Reader. Writer. Romantic.

Posts tagged ‘inglewood’

Restaurant Review: The Nash

Location: 925 11 St SE
Website: https://thenashyyc.com/

I had first heard about this place from one of my cousins who had suggested this place for brunch. Ever since she put the idea in my head, some four years ago, this place has been on my list. I would still love to try their brunch, but this evening, we came for their dinner.

The Nash is built in a historic building that was once a hotel and saloon. Over the years, it evolved into the place it is now. My first impression upon entering was that it was a lovely, cozy place for friends to gather after work for drinks, but it was clearly a place that catered to the more affluent members of society. As we didn’t have a reservation, we were seated under the condition that we would have to leave by 8:30. Given that it was around 5:30 pm, we figured it would be plenty of time. By the time we finished, it was actually a little past 7 pm.

We were quickly seated and handed menus that were bound in what appeared to be soft leather. I couldn’t really tell if it was real or not (probably not). Having not known that we would be coming here, I had no idea what I wanted to get. Some of the items I wanted to order were outrageously expensive. I ended up settling on the entree size of one of the appetizers, the Confit Chicken Ravioli, while my sister settled on the Charcoal-Roasted BC Salmon and my dad had the Braised Alberta Lamb Shank.

Even for the entree size, I thought the ravioli was quite small. I had chosen to have my ravioli with their wood-fired garlic focaccia. There is something about wood-firing that enhances the flavour of the dish for me. It adds a complexity to the dish that would not be present otherwise. Despite its size, I was very happy with the ravioli. It’s probably one of the better ones I’ve had. I enjoyed the pairing with the peas that gave it both a fresh pop of colour and flavour. I strongly believe that everything on the plate should be there for a reason. Its purpose on the plate should not be purely ornamental. The overall flavours of the dish were well balanced, the pasta was not overcooked or too doughy, and in the end, the small portion size was just perfect. The salmon on the other hand got some mixed reviews. The Nash cooks their salmon to medium, which Val was fine with, and it was accompanied by wild rice, swiss chard, and a microgreen salad. Unfortunately, the swiss chard was far too salty for her and prevented her from finishing her meal. My dad’s lamb shank was the biggest surprise. Normally, I shy away from lamb because of its gamey flavour, but it was virtually undetectable. I loved that it had been braised until it was melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness. It was well seasoned and not overly salty like a portion of Val’s dish had been. I think if the microgreens had been slightly more acidic, it might’ve helped, but there is nothing more unpleasant than a dish ruined by over-salting one element. The lamb shank came with andouille sausage and smoked cheddar grits. I’m not sure if they made the sausage in house, but it was delicious! The side I had been most excited for were the grits and when it was presented in the form it was in, a giant block, it completely threw me off and I failed to recognize what it was, even when I was eating it. I didn’t clue in until Val had mentioned that that was what the menu had listed as a side. The grits were good, but I had never had it in this way before and I’m not sure if I would again.

A meal is not complete without dessert. For dessert we ordered the Dark Chocolate Pâté. First off, I love dark chocolate. I’ve had chocolate pâtés before and have always loved them. They’re the perfect level of richness and the bitterness of the dark chocolate provides the perfect counterbalance to the richness of the pâté. It was paired with a sour cherry sauce, amaretti, and salted caramel gelato. Let me tell you, that sour cherry sauce is no joke. It certainly lives up to its name. While the sauce does add another level of complexity and balance to the richness of the chocolate, I think it was too much for me. I generally don’t do that well with sour. However, Val absolutely loved it and didn’t find it to be too sour, but then again, Val eats lemons, so what do I know. I honestly think that salted caramel is totally overrated. I love sweet and savoury pairings, but I don’t think that salted caramel is the best thing in the world. I prefer so many other pairings over that one. That is not to say that a well made salted caramel dessert is not delicious, but it doesn’t deserve all the fanfare it’s getting. That said, this is one of the better salted caramel gelatos I’ve had. It isn’t too overpowering which makes it a nice accompaniment to the chocolate. The amaretti tasted a little off to me, but if it hadn’t, I might’ve enjoyed it more as it provided the much needed crunch. Overall, this dessert was very satisfying from both a flavour and texture perspective.

The dinner menu is not cheap. I would definitely still want to come back and try a full three course meal sometime and of course, come back for their brunch, but only on very special occasions. This type of food is definitely my kind of food.

In terms of service, our server was very friendly, if not a little scattered when reading out the specials for the evening. Had I been able to afford it, I probably would’ve wanted to go with the dinner for two (or as he said it, dinner for three as it was a 40 oz bone-in cut of prime rib).

Based on this experience, I would give this restaurant a 4.25/5.

Restaurant Interior
Embossed and debossed newspaper page in the washroom
Washroom
Confit Chicken Ravioli with Wood-fired garlic focaccia
Braised Alberta Lamb Shank with Cheddar Grits and Broccolini
Charcoal-Roasted BC Salmon
Dark Chocolate Pâté

Restaurant Review: Without Papers

Location: 1216 9 Ave SE
Website: http://wopizza.ca/

After two months I finally got the chance to meet up with Carmen for dinner.  I usually let Carmen decide where we’re gonna go because of her allergies and since I had been craving pizza for several weeks, this was the perfect fit.

We had been planning this since June so I had time to look over the menu well in advanced.  On my initial perusal of them menu, I wanted to order the Shrooom pizza because I love mushrooms and truffle oil, but since buying that bottle of truffle oil, I don’t think I need to really order anything that contains truffle oil because last time I made something at home with the truffle oil, I got all truffled out and I don’t want to go through that again.  I’ll work on finishing the truffle oil I’ve bought before truffling myself out on restaurant food.

On the day we finally made it here, we had some trouble finding the restaurant because the sign wasn’t very prominently displayed.  Since we got there around four, the restaurant wasn’t very busy yet and we were promptly seated by the window.  I didn’t realize I had been here before, a few years ago, as part of a Jane’s Walk that was focused on visiting restaurants in the Inglewood and Ramsay areas.

It didn’t take long for us to decide on the pizzas we wanted.  Carmen ordered her usual, the Parma with mushrooms added and I decided on the margherita pizza.  The sound of fresh mozzarella gave me images of those large chunks of creamy, stringy, melty, deliciousness.  That’s what drew me to this particular pizza.  Well, that and the fact I had been craving a simple, but delicious pizza as of late.

As the waitress indicated, all the pizzas are thin crust, like actually thin crust, which I was really happy about.  The unfortunate thing about the pizza being so thin is that it cools really quickly and this pizza is not good cold (although I do enjoy cold, leftover pizza most other times). The pizza itself was a little sparse and I did not get the ooey gooey fresh mozzarella as promised in the menu description.  Carmen’s pizza was less sparse and if I had liked prosciutto and it wasn’t so overloaded with arugula, it would’ve been a delicious pizza.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy arugula, but I don’t need a salad on my pizza (totally exaggerating, but you know me).

Despite all my “complaints,” I really would order from here again.  I can’t stress how much I loved how thin the thin crust is.  However, returning to the restaurant is a different matter altogether.  The flies constantly buzzing around our food was one source of vexation, but the second was the level of service.  Here, at Without Papers, I did not experience the same level of hospitality as I expected to be accorded at a restaurant.

Unfortunately, this place is not wheelchair accessible since it’s at the top of some fairly steep stairs.  Carmen had mentioned that she had ordered in from here several times, so for those who want to enjoy this from the comforts of their home, that’s an option available.

Based on my experience, I would rate this restaurant a 3.5/5.  The score is high because of the quality of its food, but also low because of the quality of its service.

Restaurant Interior

Restaurant Interior

Parma

Parma with Mushrooms

Margherita

Margherita

 

Restaurant Review: The Fine Diner

Location: 1420 9 Ave SE
Website: http://www.finedinercalgary.com/

The Fine Diner is another place willing to take reservations for brunch through opentable, which is rare among brunch places. Due to maintenance on the train lines, we decided to take our chances with a walk-in since we didn’t know what time we’d get there. I think that most brunch places don’t take reservations primarily because that without reservations, there is a greater turn over meaning more money. A quick look at the menu showed that there were several intriguing dishes that I wanted to try.

We arrived at around 10:30, grabbing the last available table there. We were promptly seated and a kinda grumpy looking waiter came over to us. He would eventually warm up, but at first I wasn’t particularly thrilled. It took us all a few minutes to decide what it was we wanted. Yulin got a regular coffee and a Mushroom Arugula Eggs Benedict, Valerie got a grapefruit juice and a Steak Hash, and I had the Maple Duck Eggs Benedict with a cappuccino. First off, a cappuccino is not served in a coffee mug, and secondly, it tasted a bit off for a cappuccino. I couldn’t say with certainty what it was about the cappuccino that was wrong, but only that there was something. It seemed as though it took a while for the food to come, but that may have just been me being hungry from not eating breakfast.  The duck was medium rare, which I was wary about initially, but it turned out to be quite good. The eggs must have been organic or something because the yolks were the most beautiful golden-orange. I enjoyed the fact that there was fresh fruit and that the hash medley had tri-coloured potatoes. However, not all was good. Yulin ordered her Benedict with the breakfast poutine, but I guess they didn’t hear her or something because it didn’t happen. Though we were disappointed, at least we weren’t charged for it. And steak…the steak was served in a bowl. The most impractical thing I have ever heard. Besides that, the hash underneath was way too salty, they didn’t give Valerie a steak knife for the steak, and they got the temperature on it wrong.

It’s not horrible, but I don’t think I’ll be coming back. 3/5.

Maple Duck Eggs Benedict

Maple Duck Eggs Benedict

Steak Hash

Steak Hash

Mushroom Arugula Eggs Benedict

Mushroom Arugula Eggs Benedict

Tag Cloud