Just spent the weekend at the Gladstone Hotel, and found some fun and interesting places to eat.
Friday night we went to Addis Ababa. The food was good, the price was right, and there was a very good jazz band that played. We ordered the meat combo and the vegetarian combo, which was a good way to get a sampling of the different dishes. Some dishes were better than other (chicken was great, ground beef dish was bland, but most were quite good). We also ordered wine, and were offered a choice of 'house red' or 'house white'. They wouldn't tell us what either wine was, so we took a chance and ordered the house red. The wine was okay on it's own, and very good with the food. We finished with Ethiopian coffee, which is a bit of a show... they roast and grind the beans, then make beautiful strong coffee. It was fabulous! The whole meal cost less than $60 for 2.
Saturday morning we had a quick bite at Cinnamon Girls. The cinnamon bun was good, but not to my taste (give me Altitude Bakery's cinnamon bun any day!), and the coffee was so-so. And the restaurant needed a thorough cleaning. Won't go back.
Saturday lunch was at the Beaconsfield. We had been there for lunch in November, and it was very good. This time it was just okay. Both times I had the caesar salad with gorgonzola dressing. It was great last time, but this time the pancetta was clumped up and not sprinkled throughout, and there was very little flavour from the cheese. I also had an oyster bisque, which I think brought out the worst of the oysters, and the texture was very grainy. One of my friends had the club sandwich, which was served on a croissant. Looked good, but fatty! Another friend had steak and eggs, and they were adequate but not great. But the beer was good, and the service was also very good. I won't go back for food, but will definitely go back for beer!
On Saturday night, my b/f and I went to Mildred Pierce. It was fabulous.
We started with sharing crab cakes... 3 small cakes on a wonderful celeriac salad. They were yummy; perfectly crunchy on the outside and nice and moist inside.
The menu for mains was a bit limited, and some of the flavours as described on the menu seemed as though they would overwhelm or not mix nicely, but our dishes turned out incredibly well. The b/f had tenderloin and I had rack of lamb. Both were cooked exactly as ordered, and were really good. I wasn't crazy about the quinoa that accompanied the lamb, but everything else was great.
For dessert we shared a black forest brownie, and it was over the moon good. Thick dense brownie with cherry filling and cherry sauce. There was just enough cherry to make you want more, and it didn't overwhelm the chocolate. Lots of other diners were eating the profitoles (3 small cream puffs with a choc sauce), and they looked really good too.
Service at Mildred's was very good, especially considering that the restaurant was full.
Sunday morning we ate at The Beaver, which is a funky little cafe next to the Gladstone. The latte was brilliant, and our breakfasts were good but not great. I had the special, which was Italian sauage, scallopped potato and scrambled eggs. The sauage and the potato tasted as though they had been cooked earlier and nuked, and the eggs are cooked using steam from the espresso machine. It means they are not creamy, but they do taste good. I like creamy scrambled eggs, so they didn't really work for me. The b/f had a breakfast burrito, which looked good and he seemed to enjoy. The service was very good. I'd go back for lunch and try sandwiches, but don't know if I'd try breakfast again.
Finally, I had posted last week to see if anyone has eaten at the Gladstone yet... and got no responses. I guess that's because their restaurant isn't open yet, but they do hope to have it open later this month.