I have no shame in admitting that I made an executive decision to book my team’s Christmas dinner at Q Haute. Most of us are foodies and don’t mind paying a bit more money for an awesome experience. The price per person was $107, including one drink and all taxes and gratuities! I think it was a great price for what we got. We were even able to use the $100 gift cards purchased at Costco for $80, making it even better value!
As we arrived and mingled in our private room the servers brought around 3 different appies to keep us busy. We were also served the drinks that were included in our package.
With a $20 corkage fee, a couple of us brought in our own wine to have with dinner. My boss is part of the Opimian wine club (as am I) and he treated us to a vertical tasting of a 2009 through 2012 Domaine des Cigalons Châteauneuf-du-Pape. With 4 wine glasses in front of 15 people there wasn’t much room on the table for anything else! We were able to taste the differences between the 4 vintages and it was a neat way to bring us all together in discussion before dinner was served.
For the first course we had the choice of turnip veloute (turnip soup), served with creme fraishe and herbs, or a green salad with fruit, feta, candied walnuts and a cardamom citrus dressing. I’m looking forward to making a similar veloute in my Vitamix.
The second course was a wild mushroom risotto with white truffle essence. Even the person who doesn’t normally like risotto enjoyed it. The crispy melted cheese on top was awesome with each bite of risotto.
For the main course we had a choice of roast beef tenderloin with lactose sauce, seared organic chicken breast with lactose sauce, sous vide arctic char with madeira jus or seared tofu with lactose sauce. No one in our group ordered the tofu! Only one person got the chicken, and I think the rest of us were 50/50 between the beef and the char. I’m usually a fan of restaurant fish, but I’m not sure I loved the sous vide approach. The fish was very moist (or perhaps undercooked?) and quite fishy. There was no crisp to the skin like I typically enjoy. Jason had the beef tenderloin and it was delicious. Super moist and tender. He would have licked the lactose sauce off the plate if allowed. He even asked for the recipe for the sauce, although we never got it. I’ll have to do some research on the stuff.
After dinner we broke out into two groups to tour the kitchen. I’d previously done the tour so I hung out at the back of the group. Everyone enjoyed the tour and got to learn more about the tools of the trade. There was a table in the kitchen with 2 ladies eating at it – the chef’s table I guess. It was pretty warm in there though – I’m not sure I could handle that heat. It sure would be neat to hang out in the kitchen during a full service though.
For dessert we were served chocolate plaisir with hazelnut flavours. Yum 🙂
The date of our Christmas dinner was also my birthday… it worked out well! My awesome friends brought me in a cake from Yann Haute Patisserie on 4th street. This cake was friggin’ awesome! If you are a lover of lemon curd, this cake is for you. It’s not too sweet – it definitely causes your mouth to pucker. (And to note, I’m a lot older than 29 LOL). Q Haute nicely sliced the cake and served it to the 15 of us, placing a meringue on each piece.