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Noce - Winterlicious review

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Noce - Winterlicious review

Derksen | Feb 7, 2006 05:22 PM

My SO and another couple dined at Noce for a 7:00 dinner.

The orders are as follows:

SO:
App
toasted walnuts, pear slices and aged Italian asiago over romaine in a white wine and mustard vinaigrette
Main:
Roasted breast of capon stuffed with spinach and ricotta cheese, natural jus reduction, roasted vegetables
Dessert:
Walnut and butter tart served warm with house made Tahitian vanilla ice cream

Me:
App
thinly sliced marinated raw beef, parmigiano reggiano, shaved fennel, baby spinach salad, orange vinaigrette
Main:
Canadian venison slowly cooked with port on savoury polenta
Dessert:
A trio of mousse – raspberry, chocolate and mango

Friend #1:
App
Homemade potato gnocchi with mixed mushrooms and roasted pine nuts ‘in bianco’
Main:
Canadian venison slowly cooked with port on savoury polenta
Dessert:
Tiramisu: Traditionally prepared , lady fingers soaked in coffee layered with mascarpone cheese and shaved chocolate

Friend #2:
App
Homemade potato gnocchi with mixed mushrooms and roasted pine nuts ‘in bianco’
Main:
Roasted breast of capon stuffed with spinach and ricotta cheese, natural jus reduction, roasted vegetables
Dessert:
A trio of mousse – raspberry, chocolate and mango

We had a chance to try all three of the appetizers, two of the mains and all of the desserts.

The appetizers were fair to good. The Gnocchi definitely took the trophy. Quite garlicky with strong flavour, but overall a very tasty dish. The salad was just 'ok'. The beef carpaccio was tasty, and definitely the better part of my meal (unfortunately). The salad that came along with the carpaccio was wilted from sitting in the tasty orange vinaigrette.

The mains were a bit surprising. The venison, although described as slow cooked on savoury polenta, should have read beef stew on mashed potatoes. Quite disappointing. Very little venison flavour (very, very little) was noticeable through the rich beef like gravy. The meat was tender, but had I known it was going to taste exactly like beef stew, I would have opted for the fish. As far as the polenta goes.... well, with the beef... rather, the venison and 'gravy' on top of the polenta, I couldn't quite notice the 'savoury' flavour as described. This dish gets a big thumbs down from all who tasted it's Campbell Soup like recipe flavour.

The capon was quite flavourful and juicy. A little salty, but the SO enjoyed it. I enjoyed the piece I tried. It was served with roasted veggies (read: 1/2 a potato and a carrot). Vegetable(s) is more like it.

The desserts were hit and miss. Friend #1 thoroughly enjoyed his tiramisu. The SO enjoyed her tart. It was quite good. The ice cream was true vanilla with small specks of vanilla bean visible. The trio of mouse should be cut down to a duo. The chocolate was great (and I'm not a chocolate fan) with the mango a decent second. The raspberry however was quite bitter and not sweet at all.

Overall, we were disappointed with the meal. Service was excellent from start to finish though.

Our friends were a little let down with their expectations set highly from their 'licious experience at Canoe last week. Obviously I should not compare the two.

Next time, we are going to do our own 'licious and choose restaurants with great service and food with the same price point. There are so many in the city that do a $35 meal tastier than this.

If you have reservations, have the gnocchi, capon or fish and the tart or tiramisu, or change them all together and go to La Palette.

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