Winterlicious 2012: Brownstone Bistro & Bar

So not having posted in months, and rarely discussing anything around here anymore, perhaps now is an odd time to just announce in the early parts of a food blog that having recently started a company doing digital and social media marketing for friendly companies, I’ve recently taken Creemore Springs on as a client. Good folks up there in Creemore. Part of my duties there are to manage the Facebook and Twitter accounts, and in doing so I’ve recently become aware of Brownstone Bistro & Bar in Toronto. One can excuse my lack of knowledge of them earlier as they’re unfortunately located a few storefronts from barVolo, and thus it’s understandable I’ve never made it that far up the street before. My friend, Katie, had recently expressed interest in starting a baking blog and I was leaving a meeting with my old colleagues at 58Ninety, and thus a dinner gathering seemed a great idea. An even better idea? My first experience at a Winterlicious menu.

For those from areas outside the centre of the universe, Winterlicious is an annual Toronto event where restaurants across the city feature fixed price menus for lunch and dinner at reduced prices (and often sizes). It’s apparently popular, not that I’d know, but Brownstone was taking part and it was $4 Creemore night. Decisions make themselves at times.

Appetizer

Eggplant, Compania mozzarella cheese, tomato basil sauce

We passed up Mushroom Strudel with brandy cream sauce and PEI Smoked Salmon Salad with Tropea red onion, capers, English cucumber, and balsamic to opt for Aubergine Parmigiana – Eggplant, Compania mozzarella cheese, and tomato basil sauce. It was an excellent appetizer. Perfectly cooked, spiced with a deft hand, and resting on a very nice tomato sauce.

 

Main

Savoy Spinach, parmigiano, roasted tomato sauce

Coq Au Vin and Filet of Sole in lemon caper butter sauce were inviting, but Yukon Potato Gnocchi with Savoy spinach, parmigiano, and roasted tomato sauce won out here. It was a well-sized portion with an obscenely sized garnish. I’ve only recently developed a taste, and possible fascination, with gnocchi and it’s many variations. Texture these were spot-on, with a bit of give but feeling like a dough. Taste wise they needed a salt and perhaps a bit of the spice that rested on top, but the sauce was rustic and tasty.

 

Dessert

Chocolate Sauce

I never gave a passing thought to Banana Tempura with vanilla Ice cream, paused briefly on Au Jus Pear with dusted cinnamon, and then settled on Bread Pudding in chocolate sauce. I have very little experience with bread pudding, effectively beginning and ending with a Young’s Double Chocolate Bread Pudding I made for Easter a year or so back, inspired by Chuck’s Day Off. Both of us felt a bit saddened by the sheer lack of dessert on the plate, as evidenced in the picture above. Tasted fine, but I’d have hoped for a slightly larger presentation with a better chocolate sauce. But I’m also a dessert freak, so results may vary.

All told, I enjoyed my first Winterlicious experience, and I was pleased with the service, atmosphere, and food at Brownstone Bistro & Bar in Toronto. If I wasn’t such a beer whore I’d probably have made it there earlier, and I think the future holds more than a few stops for lunch and dinner there. I just may grab my drinks a few doors down the road before I get there. :)

 

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