We recently visited a new-to-us restaurant in Cambridge, Homage. It’s a relatively small place in a heritage building, with a wood decor, and a fairly casual, slightly hipster atmosphere. It mission statement is food that is “rooted in classic techniques, sourced from the community of farms around the area, served with respect and care”.
We—or at least I—had been hoping to try their five-course tasting menu, but it turns out they now offer that only “upon advance request”. What they had instead was a small printed menu, supplemented with some chalkboard specials.
The menu was so small, in fact, that we all ended up getting the same entree: the vegetarian gnocchi. The other options were beef or sausage focused, which none of us were big on, or roast chicken, which we like, but which didn’t seem special enough.
We almost all had the same appetizer, too—a sweet pea soup. But then I decided to veer off into the sausage and asparagus flatbread.
Every item was very well prepared, quite flavorful, and the waiter was able to give us the farm origin of all key ingredients. Serving sizes were modest, so we had room for dessert. Two of us had the lovely chocolate parfait, another the strawberry marquis. And the bill was also modest: about $135 for the three of us, including a bottle of wine and some coffee.
And the restaurant–while admittedly not packed full–was blessedly quiet. No need to shout out our conversation.
While I’m on restaurants, I’ll mention that Huffpost Canada recently posted their Best Restaurants in Kitchener-Waterloo list.
They have a number that are also on my list:
- Public Kitchen and Bar
- Bhima’s Warung
- Cameron Seafood Restaurant
- Northern Thai Restaurant
- Watami Sushi and Sake Bar
And they don’t disqualify any for being too noisy, so both Nick and Nat’s Uptown 21 and The Bauer Kitchen are also there.
They also have a number of places that I’ve also enjoyed, but didn’t include because I haven’t been there recently enough: Ellison’s Bistro, Janet Lynn’s Bistro, Borealis Grille & Bar, Masala Bay, and Red House. (I should really get back to some of these…)
And, they have a few more that I’m now curious about:
- Bread Heads: “My vote for best pizza in the region”, it says.
- The Belmont Bistro. I liked their previous incarnation as the Village Creperie, and the new menu sounds good.
- Rainbow Caribbean Kitchen. “The top place in town for Jamaican fare”. That would be different, for a casual meal.
- Timeless Cafe and Bar: With a “unique atmosphere” and “regularly changing menu” of delicious food.
- The Guanaquita Restaurant, with El Salvadoran food, and dancing, apparently? Hmm.
Then a number that I’m not interested in, because they’re just not my kind of place:
- The Bent Elbow, “A place of beer worship” where “food is secondary”. (Basically the definition of “not my kind of place”.)
- Lancaster Smokehouse: Cause it’s all about the ribs, which I don’t eat.
- Del’s Enoteca (formerly Del Dente). Pizza. But why go here if Bread Heads has the best pizza?
- Rana Doner Kebabs
- Holy Guacamole. Isn’t this a chain? (Though it is useful to know that it offers decent Mexican.)
- Kinkaku Izakaya. I don’t care if it’s better than most all you can eat sushi. It’s still all you can eat sushi.
Then these are the ones that I gave love to, but Huffpost didn’t: Gilt, Bloom restaurant, Sole, Aqua (at the Crowne Plaza—apparently only now “officially” launched), Niko Niko Sushi Roll, along the coffee shops, Death Valley’s Little Brother, Princess Cafe, and Cafe Pyrus.
And their list is strictly KW, so anything far afield, like Langdon Hall or the Easy Pour Wine Bar, is also not there.