Mark Bata of Bonvida Wines partners up with wineries and restaurants to host some amazing dinner parties. I don’t alway get his email invites (tsk tsk Bata), but luckily I did get the invite for the Trust Cellars dinner at Brassiere Kensington ($100 including taxes and gratuities). This was an awesome price considering the caliber of the food and wine.
You might be wondering why there is a rose on my menu. Actually, you probably don’t care but I thought that this was a good way to introduce this story. I arrived early so I went to the Starbucks across the street for a coffee. A man came inside, clearly down on his luck, tried to sell roses to get enough money for bus fare. I saw my former MLA Christine Cusanelli having coffee and she chatted with him and gave him money. She didn’t want the rose, but he insisted. She asked him a few more friendly questions and wished him a good evening. When I went over to say hi and to wish her the best, she thanked me and gave me the rose. Cusanelli might not like flowers but this Christine does!
On to the food and wine. My buddy Chen was in town for work and I convinced him to join me. My two neighbours Québécoise and Mr. Sirski were also in attendance. I also sat with two other gentleman, Athens and Parthenon. Without any prompting, Athens lectured me on how to speed up my metabolism and lose weight. I should note that I never told him I wanted to shed a love handle or two, and thus the advice was unsolicited. However, he was fun, so I went along with it and I took notes (at his request).
The first dish was one of my favourite of the night. Speck wrapped Atlantic Scallops w/ pickled yellow foot chanterelles paired with Trust Cellars Columbia Valley Reisling (2014). The scallop was large and sweet. The texture was heavenly – silky and sashimi-like. I could have eaten a dozen of these scallops. Better than I can get back home in Vancouver.
On to the second course, a very generous portion of Orange Glazed Brome Lake Duck Breast w/ star anise puy lentils & rutabaga hash paired with Trust Cellars Walla Walla Syrah (2013).The duck was tender and juicy, with a sweet glaze.
The third course was Mushroom Ravioli with crispy sage & walnut cream, paired with a 2011 Cabernet Franc. This was so delicious, I could have eaten these all night long. Holy smokes. Creamy covered pasta with a earthy mushroom filing. The crunch of the walnuts and the fragrance from the fried sage made this dish stand out.
The fourth course was the Alberta Wagyu Beef, roast carrots, cipollini onion, hollandaise brûlée, paired with a Cabernet Sauvignon 2011. Everyone at our table loved this dish, particularly the Trust Cellars owner and winemaker, Steve Brooks, who I quoted, went “mental”. The onions were sweet, the cream sauce was killer, and the beef was tender with just the right amount of salt. Check out the fourth course in the making below.
The final course was a selection of blackberry, lemon, strawberry macarons. Crunchy, chewy and not too sweet. The perfect ending to a superb meal.
After this meal, I asked myself why I don’t come at Brasserie Kensington more often. I think it’s because so many of my drinking buddies are vegetarians. I’ll just have to get my husband to accompany me, as I hear Brasserie makes a wicked brunch.
Thanks to Mark Bata, Steve Brooks, Chef Cam D, and the rest of the chefs and servers at Brasserie Kensington. Also, thanks to Athens for your diet tips. Perhaps when I plan to lose weight, I’ll give your plan a try 😉