I purchased a gift certificate through Costco online for $100 for a 4 course dinner for 2 with prosecco or wine (Costco Gift Certificate). OMG – awesome deal! I had never been to the restaurant before, and it was such a great experience… we even got at tour of the kitchen and all the fun stuff they do in there! The service here is amazing – I’ve never seen so many staff at a restaurant available to work each table. Upon entering they took our jackets and gave us a tag. We were walked to our table by 2 people, our chairs were pulled out for us and our napkins were placed on our laps. We had a primary server – Darcy – he was friendly, helpful, prompt and informative. But there were also 2 other servers who helped answer our questions, explain the food when they delivered it, clear our dishes, and prep our table for the next serving. One of these gents toured us of the kitchen as well, and when we were in the kitchen everyone there was so friendly – definitely a memorable experience!
The MUV gift certificate said 4 course (approximate value $187) – it was really more like 7 courses, but then again, I’m not a regular at super fancy restaurants… here’s all that we were presented with:
We were poured a glass of Prosecco once we sat down. I’m not a champagne fan, but it was enjoyable.
We were first served 3 Beginnings (amuse gueule): 1) A frozen gelato popsicle made of olive oil and port, with a sprinkle of ground pistachio to dip it in. This was a clean and fresh approach to getting the palate ready for dinner. 2) Thinly sliced cured duck with almond soil and poached pear. This one was our favourite of the three. I could eat a bunch of these! 3) A small puff pastry with goat cheese and olive. This tasted like a light feta, but it was very small so I made the effort to make sure I could really taste all the flavours in my mouth before swallowing.
To our surprise, we were also provided a glass of wine each. I thought that the gift certificate included Prosecco or wine, but we ended up getting a glass of each. I’m not one to complain about free wine, so I was stoked. We let our server Darcy choose a red for us, and we quite enjoyed it: Alpha Zeta Valpolicella Ripasso. Darcy brought me the bottle to scan it into the app Vivino – it says the average price is $16, so it’s a wine that we can purchase and enjoy at home for a reasonable price.
The next plate had a lot going on in it. They called it: Sandwich Reminiscence. I can understand why. It included: cured pork belly (this was delicious!), pistachio powder, bocconcini with dehydrated cucumber, mortadella espuma (like whipped mortadella), and olive oil crackers (these tasted great but were too crumbly to be effective crackers). This plate was interesting – it was neat to be able to try a bunch of fancy things that we’ve never experienced before.
The next course was called Italia Meets France. The gnocchi and parmigiano reggiano cream sauce (hidden beneath the parm crisp) was to die for! Both of us loved this dish – the parm crips were cooked perfectly and the gnocchi had a nice baked crisp on top so it wasn’t just mushy dough. The cream sauce was decadent. I’d love a full sized dish of this!
We were then provided with a transition dish – a palate cleanser – of celery and apple granita, pineapple sherbet and lime foam. This was a neat savoury sorbet of sorts… I unexpectedly enjoyed this dish quite a bit.
We were next provided with some home baked bread and flavoured butter – the green was rosemary (awesome!) and I think the red was roasted red pepper. The rosemary was our favourite. Jay already grabbed a slice of bread and was digging into the butter when I took the photo.
The main was Nature Inspired: Beef brisket, with sweet potato purée, and seasonal vegetables. The brisket was braised 72 hours in a vacuum packed water bath. We saw this gadget on the tour of the kitchen (photo below). An interesting approach to cooking… but the brisket really was the best brisket I’ve ever had.
The kitchen was pretty neat – lots of fun things going on. I wish I got a photo of their greenhouse type setup – they grow all their own micro-greens that are used on many of their dishes. They have what looks like a glass-front refrigerator, but is a temperature/humidity controlled greenhouse of sorts – something I’d love at home! Below is a photo of a Buchi Rotavapor Water Bath. They were doing something with carrot puree with it… it was neat to see lab equipment being used in the kitchen. It was explained to us why they were using it, but I can’t pretend to get it correct so I won’t even try!
Next we saw the water bath that was used to cook our beef brisket for 72 hours. There were two pieces of vacuum sealed fish in it when we saw it. It was a neat approach to cooking I’d never heard of before.
After dessert, we thought we were done eating, but alas, we were not! Out came 3 Endings: Nutella ice cream sandwich, chai tea latte, and raspberry sponge cake with Bailey’s Bavarian cream. None of these were too sweet which was nice. The flavours of the chai tea latte treat was awesome, but the jelly-like texture caught me off guard. The sponge cake with Bavarian cream was my fave… mmmm…
At the end of the evening they give you a menu of all the food that you enjoyed. I was also provided with a flower on the way out – a really nice gerbera daisy. They had a business card draw for a $50 gift card, so I put in my business card and I’ll cross my fingers! Our receipt indicated that the discount was a total of $240 (not $187 as the gift certificate said) – in short, it truly was great value for great food, and amazing service.
One last comment – tip well – these guys deserve it!