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Grey Gardens - review

Dr. John | Jul 3, 201711:38 AM

Hadn't seen much comment about this place yet. We tried it on Friday, getting a reservation for 2 at 9:15 only a few days ahead. We were offered a table, but chose to sit at the bar with a view of the open kitchen, where we had great views of the person prepping many of the seafood small dishes.

As expected the atmosphere was very loud, primarily from people talking/yelling. The music (80s soundtrack) was barely audible under the din of the voices. Our server was friendly and helpful with suggested pairings of wines with our dishes. The chef in front of us was also friendly, answering our various queries about the dishes he was prepping. Jen Agg was roaming the room and stopped by to ask us about our meal.

Our wines by-the-glass were all lovely, starting with a French orange wine (Jorel 2014), then a rose (Birichino 2016), a nice white that I forget, and then a sauternes with dessert.

We started with raw scallops flavoured with lemongrass oil and topped with a fresh salsa of primarily radishes. Refreshing and one of our favourites. Next came crispy and not oiled fried green tomatoes atop an airy chicken liver pate and lots of microgreens. Flavour-wise not quite as exciting but the execution was great. Having watch our chef prepare the white asparagus repeatedly, we had to circle back and order it at the end of the meal. The asparagus were somewhat sweet from maple syrup and they were accompanied by grilled maitake mushrooms and XO sauce with some smoked soya sauce and Chinese vinegar.

We could see the pastas being prepped (most with giant gobs of butter) and went for the pappardelle with chanterelles, ginger, and crispy sweetbread nuggets that were creamy inside. We had two larger dishes, which aren't that much larger than the smaller dishes. Ontario shrimp were grilled and served with scrumptious sauteed spinach and pickled turnip cubes. And pickerel was just-done and served over a delicious mixture of fresh peas, bacon, morels, and fingerling potatoes.

The desserts were worth saving room for. One featured fresh strawberries over churros with matcha ice cream. The other was a waffle-based bread pudding with buttermilk.

Overall, no significant weak spots and lots of peaks.

Grey Gardens
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