Thursday, 16 April 2015

Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar - Happy Hour

Happy Hour 3:30-5:30pm Daily

Buck-a-shuck Oyster, shallot mignonette, fresh horseradish $1 4/5 - They were really fresh!  I could have order another dozen.

Stuffed Olives, anchovies, ricotta, spiced citrus aioli $6 2/5 - They were really bad.  Up to a point where we wanted to send them back.  The olives were too thick and that was all what we could taste.  There were too little anchovies and ricotta.  We could taste it only when we had them separately.  We were expecting stringy cheese but nothing.  It would be much better if they were ricotta balls instead.  The aoili was tangy lemon but could not really tell if there was any spices.

Crispy Chicken Wings, fish sauce caramel, sambal chili, pickled vegetables $10 4/5 - Those were surprisingly good.  The caramelized deep fried wings had a crunchy batter with juicy meat inside.  I don't really any taste of chill.  $10 for 4 pieces of wings was a little too steep.


Korean Galbi Dog, american wagyu beef, pickled vegetables, chili paste, brioche bun $10 2.5/5 - It was a little disappointed.  The beef was mushy with not much flavour.  It might because of having it after the chicken wings.  Luckily, there was some chill paste was on the side.  The brioche bun was fresh but a little too dense for me.

Service 2.5/5 - The hostess was not very nice when she found out we were here for happy hour instead of dinner.  Our server and the busboy were nice enough to take our orders right away just to make it in time for happy hour.  Overall, I would go back for oysters and wings!

Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar on Urbanspoon

Monday, 13 April 2015

Tavola






Burrata with white asparagus $22 4/5 - I was expecting more than 4 pieces of toasts, 4 asparagus, and a little spoonful of burrata.  The burrata was fresh and smooth.  I remember I've got more when I ordered the burrata in Nook.

Walnut pesto, gorgonzola, pear crostinis $9 3/5 - Everything was alright but I would say this was my least favourite of the night.  We could barely find any gorgonzola.  It would be better if some of the walnut was in cream to add texture.  Or adding honey would be a good idea.

Eggs with Anchovies $6 3.5/5 - I was expecting delish eggs with anchovies on top.  The soft boiled eggs made it much better.  It would be even better if the eggs were marinated!  The anchovies were fresh but a little too salty.

Campanelle, mushrooms, prosciutto, lemon $19 3.25/5 -  The pasta were a little undercooked.  It was light with a hint of sourness from the lemon.

Bucatini all'Amatriciana $19 3.5/5 - This was even spicier than the last one.  However, I liked this one the best.  The thick noodles reminded us of the Chinese northern noodles.

Linguini, anchovies, garlic, chilies, lemon $19 3/5 - dry, plain, only the dried anchovies brought the pasta back alive.  We wasn't expecting it to be spicy too

Panna cotta $9 3/5 - the flavor could be much stronger.  The texture was quite bouncy.  I felt it should be richer in flavor and less gelatin could be used.  The berries on top were not fresh and the sauce was a little watery too.

Meyer lemon position $9 3.5/5 - The panna cotta should be as flavourful as this one.   It was a nice creamy dessert with some dehydrated? Lemon zests.  The zests added some crunchiness to the creaminess.

Sticky toffee pudding $9 4/5 - It was much better than expected.  Our server recommended this to us and we were glad we got it.  The sticky toffee pudding was crunchy but not dry.  It was a little too sweet for me.  Too bad, the baking sheet was still attached to the bottom of the cake.

Service 3.5/5 - Everything was great until they got busy and loud after 7pm.  We need to asked a few times before our glasses got filled.  Towards the end of the dinner, I found a bug in my water.  There was no apology or anything when our server changed my glass.  Food quality was good but a little too pricey for what they were.

Tavola on Urbanspoon

Monday, 30 March 2015

Nomad

Poached Egg and Wilted Kale, Buttermilk Dressing, Smoked Goat Cheese, Puffed Grains $13 3.5/5 - The smoked goat cheese was pretty strong.  I hope they could give us a choice of replacing it with different cheese.  The puffed grains added a nice texture on top with the kale.  I found the kale too strong.  It would be much better if it was a different vegetable.

Vegetable Pakoras, Panang, Cilantro $8 3/5 - The pakoras could be crispier with more curry sauce.


Pork Belly, Garlic Whipped Potatoes, Broccolini, Sweet Plum Wine $23 $4.5/5 - I loved it.  Crispy pork belly + creamy mashed.  The pork belly was fatty but the layers of fat could be removed easily.

Pumpkin Pie Crème Brulée, Sugar Cookie Crumble, Vanilla Bean Whip $8 4.5/5 - Recommended by our server,  the creme brûlée wasn't overly sweet and well balanced with the slight salted vanilla bean whip.  I loved the crust on top was not overly thick.  The crumble at the bottom also added a texture.  It was much better than the creme brûlée I had at Sweet Obsession the next day.

I would come back just for the pork belly and the pumpkin pie creme brûlée.  I want to give it a try during happy hour next time.  It recently has started serving brunch.  I'm looking forward to some interesting dishes on the brunch menu before I decide to give it a try.  For example, I heard their Crispy Duck Poutine in Poutine Challenge was pretty good.  Please consider adding it to your regular dinner and brunch menu!  I don't understand why I could reserve through Yelp but not through opentable.  It would be great if I can find Nomad there.

Nomad on Urbanspoon

Friday, 27 March 2015

La Quercia





duck terrine 4/5, duck breast 4.5/5, artichoke 3.5/5, aioli - The duck breast was the best with the nuts and honey on top.   The terrine was not too salty.

pork belly, cappuccio, walnut crema 4/5 - It wasn't overly fatty but I would still prefer the crispy skin in the Chinese roasted pork.  The walnut cream wasn't too strong.  I could only taste it when eating with the bread.  The sour cabbage was too strong to match with the rest.  On the other side, the sour apple was fine with the perfect amount of sourness.  The walnut was just there for the texture.

foccacia, eggplant-spaghetti, burrata 3/5 - It was way too salty.  Luckily the burrata was plain to balance that.

nettle, scarpinocc stuffed with nettle, ricotta, parmesan, brown butter sauce 4/5 - the pasta was al-dente.  The cheese was stronger than regular ricotta and parmesan but still tolerable.  

linguine, cod, tomato, parsley 3/5 - Much saltier than the last pasta.  Much like a linguine alla puttanesca.  I prefer the pasta to be cooked for a little longer.  The sauce was not too special either.

herb crusted chicken breast, leeks puree, dandelion, brussels 3.5/5 - It was a big disappointment when I saw this dish.  I was expecting beef, pork, or seafood (something more that chicken breast).  Luckily, the chicken was juicy.  The green pasto on top was a little too salty.  The brussels sprouts with a hint of peanut was really good.  Not sure if they used peanut oil in roasting or really nuts.

chocolate chestnut cake 4.5/5, raspberry sorbet 4/5, almond tart 4/5, chocolate salami 3/5 - Chocolate chestnut cake was very light and moist.  It did not look that light at all.  There was no hint of chestnuts and they were used to make the cake fluffy.    The sorbet was refreshing but nothing special.  The chocolate salami was a chocolate and hazelnuts.  Too bad the hazelnuts tasted stale.  The almond tart was very flakey.  It wasn't too sweet and the tart itself was buttery.

Service 3.5/5 - Our sever came and checked on us on every dishes.  He always gave us an explanation whenever we tried to make some negative comments/suggestions to the dishes.  They have recently increased the price of the Small and Large 'Alla Famiglia' menus to $60 and $80, respectively.  Having been to La Quercia and La Pentola, I found La Pentola much better in taste and quality than La Quercia.  I think I would visit La Pentola next time.


La Quercia on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Lupo Restaurant & Vinoteca




Mixed Artisian Bread $6 3/5 - nothing memorable.  I think they were 3 types of bread: plain, olives, and focaccia.  Only olive oil was provided (no vinaigrette nor butter).

Octopus carpaccio, pimento, limoncello 2.5/5 - paper thin octopus.  I could only taste the olive oil but not the lemon liquor.

Vitello tonnato 2/5 - Our server recommended this.  It was tender but it wasn't great.  The tuna sauce was not fishy at all.

Taglierini wild mushroom 4/5 - best dish of the night.  Flavourful with truffle oil.  Generous amount of mushrooms.  It was more like a sautéed pasta instead of a saucy one.

Lobster Ravioli 3.5/5 - The dough was thicker than what I could like.  Decent amount of filling but not too flavourful.  I think they were more crab than lobster.

Penna bolognese 2/5 - I could barely find any meat.  It was also too salty.  We had less than 1/3 of it.  Our server Michael was smart enough to notice that and took it of our bill.

Veal porterhouse steak, wild mushroom 3.75/5 - we ordered 2 of them but there was a lack of consistence.  One was medium rare and the other was medium.  The sides were a little too salty.

Sabelfish, grappa and orange marinade 4/5 - My second favourite.  The sabelfish and spinach were a little too salty.  I think it was because they marinated it for too long.  The fish was fresh, juicy and cooked perfectly.

Housemade gelato (pistachio, chocolate) 3.5/5 - both flavours were not as strong as I expected.  I could barely tasted the pistachio.  There was no pieces of pistachio.  I would have guessed tiramisu instead of chocolate.  It might be the cocoa powder.

Chocolate fondant, blood orange gelato 3.5/5 - I was expecting chocolate molten cake but there was no liquid.  The chocolate was too rich and too cold for the liquid chocolate.  The gelato tasted citrus but I couldn't tell it was blood orange.  It was also the most melted one.

Grand marnier, mixed berry cheesecake 3/5 - could not taste any liquor.  The cheesecake just like the only I could find at Safeway.

Housemade sorbetto 3/5 - coconut and I couldn't remember what was the other one.  The coconut didn't stand out as much as the gelato.


Service (hostess 2/5, server Michael 3.5/5) - We were there on New Year's Eve.  We received a phone call 2 days before telling us they will only serve 3 or 4 course dinner ($75 and $95 respectively).  It was kinda late to find another reservation so we decided to keep it.  At the same time, we asked if we could add 2 extra seats (making it from 4 people to 6) but the lady on the phone said no.  We asked if we could put our names on the waiting list but she said we had to call back on the day of the dinner.  We tried the day before and no luck.  She asked if we wanted to cancel our reservation instead.  3 pm on New Years New Years Eve, I called back and the hostess said they had no problem giving us a reservation for  (before I explained that I wanted 2 extra spots instead).  She said we had to be at separate tables so I said no.  They were at least 2 empty tables around us.  There was a round table for 6 right behind us.  On our way out, Michael told us that they had some last minute reservation.

Michael was really nice and attentive.  He made sure our glasses were filled and checked on our food a few times.  He also didn't charge my Bolognese after I told him it was salty.  He asked if we wanted to pack our leftovers and offered some panna cotta cake?  I think that was what he said.

Overall, everything was alright expect the hostess (or the lady on the phone).  I had high expectation for this place but nothing really told out.  I don't mind going back but nothing was significantly good that I had to go back.

Lupo on Urbanspoon

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