Spring in Burlington Ontario

Spring in Burlington Ontario
Discover Burlington this Spring

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Tasty Burlington

One of the benefits of working at Tourism Burlington is that we are in the know about things such as the wonderful fixed price dining program – A Taste of Burlington. Since we coordinate this program with the restaurants we try to get out and try some of the fare as secret shoppers, a tough job but someone’s gotta do it!

This week several of us have had a chance to try some the Taste menus and wanted to share some of these culinary experiences.

Earlier this week myself and a colleague tested out the lunch menu at Red Canoe Bistro at 398 John St. (just north of Lakeshore). Red Canoe features modern Canadian cuisine that includes regional ingredients. We have attended several functions here in the past and the food has always been fabulous! Tobias the owner/chef greeted us when we arrived and indicated that the weekends have been a busy time for the Taste program. We settled into a great table overlooking the street and studied the menu for some time before deciding on our choices. We both opted for the Shaved Market Vegetable Slaw with Niagara Vineyards Vinaigrette,Toasted Walnuts and Frutis which was the local food option. We received ample portions and the slaw was crisp, and had a refreshing bite. My colleague chose the vegetarian option the Smoked Gouda, Mushrooms and Spinach Quiche with house made Pastry with tossed field greens and she said it was very good. I enjoyed the Pulled locally raised Pork Pasta Penne which was also local food option, with Spiced Tomato Sauce, Roast Sweet Peppers. Again it was a fairly large portion and I savoured every bite of the melt in your mouth pasta and pork with a nicely spiced sauce. After the first two courses we couldn’t do justice to the dessert so we took it to go and I treated myself later to the Citrus Gateaux with mascerated local berries – heavenly!

Last night I joined a friend at Nonna’s Cucina Ristorante which is located at 127 Plains Rd. E. west of Waterdown Rd. This home style Italian cookery is connected to Bernadino’s Gourmet Foods and is owned by husband and wife team Jose and Elena Geada. When we arrived it was fairly quiet but by the time we left there was hardly a seat left in the place. The décor was very pleasant with large family photos taken in their trips to Europe giving the space a warm, personalized touch. After reviewing the taste menu we both decided on the Caesar salad, Veal Picata with sautéed onions, capers, and lemon sauce with a side of penne in pomodoro. The salad was crisp with a slice of Italian style bacon and freshly grated parmesan and came with fresh bread and olive oil for dipping. The penne was light with a tasty tomato sauce and the vela was tender with slivers of lemon zest and capers in a light sauce. Our dessert was a melt in your mouth custard tart dusted with icing sugar. It was a very enjoyable meal with great company, atmosphere and food, we will be back again!

Our summer travel counselors have also managed to swing by a few restaurants for the "Taste" program, and have a few experiences of their own to share.

On Thursday, Kat and Linda C. took a well deserved break from coordinating the Taste of Burlington to actually try it out, and Kat had only good things to say about Honey West:

My meal began with the lobster bisque that was creamy and rich with plenty of chunks of lobster accompanied by that tried and true appetizer classic, garlic bread. The chicken apple brie panini with romaine lettuce and garlic aioli was my mouth-watering second course and the side of fries were a special treat - hot and lightly salted with sea salt and topped with parmesan. Finally, I was treated to a fantastic cheesecake for dessert with a hint of lemon that did not overpower, simply delicious. Linda had the peanut butter crème brulee and raved that it was not only decadent but the peanut was not overpowering but an unexpected flavor treat. The server was great and was attentive without being overbearing and all the courses came out promptly which is great if you are "on lunch". The meal was delicious, however, as an employee of Tourism BurIington, I feel obligated to offer you one warning. If you’re dining at Honey West, make sure you come on an empty stomach! You will be getting your money’s worth of food, and then some! There’s a very good chance you’ll have some delicious leftovers!

Alright, change of pace. Natalie here reporting on a trip to one of Burlington’s newest restaurants, the Alex, located on the south end of Brant Street. When my handsome gentleman friend and I arrived, we were told they were lucky to have a table without a reservation. And believe me, there’s a reason why this little place is getting so busy. From the Taste of Burlington menu, we shared the duck confit appetizer, the butter roast black cod with spiced tomato and lobster orzo entrée, and finished our meal with a tangy and delicious summer berry cobbler with lemon curb brulee. Sounds good right? Like really good? I promise you this meal was even better than it sounds. Not to mention that, in addition to the "Taste" meal, we also ordered the duo of bacon. This dish consisted of bacon-wrapped duck fat fries, and (brace yourselves) bacon wrapped bacon. Bacon. Wrapped. Bacon. Nuff said. I highly recommend the Alex. Try it out, but make sure you call for reservations!

There is still time to enjoy A Taste of Burlington as it is on until Civic Holiday Monday August 1st. Visit the website to check out the 21 restaurants participating this summer and their great menus. Diners who order from the Taste menu at each location receive a ballot to enter into a draw for a gift basket filled with gift certificates from some of the participating restaurants. Bon Appetite!

No comments:

Post a Comment