here and there

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

On Jan 18th, 2009 we drove out to Canmore after mass to celebrate a birthday. The place was called Rustica and was at the Silver tip resort. The rustic décor of maple wood framing and rustic huge fireplace with a blazing fire provide a warm and inviting atmosphere. The menu offered a four course meal for 40 dollars. After ordering our meal, a small bite size appetizer of mackerel pate in Choux Pastry on mustard greens arrived, then followed by a basket of freshly baked herb bread, dilled flatbread and breadsticks, along with a dish with three spreads or dips for the bread; Blueberry Sage Jam, caramelized onion & apple butter, and balsamic vinegar & oil.

As a starter, I had Seafood Nage, Carrot Spaghetti. It arrived in small covered casserole dish with fresh scallops and mussels in a warm cream base with spaghetti like carrots.

Bill chose the Warm Salad of Camembert , which was a baked spring roll with camembert filling on a fig puree and balsamic sauce centred on a bed of mustard greens.

Next, I had the High Country Bison Short Rib served in a soup bowl on top of butternut squash risotto and peppercorn jus. The ribs were tender and delicious.
Bill was impressed with the Pan Seared Digby Scallop
milefeuile of potato, parmesan velouté, truffle oil

As my main dish, I had medium raw Alberta AAA Beef Tenderloin served on celery puree, decorated with green beans, and served with a side dish of peppercorn hollandaise. The celery puree did not add to this dish.
Bill was even more pleased with the Buffalo Rib eye Pommes frites which were tiny shoestring size potatoes deep fried as a garnish, but he did find the wild mushroom ragout a little too salty.

The meal ended with coffee and a tropical fruit and cashew custard pie. The pie had coconut in the custard and the waiter felt that the cashews were in the pie crust.
. The food was not only attractive to look at it was also delicious. My only suggestion would be to offer more dishes with vegetables and salads , the menu feature most meat and seafood with some vegetable garnishes. The service was excellent and very attentive. I think that the second basket of bread was not necessary although we then did get to sample red onion and wine jam and parsley flavoured butter. The merlot from Kettle Creek was a nice compliment to the meal. The meal lasted just under 3 hours and the last time I had such attention was for my Birthday in a Winnipeg restaurant La Vieille Gare in the seventies. Formerly the old train station of St. Boniface, this Winnipeg landmark built in 1913, was the arrival point in Manitoba for many immigrants and was converted to a restuarant in 1969. I remember having flamed Cornish game hen stuffed with rice and sitting on fresh pineapple half. Not to mention the fine service we recieved even though there was only the two of us in the restaurant during the middle of the week..
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