Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Dish for Fork Fest

Hurrah for Fork Fest! Court introduced me to it a few years ago, and now it's one of my favourite times of the year. For the first night of Fork Fest, we chose The Dish and out of the four of us only Court had been there before. It is a small bistro and, for those of you who have never been, can be easy to miss as the sign is hard to see from the road. Our two other companions arrived late as they had trouble finding the place. Although there is no dedicated parking (only metres), none of us had any problems finding parking within a few blocks.

The Fork Fest menu was fantastic value. For $20 you chose from a starter soup or salad, then a main with a side (most offered soup or salad as a side), followed by dessert. As most of us were torn between trying the soup or salad, we were happy to hear that the mains came with a side as it meant we got to try both. The service was also very good, and our server was able to answer all of our questions and did not make us feel rushed. Now, onto the food!

For the soups, my Creamy Tomato Basil was a bit too much like a pasta sauce for me; it was quite thick and the cream was a garnish on top. Court tried the Shrimp & Corn Chowder, and said it was good but not unreal. I was really looking forward to the salad of Honey Greens with carrots, onions, artichoke hearts and a red wine honey vinaigrette. I thought the vinaigrette was very good, but there was only one piece of artichoke and the choice of (I think) romaine lettuce didn't really work - I would have preferred a softer green such as arugula.

The mains were a big hit with everyone. The Chicken Pesto Pasta with artichoke hearts had more cream than pesto and was proclaimed to be delicious and the Bison Chili with sour cream & cheese was also a success. Court chose the Curried Turkey Burger which arrived a bit charred with a crisp bun; she doesn't often choose a burger, but said it was delicious and very curry-ish. I had the Deep Dish Quiche with mushrooms, peppers, spinach and Fontina cheese and it was very good. I don't often choose the vegetarian option, but finding surprise pockets of cheese all through the quiche definitely made up for the lack of meat.

After the success of the mains, dessert did not disappoint. They were the stand-out hit of the night. The Dish does not list their desserts on the menu, but have a rotating seasonal dessert tray that they bring around at the end of the meal. Before our companions arrived, Court and I had eavesdropped on the next table over and heard the list of choices so we were looking forward to it all night. There was a selection of five different desserts; the four of us each chose something different and no-one was disappointed. The photo shows in order: Brownies with ice cream and cream, Mango and White Chocolate Bread Pudding with cream (warm, moist, and delicious), Sticky Toffee Pudding with cream (mildly spiced and rich), and Lemon Tart in Phyllo with raspberries and cream (just the right mix of tart and sweet). My Lemon Tart was so good that I had to finish it, even though that meant I was still full the next morning

While most of our dinner choices were not on the regular menu, you can check out the majority of the Fork Fest menu at Original Fare. They use seasonal ingredients where possible, and they get a lot of their ingredients from local producers - supporting local growers and keeping their carbon footprint down. Court said they also have a great little "secret garden" patio in the back during the summer. Once it gets warmer, I'll have to go back!

1 comment:

  1. i've only been once - a few years ago now - so i can't comment for how it is these days. i will say however, that when i went - i had the best damn crabcake i've ever had.

    that says a lot, as i've been to new england and have definitely had my fair share there.

    unfortunately, everything else we tried was so so. but the crabcake? worth the entire meal.