Was at C5 for a dinner with a friend on Saturday night. We had reservations for 5 pm (had a party to attend afterwards), and were seated near the windows with a view of downtown, which was really beautiful.
I was really looking forward to trying their raw tasting platter, but it wasn't on the menu that night. I have to say that I recently found out that I have allergies to milk, and milk derivatives, and told our waiter about it right away. The waiter was awesome; he explained the menu, and then when I ordered, he went to the kitchen to make sure that I was able to eat it. I originally had ordered the charturie platter, and the 60 day aged strip loin (that came with soft polenta, sous vide caramelized carrots, and a fig-port reduction). The waiter came back and said that the charturie platter would not be a good idea because, although they could switch the brioche to regular bread, the pate had milk ingredients, so he suggested that I try the crab salad with quinoa. Also, he said that the polenta was also made with some milk ingredients so that the chef was going to substitute the polenta with a cauliflower and yuzu puree and instead of the carrots, would cook me another vegetable without butter. This was INCREDIBLY accomodating and I was really appreciative of this.
Firstly, out came an amuse of a beigne filled with a foie gras mousse, and covered in almonds. It was to die for! Absolutely delicious, and rich, and sweet. On the side of my friends plate, they put a creamy sauce, but since they knew that I couldn't eat it, they kept it off my plate...which was a nice touch.
Then, another waiter came around with a bread basket and asked which one we would like to try. There were 3 varieties; a multigrain bun, a pumpernickle, and a potato rosemary sourdough. My friend went with the multigrain bun, and I chose the pumpernickle; both were really good.
Apps came out; friend had the roasted beet salad with ricotta salata, which she enjoyed. I had the crab salad which was sweet and creamy, helped by an avocado puree below it and a quinoa salad on the side, which balanced it nicely.
Mains came out...I had read about the 60 day aged strip loin and that it was described as the best piece of meat. It was delicious, cooked perfectly, and had a great crust on the outside. In my opinion, although the fig and port reduction was delicious, I felt that it overpowered the flavour of the meat, so I left most of the sauce. The cauliflower puree was delicious, as were the haricot verts with a touch of chili, and cilantro.
My friend had the piglet trio: 1) pork belly with apple butter (her favourite;tender and flavourful), 2) pork loin with chili rub, served atop hubbard squash terrine (her 2nd favourite), 3) pork shoulder confit with a black bean ceviche (her least favourite, but still quite good)
Both of us can't drink, and we were actually full after those 2 dishes that we didn't order dessert, but the chef sent out a shortbread cookie with a dark chocolate ganache and a candied pistacchio which my friend thought was delicious.
The only turnoff of the night was when I went to order a cup of tea. Originally ordered tarragon mint, which sounded interesting, but the waiter said they had run out (no biggie), so I ordered jasmine -green tea. Out comes a nice silver teapot, beautiful white cup, sugar cubes, lemon wedge, and in the tea kettle.....a Lipton tea bag. Maybe I am overreacting, but I always order tea whereever I go, and even at PICKLE BARREL, I get better quality tea than lipton. I thought in a place like C5, where it seems that there is such high attention to detail, that they would pay more attention to their tea selections. But I am nitpicking...the tea in no way ruined the evening, I was just making an observation, and the rest was wonderful. A great experience.
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