Langdon Hall is a chi-chi poo-poo restaurant and spa in Cambridge, Ontario.
This summer they have been offering barbecue experiences for the comparatively low price of $75 a plate. We decided to try out the one on the last Friday in August, featuring a menu by Toronto chef Jamie Kennedy and cheese from Montforte Dairy of Stratford.
They and we were lucky enough to get nice weather that day—no rain and warm, but not too warm. So we were seated outside, in a part of the grounds we’d never seen before. (Apparently there was a contingency plan for indoor seating if necessary, but it was not necessary.)
The servers brought drinks, but they explained that it was otherwise a “serve yourself” style. (All you can eat, I guess, though I hadn’t thought of it that way until now!) They had a soup and salad station, a barbecue station, and a dessert table.
They also had a selection of five wines on offer—for an extra charge—all available by the bottle or the glass: three French and two Canadian. Or, you could try all five in 3-oz serving stations. Jean and I couldn’t resist the “try all five” option, though I then realized that with this “serve yourself” approach, I’d have to figure out my own pacing through them all. They went from lightest white to heaviest red, so I aimed for the two whites with salads, first two reds with barbecue, then big red gliding into dessert if necessary.
We proved to be pretty effective at pacing our way through the meal, making it a lingering one. We paused partway through to visit their gardens—they grow a lot of their own food here. We noted a rabbit in the garden, and wondered why he or she hadn’t devoured everything in sight.
There’s no point in listing everything we ate, but standouts were:
- Watermelon gazpacho with herb oil and Monteforte Fresco—Who would have thought of that? But it was lovely
- Shiso (an Asian herb) with peaches and plums and Montforte Blossom
- Torched wild keta salmon—Outstanding texture and smokey flavor
- Salt marsh lamb
- Grilled corn with herbed chillies and buttermilk sauce
- Decadent brownies (that was their name)—Deep, intense chocolate
- Blueberry fritters—Nice little ones
All the wines were worthwhile, also, but the standouts were probably the Niagara Keint-He Chardonnay and the 2003 Haut Medoc red from Chateau Dasvin Bel Air.
It was neat that chef Jamie Kennedy himself served us some of the barbecue items. (And he commented that he enjoyed working with a glass of wine in one hand.)
It was a fun night out. If they do this again next summer, we’re going to see if can rally up more troops for it.