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Restaurants & Bars

Dining indoors in the era of COVID-19

Dr. John | Oct 31, 202106:09 PM     43

With restaurants being now able to operate at full capacity indoors (for fully vaccinated patrons) and with many patios winding down as the weather gets colder, I thought we could post about how the experience is going.

Aside from one indoor meal at George back in early August, we had not dined indoors until last Tuesday. We had planned to meet a friend on the back patio at Bar Piquette. Turned out that the back patio is now entirely enclosed (with windows that can be fully opened, but not when we were there), so it is in effect part of the indoor restaurant. After a moment of trepidation, we decided we might as well try it, figuring the pandemic is not disappearing anytime soon and tolerating the risks of these experiences might have to be our way forward.

We did find out, informally, that the staff there are all fully vaccinated. We explained that restaurants indicating this information up front might be really helpful for people choosing whether to dine indoors. Our server said it depends on all the staff being willing to make this information public and there is not agreement about doing this at other restaurants where he works, even when everyone is fully vaccinated.

Tables were well-spaced. Servers were masked (with some slippage). Music was a bit too loud, which might facilitate raising voices, though it didn't seem to. Food and wine remain excellent, with a number of menu changes since the summer. The mortadella sandwich remains a favourite.

- bottle of Orange wine Vej 180, Bianco Antico, 2019, podere Pradarolo (Malvasia) - smells like sauerkraut and apricot, tastes of orange peel, tartness and apricot - very nice
- Seeded bread and butter - wonderful
- East coast oysters with apple mignonette - the apple mignonette went particularly well with the fresh oysters
- Burrata with crunchy green beans, snap peas and dill - great flavours though a bit of an odd combination
- Tartare, pickled matsutake, pine nuts - great, nutty (similar to last time)
- Boquerones on potato terrine with piquillo - the only repeat, very good though not quite as crusty as last time
- Scallops with artichoke and apple - especially good, really complex - there were definitely some ingredients in there they did not tell us about
- Squash, white grapes, pumpkin seeds, and some sort of delicious puree - another awesome and under-described dish
- Mortadella sandwich - outstanding as always - we had one each
- mascarpone whip with plums - very nice, sweet and tangy
- glass of Rosé d’un jour, Grolleau Gris, 2020, Ferme de la Sansonniere (9%) - lovely sweet rose by the half glass

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