Sunday, 3 May 2015

ABERDEEN TAVERN

432 Aberdeen Avenue, Hamilton On. (905) 523-7707, Closed Monday, Tues. - Sat. 11:30 am to 11:00 pm, Sun. 10:00 am to 3:00 pm
On a nice Thursday evening at the end of April we decided to try Aberdeen Tavern.  We had driven by many times and had heard a lot of good things about it and it seemed time to see for ourselves what good things were happening here.
There is a lovely outside patio that is always busy during the summer months.  In its previous life it was a bank and a quiet restaurant, but the new owners breathed new life into the space and it is quite different now.

The bar space is large and inviting. The layout works well.


The three of us were seated at a table near the bar area and were immediately greeted with a rather classy menu folder.
We selected a bottle from an extensive list of wines. It was one of their house reds Quattro Fontamara red and it was quite smooth and reasonably priced.  

We then selected our appetizers. My son Mark chose (as he always does) the pork belly - it was the Hoisin Glazed Pork Belly - he was quite impressed.

My wife and I chose the caesar salad - it was unique and delicious because it was not drenched in caesar dressing and had wonderful pancetta slices, garlic croutons and some parmesan.

Their list of mains caters to most tastes and has nice variety. 

Mark chose the butternut squash ravioli and enjoyed it.
My wife had the Lake Erie pickerel, it was surrounded with very flavourful accompaniments including olives, bacon puree and artichoke.
For my main I felt like a good pasta - and they did not disappoint.  I chose the shrimp and asparagus linguini. The linguini was perfectly cooked, the shrimp were tasty and tender in the white wine and butter sauce.
The three of us thoroughly enjoyed our evening here.  The space was very inviting, the meal was unhurried, the clientele were enjoying themselves and the atmosphere was great.  We will definitely return to enjoy more wonderful meals and evenings here.  Outstanding!!
Aberdeen Tavern on Urbanspoon

Saturday, 4 April 2015

LA CARNITA

501 College Street, Kensington Market Area, Toronto, On., (416) 964-1555, Open Sunday and Monday 5:00 - 10:00 pm, Tuesday to Sat. 5:00 - 11:00 pm
On a Friday evening in March, my son Mark and I decided we were hungry after viewing some cars for sale in Vaughan.  It was getting getting close to supper time and we felt like something not too heavy. We came upon La Carnita on College Street (famous for their tacos) and it seemed like the right choice.  The signage is terrible but Mark had been here before so he knew of it.
When we arrived the entry was full of people waiting for seating, fortunately we were able to sit at the bar rather than wait.


We reviewed the bar list for a quick pre-meal drink and I chose the strawberry margarita. It was tangy and refreshing and the bar tenders were great.


Mark had the Who Shot Ya, with bourbon.  It did have a kick to it.
After a couple of sips we reviewed the food menu.
We decided to choose a variety of tacos. Mark chose the crispy cotija and in cod we trust. While I chose pollo frito and carnita.  All of these choices were absolutely delicious.


We also decided to complete our meal with tortilla chips with ancho chili powder and quacamole.
The tortilla chips were crisp and tasty and the quacamole was exceptional.  All in all we enjoyed our meal here and would recommend it to anyone who likes good tacos.  They were unique and loaded with flavour.  It can get very crowded in a hurry here, but it is worth the wait.
http://lacarnita.com/

La Carnita on Urbanspoon

Saturday, 14 March 2015

AND COMPANY RESTO BAR

295 Enfield Place, Mississauga On., (905) 808-2112, Wed. 6:00 pm to 2:00 am, Thurs. 6:00 pm to 12:00 am, Fri. and Sat. 6:00 pm to 2:00 am, closed Sun. Mon. Tues.
Located in Mississauga, close to Square One shopping plaza is a vibrant restaurant and nightlife venue called And Company Resto and Bar. 

It is unique in the fact that there is a lovely comfortable restaurant, a sleek bar with a couple of televisions for chilling, a lounge area that includes a dance floor with comfy couches, grand piano and a DJ station. It even has a large rooftop patio for those long summer evenings!





After being seated by the friendly and smiling girls at the door we began to review their new menu. Their menu was entirely designed and executed by their new Executive Chef Ron Stratton.  He came with over 20 years of experience working in a variety of fine dining restaurants all over Canada.  The menu focuses on "fine familiar" cuisine, which basically takes conventional dishes and adds imaginative touches to their ingredients and presentation.


We selected a nice California Zinfandel that was moderately priced and very nice.
My wife chose for her appetizer the Crispy Thai Calamari with a pickled vegetable salad and green curry coconut veloute.  The calamari were delicious and the sauce was very light.
I chose the Jumbo Tempura Shrimp with seasonal vegetable and rice wine vinegar.  The shrimp were very large, the tempura coating was thin and the asparagus was tender.

For her main my wife chose the Salmon Wellington.  This dish consisted of a salmon fillet, enclosed in a light puff pastry, fresh buttered seasonal vegetables and red wine jus.  It was quite dramatic on the plate and the flavours were delightful.
For my main I chose the Chicken Parmigiana.  It consisted of two substantial pieces of Ontario chicken, marinated bocconcini, San Marzano tomato sauce with egg pappardelle.
This was a fine example of a familiar dish being elevated with just a couple of different ingredients and presentation.


Our dessert was shared and was quite different in it's presentation and ingredients.  It was called Brownie Banana Split and consisted of a dark chocolate brownie with a banana spring roll, seasoned berry compote, ice cream and sorbet.  It was a great ending to a wonderful dinner.
We found the servers, our waitress Lizzy (who was efficient and took good care of us the entire evening) and management to be very friendly and inviting.  The music was upbeat and current. The management mingled and socialized with patrons and this was very nice to see.  I should point out that we were invited by Basel - their marketing director and our meal was complimentary.  I think from our comments about this venue and the food you will get a good picture of our experience here.  We enjoyed our evening and are looking forward to returning again.
&Company Resto Bar on Urbanspoon


BISTRO SIX ONE 

61-63 Queen Street, Niagara on the Lake, On., (905) 468-2532, Lunch and Dinner 7 days a week
On a cool, but sunny March afternoon my wife and I decided to take a drive to one of our favourite tourist places, Niagara on the Lake.  It is a quaint and historic village that has the famous Shaw theatre, along with a variety of boutiques and restaurants.  Being the off season for tourists, some shops were closed, but the restaurants were all open.  We decided to try Bistro Six One after reading their menu posted near the front door.

The inside has a variety of booth seating which we like.


Located in the centre of Ontario's wine region, restaurants here tend to feature the local wineries in their wine lists.  We chose our favourite local wine from Jackson Triggs, their Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc blend VQA, a full bodied red with a rich flavour.

The menu has a nice variety to choose from including wood oven pizza, sandwiches, salads and mains.  

Since it was late afternoon, we decided on a salad and sandwich.  We both chose the Caesar salad.  The romaine was fresh and crisp, the bacon was real and the parmesan cheese and croutons were delicious.
For her sandwich, my wife chose the ham and brie melt on multigrain bread.  It had thin layers of smoked ham, soft brie cheese and a wonderful pepper jelly that was very tasty.  It was accompanied by a mound of french fries.

I decided on the grilled chicken ciabatta.  It had tender grilled chicken, lettuce, bacon and cheese.  The bread was crisp and fresh and the sandwich was excellent.  It too, was served with fries.



It was a wonderful meal in a peaceful restaurant with nice music and good wine.  We will definitely be back again.

Bistro Six One on Urbanspoon