We had the pleasure of having dinner at Loire this week.
The dining room has a fresh and airy feel about it. Nicely balanced table set up (not too close, not too sparse) and even when it filled up about an hour after our arrival it had a pleasant buzz and hum. No shouting to be heard, and no overbearing music (I can't remember music at all actually).
We were greeted and seated rapidly, and were attended by a knowledgable and very professional server who listed the prize features of the paper menu, and went off to fetch a bottle of Chablis (well, when in Loire...)
Unfortunately, genetic predisposition being what it is, both my father and I ordered the exact same appetizers and mains, so this will make for a boring review.
We began with the selection of Charcuterie. First up on the wood platter was the pork rillette, covered in a thin creamy layer of fat, served in a tiny pot. The pork was moist and flavourful, eaten lustily on baguette slices smeared with the housemade maple and tarragon mustard. Superb. The French picnic continued with the chicken liver parfait; a creamy, decadent spread. The texture was delicate, bordering on mousse, and there was so much of it to eat that a second bread basket was asked for and received. A crunchy pork skin puff was a little chewier than expected, making for interesting eating. Cornichon and beet rounded out the richness of the meats.
We followed up with the confit duck leg and muscovy duck Magret, with mini Ontario potato and Gruyère cheese gratin, on top of spinach in a citrus pepper sauce. The duck leg was incredible...the salted crisp skin was reminiscent of peking duck, and hid a moist, dark, and very generous portion of leg. The flesh was the tiniest bit dry around the edge, but incredible tasty. It was gobbled up.
The duck breast was seared to medium rare, with a beautiful pink red centre. The citrus pepper sauce was very refreshing when compared to the richness of the meat. The potato was the only "miss" on the plate. While it was gooey and cheesy, it lacked punch. It was very comforting stodge nonetheless.
Desserts didn't tempt until a bread and butter pudding special was mentioned. Shared between us, it was a generous portion. Shamefully dry though. The custardy outer layer gave way to a bready interior which would have benefitted from more liquidy goodness seeping through.
Nevertheless, I can't wait to go again. What a lovely find!