This is a long-overdue report from a meal I had back in January, it has been a bit busy, and I am behind on my reports. So this menu reflects an earlier time.
I finally got a chance to eat at Au Cinquieme Peche, and all I can think is “why did it take me so long?” We had a really wonderful meal. The atmosphere is chic but understated. Service was professional and friendly, we were never rushed or ignored.
I started with sautéed wild mushrooms served with a Parmesan wafer and truffled mashed potatoes. The mushrooms were delicate and earthy, and avoided the slimy watery texture that I always seem to get when I sauté mushrooms. They were perfect! The potatoes were also fabulous. This was a very satisfying appetizer, and I could have happily eaten several more helpings of this dish. Hubbie had a fabulous marinated mackerel appetizer with salicorne, fennel and citrus. This was very fresh and original. I also tried a bite of a friend’s tuna tataki, garnished with a single, thin, slightly hot, slightly sweet and insanely delicious house-pickled green chile, and served with tempuraed andouille sausage cubes and a kind of hollandaise-mayo dip. Again, perfectly executed and insanely original. The combination was unusual but worked beautifully.
We then shared several orders of the os a la moelle, sel aux algues, bone marrow served with sea salt flavoured with seaweed. Sharing this dish with others is a good idea, as the bone marrow is insanely rich, you can’t eat too much of this without feeling incredibly guilty about the amount of fat you are consuming. The sea salt is a perfect accompaniment for the marrow.
I then had the lamb special, rack of lamb and braised lamb neck. The lamb neck was very tender and flavourful, it is a very unusual offering, and it was very tasty. The rack was delicious, but not as original, and I frankly would have preferred having more of the lamb neck. Hubbie got venison tournedos served on a grill overlying smoking vine shoots, you could see the smoke rising from the vine shoots, and it gave the venison a wonderful smoky, herbal flavour. This was accompanied by more masterful mushrooms, shallots and lardon.The presentation of his dish was aesthetically pleasing as well. I also sampled some of my friend’s delicious sweetbreads. Fans of sweetbreads should definitely add these to the “must-eat” list.
The wine list is fairly priced and very interesting. We started with a Quebec Chardonnay-Seyval blend from Les Pervenche – wonderful! I was so surprised this was a Quebecois wine, I have had few QC wines that reached this level of excellence. We also had an organic Cotes du Roussillon, 2005 La Coulee from Olivier Pithon, a blend of Grenache Noir, Carignan and Syrah. We finished off with the 2006 Lo Vielh, an organic 100% Carignan from Clos du Gravillas. All wines were lovely, and very fairly priced. The wine list is studded with fairly priced gems.
For dessert, I had the rice pudding topped with stewed prunes. Doesn’t sound so exciting, but for a rice pudding lover like me this was heaven. The pudding was decadent and creamy , and the prunes added a beautiful depth of flavour. A friend’s pear tarte Tatin with spice ice cream was wonderful. Chees plate was enjoyed by another friend, cheeses were all served at correct temperature and ripeness.
Overall, I found ACP to be a unique, elegant experience. Execution is spotless, the food is original and flavourful, and the atmosphere is warm and inviting. I’m already looking for an excuse to go back! For a party of 6, cost was about $100 per person with wine tax and tip.
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