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Restaurants & Bars 27

Niagara Street Cafe

jamesm | Feb 18, 2012 09:12 AM

A word of caution/advice Niagara Street Cafe. There is a new chef and the menu is totally revamped. In fact it is a Latin American restaurant now. We went last night and it was pretty empty, Maybe 4 tables in the whole place were occupied by small groups or pairs. This is odd because when I called earlier in the week for reservations I was told 7 or 8:30 were the only times available. Wasn't an issue since the time worked for us. The menu was a surprise given we were expecting bistro with a bit of a twist and we were not aware that a new chef had started in February. A pleasant surprise though since both my gf and I love the flavours that were on the menu. We started with a small plate of empanadas -- short rib, pork and mushroom with aji. They were cooked well with a little chew to the pastry and very tasty if not a little small. The aji was siced well and balanced. For the main my gf had Grilled Smoked Cornish Hen with potatoes, Escabeche and Huancaina Sauce.

She enjoyed it and it looked pretty good. I tried a small bite of the hen and couldn't taste much of smoke but it was still very good. The Huancaina sauce was made with hazelnuts and delicious. I had Confit of pork shoulder, kidney beans, poached egg (perfectly poached), cilantro mojo and Arepa. The pork was fantastic and the mojo added some brightness and freshness to the very rich dish. Also on the menu were items like Sancocho with oxtail, beef neck, yuca and tamarind, whole steamed fish, several ceviches and 3 dessert options that we were too full to try.

The chef -- Steve Gonzalez formerly of Origin -- came out at the end of the night and at this point there were about 5 people total in the place. I talked to him for a bit and he's really enthusiastic about his ancestry's food. We ended up doing a shot of some peruvian liquor with him and he told us about his plans to make a ceaser type drink with it. We also had a bottle of Cote Du Rhone but I'd like to see a rioja or some Spanish wines on the menu and even some beer would be nice. All in it was 160 bucks (130 bill 30 dollar tip) The service was friendly and professional although he did go missing for some extended periods. We'll definitely be back and I cant wait until the patio is open for business.

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