Wednesday, June 22, 2011

St. Lawrence Market & The Chef's House

For me, the first week after exams are over is always the busiest. It is during this time that I plan all the things I didn’t have time to do while studying, like meeting with friends, going out for dinner, or orthodontist checkups. During those hard weeks of studying, one of my solaces was that my best friend Jenny and I had planned to go eat lunch at The Chef’s House the day after all our exams ended. On Tuesday, that day finally came.

St. Lawrence Market.

We ended up arriving a bit earlier than we’d anticipated, so we decided to take a stroll in the St. Lawrence Market (which wasn’t the smartest idea because we both weren’t wearing walking shoes). I haven’t been to the St. Lawrence Market in years; the last time I’d gone was probably in grade five, when our class went downtown to see a play. I certainly didn’t remember all the butcher shops and bakeries and grocery shops. My mouth watered and my heart yearned to take something home, but I reasoned that buying steaks without a cooler bag in this 24C weather was not a smart move.

We headed back to The Chef’s House. The Chef’s House is a restaurant run by Hospitality and Culinary Arts students of George Brown College. I was really excited to be eating at a student-run restaurant because there was a chance that I would enrol at George Brown College in the future. 

The restaurant is airy and well-furnished with earth tones in a modern way. Located in full view, the kitchen takes up about a third of the restaurant space. If looking across the room to see your food being prepared is not enough, there are cameras which broadcast what is happening in the kitchen on several flat screen TVs placed throughout the restaurant.

I had a quinoa salad to start. The salad, composed of quinoa, diced cucumbers, and cranberries, was served with avocado puree, sour cream, and red pepper coulis. I liked the textural differences between the quinoa, cucumber, and cranberries, and the creaminess that the avocado puree and sour cream added.

The main was my favourite course. I had brown, crisp pork belly confit with steamed spinach and tender roasted fingerling potatoes. A sherry vinaigrette rounded the dish with a touch of tartness. Every component was cooked to perfection and seasoned well.

 Dessert was a slight disappointment. I ordered a crepe served with house made ice cream. Though the flavour of the ice cream was indistinguishable, it was light and smooth and fluffy. Some of the ice cream melted with the maple syrup to create a pool of sauce in which I attempted to soak the dry, rubbery crepe. 

Overall, I had a really great experience at The Chef’s House. Besides the good food, the thing I liked the most was that the staff did not treat Jenny and I in a different manner than the other guests because we were teenagers (probably because the staff themselves were students only a few years older than us). I can’t wait to go back in October to try their fall menu. 

Jenny's chocolate pot.

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