Saturday, June 24, 2017

Back in Budapest: Hachapuri, Bock bistro, Laci Konhya, Rosensteins, Kacsa,

Hachapuri

Hachapuri may be the only Georgian resto in Budapest. I was passing in a taxi and noticed it. Stopped the taxi, looked at the menu and went in for lunch. The presentations looked interesting.



The Georgians do a wonderful crushed walnut ball app, combining the walnuts with such fillers as cooked spinach, cooked cabbage, beets and carrots. Above you will see the cabbage ball which was very savory and tasty. On the right is grilled eggplant with garlic sauce.


Georgian red bean pot accompanied by corn bread, marinated cabbage and peppers and a small yellow pepper that had been hollowed out and filled with marinated cabbage. All quite delicious.





House made Georgian bread grilled over a charcoal fire accompanied a wonderful stew/ bowl of eggplant, squash, potatoes and other veggies in a tomato based sauce. The bread tasted of the smoke from the coals of the fire and was delicious.


The self named hachipuri, these dumplings filled with mushrooms or spinach.

This resto was an accidental, inexpensive find.

Laci Konhya

"One hundred year old soup": beef broth that has literally been simmering non-stop for 4 YEARS (thats what they told me!), beef tongue, beef jowl, lemon grass lemon seed, coriander, soy sauce, parsley, chive oil and lime juice. A delightful soup of remarkably transparent and complex flavours.


The House ameuse bouche, House made sausage sliced paper thin on a great red slicer, doused with some good olive oil and served with house made bread and an olive.


St Peter fish, perfectly cooked, with kohlrabi foam, radish, green apple and baby bock choy.


Rhubarb espuma with acacia flowers, strawberries and strawberry ice cream. 


Carrot ice cream accompanied by hazel nuts and a slice of banana, gift of the chef.

Kacsa

Ameuses: cream cheese with garlic and dill; pureed beans; pureed pork crackling.

Fish plate: aroma redolent of the aroma of dill and the pungency of Hungarian oregano.

Duck with red wine sauce and diced mushrooms and currents.

Apple strudel.

Rosenstein

Fish soup with carp milt and roe.

Lecso, a very good traditional stew made with onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, paprika and garlic.

Porcini mushroom stew that was really quite delicious.


Condiments of hot paprika and tomato sauce and mildly hot peppers.

Garlicky mangalitsa pork loin roast with Hungarian potato pasta (no photo).

Layered cake with poppy seeds, plum jam and apple with cracked walnuts


Bock Bistro

Tapioca with cheese sauce and a touch of paddle fish caviar.

Roasted morel mushrooms, caviar, baby radishes, extremely tasty/good house made sour cream (which was rich but not sour), little caviar like roe that looked like caviar but was made of algae and tasted smokey and new potato chips.

Soup, langostino with layers of crispy sliced garlic; green veggies that were perfectly undercooked.

Perfectly undercooked trout, topped with shaved fennel, accompanied by fava bean and black beans. The smoked apple jus sauce was mildly acidulous but this sauce was highly complementary to the fish

Pig loin with veggie "stew", every element prepared and cooked to perfection.

Dobos torte (a spongecake layered with chocolate butter cream, topped with caramel) was accompanied by wonderfully crunchy elements and the coffee ice cream provided the perfect contrast

****This is a highly accomplished chef with prodigious technical skills. Every element of every dish was cooked to perfection.



Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Cafe Cancan, Toronto

To begin, the decor at Chef Victor Barry's new resto, (which I rarely discuss (one can't eat atmosphere), is delightfully light, brightly coloured, casual and very comfortable. Happily, the noise level is quite modest.

Smoked oysters with potato and chives. A good beginning.

Ce et Cette, a "salad" of fresh fennel, snap peas, cooked asparagus, shaved carrots, radish, anchovies, ham, cold soft boiled egg, cheese and a buttermilk dip. What a refreshing beginning!

Smoked sturgeon rillette accompanied together with a nicely crispy flatbread with onions, parsley, and chili. 

A perfectly cooked (med rare on the rare side) rainbow trout for one, topped with freshly snipped sorrel and accompanied by a very good cucumber beurre blanc. 

Asparagus with roasted hazelnuts. 

The well done (as asked for) french fries were accompanied by a mayo remoulade. Although the remoulade was fine, I preferred dipping in the delicious beurre blanc that accompanied the fish. Although the fries were crispy and very tasty, they were a bit too oily. 

Paris mushrooms. 

Barry's burger, a combination of two medium done burgers topped with mayo remoulade, red onion, pickles and cheddar cheese (thankfully, just a thin layer). A very satisfying burger. 

Northern spy apple tart for 2 (must be ordered in advance), with vanilla and ginger. Very good!

A very good, rich chocolate, salted caramel tart flavoured with chili, nutmeg, clove and cinnamon.

Friday, June 16, 2017

A Dinner With Extraordinary Mystery Wines At Edulis Restaurant, Toronto

Edulis remains one of my very favourite restos in Canada. A group of friends with very important wine cellars agreed. So, we organized one of our periodic "mystery wine" dinners at Edulis and the chefs, Michael Cabbalo and Tobey Nemeth did us proud!

The extraordinary house churned, raw milk butter from a guernsey cow, presented with some freshly baked red fife wheat buns. This is probably the best tasting butter that anyone can enjoy in Canada.

Snacks for our tasting of the wines (this one, porcini gougeres). All wines are brought to the dinner wrapped in foil. The sommelier numbers the bottles and before we sit down, pours the wine in glasses arrayed in front of each seat, left to right. We are then asked to be seated and to begin tasting the wines and guessing where they are from (country and region), their vintage and who made them.

More snacks for the tasting: House made chorizo made with house made paprika, goose sausage and exceptional sliced ham from a milk fed piglet.

Morel mushrooms with dungeness crab and wild garlic veloute.


Pardon this picture, camera went on the fritz for this and the next photo. Hay grilled Joshu A5 wagyu from Japan, topped with imperial ossetra caviar and mussel jus. 



Wild Dover sole roasted on the bone accompanied by white asparagus and pig's foot. (see above and please pardon photo).

Saucy rice of mature lobster.


Dry aged squab in 2 courses: #1-broth of the leg with black winter truffles.


Dandelion salad with smoked squab heart accompanied the second squab course.


"Dirty potatoes" with finely diced black truffles also accompanied the second squab course.


The second squab course: pithivier of foie gras and rare squab breast topped with half a crispy pan seared squab head, which was delicious.


Cheeses for our port: benedictine blue and compte, accompanied by hazelnuts, and fennel seed-stuffed dry figs.


The wines unmasked: La mandotte vintage 2000, Quinterelli amarone vintage 1985 and Vega Sicilia Unico vintage 1962.


Cotes Rotie La Turque vintage 1989; Arnaldo Caprai vintage 1998; Fonseca port vintage 1963.


Henri Boillot Chassagne Montrachet 2005 (which was fading so drink up now if you have any); Bollinger 1995; Chateaux Beychevel vintage 1961.


Henri Boillot Chassagne Montrachet 2010 (great); not shown, Turley zinfandel vintage 1997; Rudd Oakville Estate vintage 2001 (not shown) and champagne Bollinger RD 1995.