Just returned from an overnight escape to Langdon Hall with my wife and was blown away by Chef Jonathan Gushue's food. We were there two years ago and enjoyed the food then, but he has taken his food to a whole new level. It was just an overnight trip, but we managed to squeeze in dinner, breakfast and lunch. This was some of the best meals of my life - so I thought I would share my impressions.
-Torchon of “Champs d’Élisé” Foie Gras & Pig Cheek-
[Sherry Lentils, Sunchoke Purée, Salsa Verde, Dried Grapes, Marcona Almond Crust]
The foie gras was great, but the lentils were the real star of this dish. The pig cheek is finely chopped and mixed in the the lentils. I could not get enough of this! The flavors of the lentils, sherry and pig cheek all blended together deliciously.
-Olive Oil Poached Black Cod-
[BBQ Sugar, Fine Beans, Chanterelles, Globe Artichokes, Bergamot
The best black cod that I've ever eaten. The sweet-slightly spicy flavor of the BBQ sugar brings out sweetness of the black cod. The chanterelles were nice, the beans were amazing - fresh and flavorful. I will dream about this dish. (Yes, I have food dreams. What can I say?)
My wife got the elk, which she reluctantly let me taste. It was great! Lean, flavorful tenderloin. It came with "ox pickled tongue", which was also very yummy!
-Sweet Corn Crème Brûlée-
[Butterscotch Truffle Sherbet, Caramel Corn, Sesame Capricettes]
Finished the meal with the sweet corn creme brulee. I'm a big fan of creme brulee and this was an interesting - and delicious take on it. It came with caramel corn and amazing butterscotch-truffle sherbet. A fun and very pleasant end to a fantastic meal.
Breakfast was very good - I had a lobster-leek omelet that was great, but this was the least memorable meal of the three.
-Basil Crusted Lake Trout-
[Cookstown Vegetable Medley, Vine Tomato Crystal]
We managed to fit one more meal in before we had to head home. I had the basil crusted lake trout. Comes as a fillet with a crunch basil topping served in light, slightly sweet tomato broth. I'm not doing it justice here - the "Tomato Crystal" was amazing - I used the soup spoon provided to sup every last drop of it - and it did a wonderful job of enhancing the trout. The "vegetable medley" was also great - delightful veggies that tasted like they has just been picked and perfectly cooked. I recall blue potatoes, beets, onions, peas and greens - but I think they use whatever veggies are peak at the time, so it may be different at a different time of year.
There is a lot going on in these dishes, but they never seem "busy" or overly fussy. Every item in a dish works to enhance the overall flavor. The ingredients were all top notch - freshest of vegetables, fantastic cuts of meat, etc. The veggies come from Langdon Hall's own garden - and the freshness pays off. Chef Gushue even churns his own butter - and it is good! This is a creative, talented chef at the top of his game and well worth a trip from Toronto (or better yet, stay the night if you can swing it financially! The inn is beautiful.) I guess this turned more into a rave than a review - but it really was that good!