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Splendido Valentine Review

Rover | Feb 16, 2004 09:27 PM

When we arrived for our 6:30 reservation the restaurant was almost full. We were seated at a lovely table facing an exquisite floral arrangement that dazzled me every time I happened to glance away from my delicious meal and equally delicious dinner companion.

Two speical menus, a "His" and a "Hers", were offered to celebrate Valentine's day. I chose the former while my date opted for the latter, so together we were able to taste everything.

I started with a crab cake resting atop of an avocado parfait. The spiciness of the crab was a pleasant surprise. He had a compressed foie gras terrine with baby leeks and a truffle emulsion. Although I did not taste any of this dish, my date was very impressed with the generous serving as well as the wonderful flavours.

Next for me was lobster ravioli with cauliflower purée. This dish was one of the best that I had ever had. An absolute culinary masterpiece. The second course on the "Hers" menu was a seared sea scallop with tuscan bean purée and pistou emulsion. All that I tasted of this dish was a bit of the hummus-like purée, which was wonderful spread on a piece of hearty bread.

My third course was a peking duck consommé with oak shitake mushrooms. This arrived as a bowl with mushrooms and duck slivers which was then filled with a delicious broth from an ornate tea kettle. A very warm and soothing dish. My date had a skate wing with butter poached lobster. The skate was resting on a thick sauce made up of vegetables, one of which was perhaps carrot. While we forget the ingredients, this dish was definitely one of our favourites.

Champagne gratiné acted as a cool and refreshing palate cleanser. If only there had been more of it... My valentine wished for a second helping for the rest of the meal.

For the main course, I had a generous serving of slow braised beef short ribs with parpadelle pasta. This dish sounds simple, but it was very tasty. He had rack of lamb with leek fondue. Again, a very generous serving. By the end of this course, we were both pleasantly full.

Dessert was chocolate espresso cake for me and purple passion fruit meringue for him. The cake looked like a giant brown macaroon and I found it quite delicious.

As if the meal could not get any better, soon after the dessert plates were cleared, our waiter came out with homemade white and dark chocolate kisses. Suffice it to say that I will never be able to settle for a Hershey's kiss for as long as I live.

As we left, our waiter surprised me with a beautiful and exceptionally long red rose. This was the final romantic touch on an unforgettable valentine's dinner.

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