Sunday, November 06, 2005

Siam Kitchen, Bank Street - November 6, 2005

I guess we don't get out much anymore. Baby is now almost 6 months old! Hard to believe. He's pretty easy to take out though, so we do try and get out as much as we can. As he gets harder to entertain though - it may become more difficult. We did have to leave quickly around 8:30pm as he was fussy to go to sleep.

Siam Kitchen has always been a favourite of ours - it's quite close to home, so it's easy to walk to. I really like Thai food in general. The quality of the food is generally quite good - though the service can sometimes be a little less than good. Hubby commented that when we order for pickup, the waitress gets kind of snarky.

This time we chose to eat in -- I chose the vegetarian friend rice and Hubby chose the Chef's special with the spicy shrimp. It's artfully served in a pineapple with veggies. My other favourite dish is the shrimp and squid stir fry -- also listed under Chef's Special Suggestions. We started with spring rolls (Vermicelli, rice paper and shrimp) and the chicken satay with peanut sauce. It can be a challenge to eat with a child in arms - fortunately the Siam Kitchen is somewhat kids friendly - there was another family there that night as well.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

New year's at Claire de Lune, Byward Market - December 31, 2004/January 1, 2005.

Hubby and I joined a group of friends this year at the Claire de Lune. It will probably be the last New Year's Eve out for a while, so we were totally excited to do it up right with a 7 course meal. We chose CdL over Empire Grill because we knew more people, but I'm not sure we had the better meal - although there were some very good parts.

The reservation was for 8:30 pm. When we got there, there were still people finishing up the previous sitting - and they got kicked out (ouch!) to make way for the later sitting.

Once seated, we started with a little nibbly - it looked like some kind of seafood pate in a vol au vent type pastry cracker.

We then moved into drinks and the first course: Malpèque oysters Rockefeller. In one shell was the oyster (mine was not sliding out nicely) and in the other was some warm melted cheese. That went down rather quickly, so I was glad to see the next course..Small game consommé, served with wild mushroom wontons: savoury, warm and beefy.

We were given a choice of three items for the third course: I chose the Stilton and escargots in a crisp filo tulip. The escargots were tasty - I have a vague memory of when I was a child of finding them weird, but this time they just tasted like mushroms. Which, ironically, was what was served to my veggie friend. Hubby chose the Wild salmon served three ways - smoked, seared and tartare. I don't think I missed a thing, even though I like salmon.

Prior to course #5 (the main course) was the palate cleanser: Champagne and blood orange sorbet. I could taste both the champagne and the blood orange juice, and I really enjoyed it.

The main course was also a choice of three. Not feeling very turned on by pheasant, venison or tuna, I went with the Lobster Thermidor. I ate most of it, but left the parts that I could not identify as white lobster meat (I have a feeling I missed out here).

By that point, it was very close to midnight and we were all feeling very full. It was at that point that course #6 arrived: Heart of Boston lettuce with raspberry vinegar. Not very exciting, much the way that Claire de Lune's approach to ringing in the New Year was very ho-hum.

I was a little disappointed with the way Claire de Lune handled the festivities. Not only was bad music BLARING throughout the dinner (70's-80's pop) but they didn't really give a big heads' up or countdown to New Year. They just flicked off the lights, and then flicked them back on again. Sure they handed out a choice of noisemaker, hat or lei (we paid HOW MUCH for this??), but I think I would have a) timed the dinner service better so that we were done salad a few minutes before midnight and b) made a bigger deal about the event. Isn't that why people go out??

2005 at Claire de Lune redeemed itself with dessert: I chose Double chocolate torte with mint scented crème Anglaise...heaven. Chocolately, but not too sweet. Just the way I like it.

Dancing to the crappy music carried on until 2 am, at which point we came home. Many people were impressed with my ability to be alert and energetic, despite pregnancy. I was happy to stay out as well.