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Ottawa -- Beckta tasting menu review (long)

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Ottawa -- Beckta tasting menu review (long)

errant | Sep 12, 2005 08:58 AM

Went to Beckta for our anniversary on Saturday. Once again, we tried the tasting menu with the suggested wine pairing.

We started with a tuna sashimi salad that was fabulous. Melt in your mouth sashimi, the way it should be. It was served wth a sweet soy-sesame dressing, organic Osaka sprouts and a small sliver of Jalapeno (not very strong at all). The wine pairing was Viognier, Yalumba, South Australia 2004.

Next was the Butter Bathed Shrimp. It was also wonderful. The shrimp were full and succulent but not overcoooked. They weren't too buttery either, a pet peeve of mine with seafood and fish at some places, but just right. The presentation was beautiful, with asparagus, oyster mushrooms, Treviso radicchio and carrot syrup. It was partnered with a Gruner Veltiner, Rudolph Rabl, Kamptal, Austria 2003.

The third course was "bacon and eggs" -- a huge homemade lardon with a sunny-side-up quails egg, with a light passion fruit sauce, and a waaaay too big piece of seared foie gras (delicious though), grilled focaccia and rhubarb jam. It was beautifully paired with a Pinot Gris "Vendage Tardive", Pelee Island Winery, VQA Pelee Island, 2002. At first I thought it would be too sweet for the dish, but it matched perfectly. This course was delicious, but I think there was too much of it as it was incredibly rich. A smaller portion would have sufficed (yes, I didn't have to eat it all, but I did. And I have nobody to blame but myself. So there!).

For a little break, they served a Champagne Cosmopolitan -- just enough to cleanse the palate.

The next course was an olive oil poached beef tenderloin served with organic poptatoes, baby carrots, Chanterelle mushrooms and organic tomato water. All the veggies came from Bryson Farms (they do home delivery and their organic produce is fabulous, by the way). I can't remember the wine she served. It was supposed to be a Chianti but she didn't like it. Anyway, the beef was ... okay. Nothing spectacular. Good, but not the usual Beckta fare I have come to love.

We skipped the cheese course coz we were stuffed and wanted the dessert!

The dessert, alas, wasn't as wonderful as I would've hoped. It was called a Quebec Strawberry Shortcake -- strawberry sorbet, vanilla Creme Anglaise and crushed strawberries. I found the shortcake to be too mealy or something -- and dry. It was paired with a Coteaux du Layon, Domaine des Baumard, 2003.

The total, with tax and tip, came to around $350 for two. The service was thoughtful and measured, as usual. We had the same server as the last time -- she knows her stuff and is solicitous without hovering. All in all, a very good meal, though it fell down a little bit at the end. Though the tasting menu is expensive, it's the way I would go, especially for a special dinner.

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