Sunday, November 11, 2007

Beerbistro: Dinner in lieu of blogging

Well, so much for the quiet weekend of blogging. Yesterday turned out to be a whirlwind of activity that involved a trip to St. Lawrence Market, a 2-hour workout at the gym, and dinner with 5 pediatric anesthestists, including my sister, at Beerbistro. Originally, I had planned on ensconcing myself in the hotel room with takeout sushi and my computer, but a couple of people pulled out of the dinner so I went to keep the numbers up.

Great Choice for Dinner Downtown
My sister had asked my opinion on where to take these doctors for their one dinner out in Toronto. She received some suggestions from friends, which included the usual trendy/celebrity cheffy kind of places like Lee, Bymark, Thuet, etc. While I'm sure they are good, they're all a cab ride from One King West, so I suggested Beerbistro and I'm so glad I did. It was fantastic.

Biggest Beer Ever
We started by sharing an enormous (1.5L) bottle of beer called Chimay Grande Reserve from Belgium, which I hear is made by Trappist monks. It came in a huge bottle with a cork that popped out just like champagne. I'm not absolutely sure, because I didn't see the bill, but I think the bottle was $45. The beer was delicious, dark, and fruity with absolutely no aftertaste. Is this what good beer is like?

Starters: Corn Dogs and Smoked Salmon Sliders
For starters, my sister and I shared an order of Corn Dogs and an order of Smoked Salmon Sliders. The corn dogs were basically fancy Pogos with shredded duck inside instead of a hotdog. As silly as it sounds to parody carnival food in a restaurant, they were delicious. The duck was tender and full of flavour and the outside crust was crisp and perfect. They were served with pineapple mustard and cherry beer ketchup, which were both tasty and not too overpowering. The sliders were little smoked salmon sandwiches that were fresh, but not too exciting. Get the corn dogs.

Main: Applewood Smoked Suckling Pig
For my main, I order the Applewood Smoked Suckling Pig, which is only available on Saturday nights. I was so glad I did. It was impossibly tender, smokey, and delicious, layered on top of a bed of thinly sliced zucchini. On each side were halves of twice-baked potato that were crispy on the outside and stuffed with fluffy, creamy potato on the inside. It was a generous amount, so I couldn't finish it, but I made sure to take the precious leftovers with me. I have a amazing pig sandwich in my future.

Dessert: Beer Scream
For dessert, my sister and I shared the Beer Scream Platter, which was a sampling of three beer-based ice creams. I asked our server to pick the flavours for us and I didn't write down the names, but there was a chocolate chip, a berry sorbet, and a dreamy caramelly one. If you only want one, get the caramel. They didn't taste like beer at all, just goodness.

The entire experience was perfect. The food was delicious and original, our server was attentive and friendly, and the atmosphere was lively, but not too loud. If you're in need of a reliable, good time downtown, I don't think there is anywhere better.

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