In yet another week where we seem to have something on every night, tonight’s event was a wine-paired dinner at Bloom, the newly named student-run restaurant at Conestoga College. But I just couldn’t resist the offer when it showed up in my mailbox.
It was a four-course dinner, with wine, for $36. The featured winery was Fielding Estates. The menu was as follows.
Amuse: Apple turnover, red pepper mousse, and spicy sausage of some type. Seems a weird mix, but every thing was quite nice.
Starter: Lobster Bisque scented with Vanilla and Basil
Wine: 2008 Fielding Chardonnay
I was very impressed with this wine, which turned out to be a small batch of 200 cases, so I may not get to have it again. The lobster bisque was also nicely done. I wasn’t so sure about vanilla scenting it, but it was a moderate flavoring, just giving the soup a touch of sweetness. The little spoon we were given to eat it with was kind of awkward, but it did look cute with the little bowl.
Second course: Salt Cured Foie Gras accompanied by Mango and Pineapple Salsa served on Toasted Brioche
Wine: 2008 Fielding Gerwurztraminer
They do a nice cold foie gras here. It’s not strongly foie gras flavored, but has a lovely texture. Mango isn’t totally in season and so the texture wasn’t ideal, but that’s a quibble. The taste was still fine. The Gerwurtz, which is available at LCBO, was less impressive than the Chardonnay but still a very nice wine.
Main: Navarin of Lamb, Mint and Celeriac Sauce, Sweet Potato Rosti and Harvard Beets.
Wine: 2008 Fielding Carbernet-Syrah
A “navarin” turns out to be a stew kind of thing, combined with peas and potatoes along with the celeriac. The whole thing had a slight sweetness that was quite appealing, and excellent texture. The rosti and beets were a little tougher than they should be, but tasted quite. The wine was quite delicious. Not big, but fruity enough and with the acidity necessary to make it food friendly. It’s a mix of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Syrah. Available from the winery.
Dessert: Chocolate and Caramel Baked Alaska
Wine: 2007 Select Later Harvest Gewurtztraminer
The wine was very nice, with an apple sweetness to it. It didn’t quite stand up to the dessert, but that’s OK. The dessert on its own was quite fine. The caramel was pretty subtle, with the slightly chocolatey meringue and ice cream predominating.
All in all, definitely a deal for $36.
The service had the slight awkwardness one might expect of students learning their craft, and generally lacking in downright funny moments of the now mythical “wine cupboard” night. But it was slightly amusing to be told that they had only one type of tea, “and I’m not sure what it is. It starts with O.”