Having become quite jaded lately with Mississauga’s culinary offerings and trying to avoid the drive into Toronto with it’s associated traffic, parking and price/value dining challenges my wife and I headed north early last Friday evening to try a little bistro that had been recommended to us by our neighbors several times. We easily found Daniel's of Nobleton, a 20 minute drive north of Pearson Airport on the west side of Highway 27, just South of King Road. We were warmly welcomed into the cheery country-casual dining room with its soft yellow and green walls hung with many interesting paintings by local artists. Beyond the dining room there's a small bar and the door to the secluded outside patio.
Service began immediately with a demi-loaf of warm multigrain bread accompanied by an amuse of silken chicken liver pâté with a pool of gently crafted fresh berry vinegar. This little gem was garnished with dark green leaves of fragrant lovage from Daniel's herb garden, a delicious indication of a competent kitchen's output enjoyed while sipping our Pinot Grigio and discussing menu choices. Chef Daniel Gilbert writes a new menu every month and augments it with daily fish and game choices. Grilled Herb-crusted Salmon and Port-braised Ostrich were that day's specials.
We started with French Onion Soup that was thankfully lightly salted and a richly flavored, consommé-like, sparkling clear Duck and Wild Mushroom Soup. Not many places in my experience go to that length for a $4.95 soup of the day. We also shared Daniel's tasty creation of a just-ripe peach filled with smoked trout in a peach and honey yogurt sauce.
Just as we finished the trout starter our mains promptly arrived. The Fussilli Tosero, with ample smoked chicken, black olives, Bermuda onion and wild mushrooms in a roasted garlic cream sauce, was judged excellent. The flavorful Seafood Penne with shrimp, bay scallops and crabmeat was finished in an assertive rose sauce. Warning, this is definitely not the usual mild and creamy sauce rendering frequently encountered in so many of our too-Americanized Italian restaurants. The rose sauce's bisque-like flavor indicated a well crafted and substantially concentrated seafood stock as its foundation. It was another winner, although if I ordered this again I would order a more appropriate glass of hearty red with it.
We usually pass up desserts. However, purely in the interest of rounding out this culinary investigation for CH we ordered the Chocolate Mousse and the Rhubarb Crisp. The mousse was a sturdy rendering of the classic, rich with a high ratio chocolate in an eggy base, certainly not the usual fluffy experience. The homey and densely oat-topped crisp was a rustic rendering that reflected the restaurant's rural location. Its warm and cinnamon-pungent blend of apples, rhubarb and strawberries was not overly sweet and enhanced by being straddled by a scoop of good vanilla ice cream. Its ample size was enough for two to share. Freshly brewed cups of strong coffee complimented the sweets and provided a definitive end to our delightful meal.
Our jovial host and server provided pleasant and mostly competent service in a relaxed and friendly manner throughout the meal. We noticed the tablecloths complimented the delicate Wedgwood china’s subtle dusty rose pattern, another nice attention to detail here.
In considering our very satisfying dining experience at about $100 with taxes we found Daniel's to be of exceptional value and plan to return soon to move beyond our initial timid pasta choices to try some oven and grill items.
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