Opened about a year ago but never receive coverage by any of our fraternity members, this seafood specialist suppose to offer some of the better marine fare in town.
Serving only sustainable seafood and with a business modus operandi of trying to be political 'C'orrect, environmental 'C'orrect and culinary 'C'orrect, I decide to make another trip from 'up north' to become the first reviewer of the place!
Located directly across from 'Rushton' on St.Clair W, this smallish but cozy restaurant, with only 7 tables and a bar with 8 seats, surprisingly grew ultra-romantic as the evening progresses and the candle lights start taking over the ambiance.
Dining alone, I was placed at a disadvantage position since I lacked the head count to order their house-special grilled whole fish of the day. Minimum of at least 2 lbs each! As for the 'filet' fish dishes, since only Pike, Sea Bream and Steelhead Trout were available, I decided to have crustaceans and shellfish instead.
My meal consisted of:
- Home made Olive bread with goat butter and honey.
- Charred Octopus: White bean & Tomato Stew/Corn/Leek/Corn Straw/Creme Fraiche/Torched Bufala
- Seared Scallops: Soupe de Poisson/Tomato/Roasted Shallots/Mussels/Something Green/Poached chicken Egg
- Chocolate+ / Fluff/ Graham
The hot, super soft in-house baked bread with an addictive crunchy edge was a great start. The goat butter drizzled with honey made a delicious spread.
Unfortunately, the meal started to slip from that point onwards. Intention was good but execution was not!!
The Octopus appetizer with its 'funky' presentation and ingredients brought along a sense of excitement and discovery. First bite of the smokey and tender Octopus chunks was delightful. Sadly, the next scoop of the beans and tomato/corn mixture was a disaster! My taste-bud overwhelmed by the strong and pungent spice mixture of Clove, Fennel and Saffron used as seasoning. Somehow, this busy Mexican bean and corn concoction of an accompaniment simply did not work with the perfectly executed octopus tentacles. What a waste!
The plate housing the nicely presented Scallop dish was HUGE!! Unfortunately, looks deceives! Once again, I found there were simply too many non-harmonized ingredients on the plates. The advertised 'soup de poisson' was no where to be found. In its place, a sweet tomato jam overpowered almost everything. The four smallish size scallops, though seared nicely on the outside, were overcooked and chewy. The mussels was even a sadder affair. Simply boiled till open, they tasted bland and totally un-inviting!! Lastly, what the heck was a soft boiled egg doing in the middle of a seafood dish??!!
BTW, at $35 for 4 smallish loonie size scallops, this dish IMO was way overpriced! Only a few weeks back, I had a Scallop dish at Peller Estates, comprising of three but humungous, hockey puck size Hokkaido diver Scallops for only $27!!! And the preparation was perfect!
To round things off, I played safe by ordering a chocolate dessert. Man! Was I wrong?! What was the Dessert chef thinking of when preparing that dark chocolate fudge?! I understand that 'Salt' is sometimes used to enhance the flavor profile of chocolates. But when did a chocolate dessert start becoming a salty cake?!! Another waste of good ingredient!! Even the overly sweet fluffy meringue cream was not enough to balance and neutralized the saltiness! Sigh!!
So back to my original puzzle! The 3 Cs in Political 'C'orrectness, Environmental 'C'orrectness and Gastronomical 'C'orrectness indeed add up to a 'C' grade meal!!
Should have save some money by having a Burger and Fried Chicken at Stockyard across the road instead!! Much more enjoyable result?!!