We had reservations for Canoe on Fri at 7:45 PM. On the day, we received a call to confirm our reservation, and we were informed that we would have an hour and half for our meal, after which we would have to vacate the table.
Upon arrival, our coats were checked in. Our table was not ready yet, so we headed to the bar, where we waited comfortably while enjoying the view of the city. About ten to fifteen minutes later, we were informed our table was ready.
Meal started with two types of bread, white and brown, served with a savory hummus. The bread was warm, which is always nice. See photo at http://img2.uploadimages.net/603161Ca... (48.2 KB)
My first course was the "Creamed Yukon-Cauliflower Soup with Duck Confit". I have to admit the dish presentation was not the greatest, but it was tasty, the cauliflower flavor was not overpowering, and the duck confit added interest to the dish in terms of both flavor and texture. The creamed cauliflower and duck confit complemented each other in this case. See photo at http://img2.uploadimages.net/415334Ca... (48.7 KB)
My partner had the "Canoe Baby Romaine With Ace Crouton and Creamy Horseradish Dressing". This salad seemed like a variation of Canoe's traditional Caesar salad, served with generous shavings of Parmesan cheese. The creamy horseradish dressing added interest to the salad; the taste of horseradish was subtle, but enough that if you do not like horseradish, you should certainly avoid this dish. Unfortunately some of the Romaine leaves were not very fresh, with brown edges on them. See photo at http://img2.uploadimages.net/917159Ca... (62.8 KB)
Our main course choice was the "Roasted Cornish Hen with Truffled Mushroom Porridge, Garlic Black Kale and Sage Jus". First, I was pleased with the serving size; the dish had the breast and two legs of the cornish hen, which was tender and juicy. It was served over a bed of truffled mushroom porridge and wilted spinach. The mushroom porridge was a brown paste that tasted better than its looks. The garlic black kale and sage jus was too salty in my opinion. Overall it was a satisfying dish well executed. See photo at http://img2.uploadimages.net/257798Ca... (58.7 KB)
For dessert, my choice was the "El Rey Chocolate Ganache Cake with Spiced Fruit Compote and Roasted Almond Ice Cream". This chocolate ganache cake is not what I was expecting; it looked and tasted like a chocolate brownie. I believe the ice cream had a very subtle roasted almond flavor, since its flavor was overpowered by the chocolate cake and the extremely sweet sauce at the bottom. What made this dessert sparkle was the delicious spiced fruit compote. The presentation was beautiful, but my impression is that this was simply a glorified chocolate brownie dessert. See photo at http://img2.uploadimages.net/726115Ca... (43.5 KB)
My partner had the "Apple Sticky Toffee Pudding with Crème Fraîche Ice Cream". The consistency/texture was closer to a cake than a pudding. There was very little apple, but right amount of sticky toffee. It was served with a nice (Cointreau or something else alcohoolic) sauce and almonds. A very nice dessert for sticky toffee lovers. See photo at http://img2.uploadimages.net/454334Ca... (55.5 KB)
Our waiter was excellent. He was very attentious, knowledgeable, friendly and unobtrusive. When you receive this level of service, one realize how much difference a professional and competent waiter can make in your dining experience. Two thumbs up!
Overall we had a great dining experience. The only slip was that it took forever for our main course to be served after the appetizer, but the dessert was served too quickly after we finished our main course; our waiter hadn't even had the chance to set the table for dessert after the table was cleared of the entree plates.
Dinner for two with wine, drink, coffee and a generous tip came to $130.