved to have the dessert that was part of the tasting but because I’m still unsure as to my allergies to walnuts (was deathly allergic to them as a kid, ate them accidentally a few years ago, didn't die. That sort of "unsure"), they were chill enough to make another, nut-free dessert for me. :D Thanks!
The local wine pairing was a full-blown Norman Hardie experience. ;) Some pretty special wines.
Verdict: Solid tasting. There is so much thought and prep that went into each dish. Canoe is definitely one of those restaurants where you go for an experience and not just a meal. For those who wanted wine pairings, there was a local, all Norman Hardie pairing or a global one. I had a fantastic time and though a friend who regularly goes to Canoe mentioned that the service wasn’t as attentive as usual, I didn’t find myself at a loss. Being just a 75-cover night, the experience in general was already quite intimate. Time to start saving for next year’s Canoe Wild!
Check ‘em out! http://www.oliverbonacini.com/Canoe.aspx
5 out of 5 NOMs