Saturday, August 23, 2008

Dinner at The Kitchen: Goodbye and good luck, Olivia!

I finally went back for another dinner at The Kitchen this Wednesday and was both sad and excited to hear that my girl (and executive chef) Olivia Bolano got a great, new opportunity so she's moving on. I'm so happy for her, but I'll miss being able to eat her delicious food.

It was kismet that I happened to bring my mom, sister, and friend Marcelo to enjoy what would be my last Olivia-made dinner at The Kitchen. We sat outside on their lovely patio, drank nice, cold glasses of wine and indulged in many, many tapas:

Grilled Octopus, Caper & Tomato Salad

Just like the grilled squid dish I tried back in March, the octopus was expertly cooked and tender with some nice charred bits. The salty, vinegary capers went perfectly with it.

Garden Maki

Asparagus & red bell pepper dusted in a panko crust with wasabi yogurt. This is probably my favourite thing on the menu. It's a maki roll that is covered in egg wash, dusted sparsely with panko breadcrumbs, and deep-fried. It sounds strange, but it's incredible and my Japanese mom, who didn't think it would work, absolutely loved it.

Green Onion & Apple Slaw

This was a lovely, fresh, crisp salad made of green apples, onions (I'm not sure what kind, but they were sweet), and a creamy but light dressing. So refreshing.

Root Vegetable & Chevre Salad

This was a pretty mix of greens with multi-coloured pickled beets and a luscious wheel of slightly toasted goat cheese all drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette.

Tempura Black Cod

Olivia and her crew really know how to fry. These tender pieces of whitefish were light, crispy and delicious. I couldn't get enough.

Beef Sliders

Beef sliders are everywhere these days and my main complaint is that they're usually too big. These adorable little sandwiches were itty biity, but still thick and juicy. The little poppyseed buns had nice grill marks on them and the gruyere and mushrooms combination was fantastic.

Japanese Eggplant Parmesan

We ordered this dish at the last minute and we were so glad we did. The skinny Japanese eggplants were cooked just right and the mozzarella and tomato sauce were so tasty. I love fresh tomato sauce.

Mixed Frites

My best guess at the three potatoes in the mixed frites is russet, blue, and sweet. They made a yummy mix and were served with ancho bbq sauce, cajun sauce, and a garlic mayo.

Banana Spring Rolls, Jack Caramel Sauce

No visit to The Kitchen is complete without the banana spring rolls. This is honestly the best dessert in the city. Even if you go somewhere else for dinner, drop by for some of this. It's the best.

Tomorrow morning I'm off to The Kitchen again for brunch and it's Olivia's last day. I hope the rain holds off so I can enjoy the patio again and have some nicely lit pictures for you of Olivia's brunch offerings. She told me that the chorizo hash is her favourite. How will I be able to sleep tonight?

The Kitchen
1186 Queen Street West
Toronto, ON

No comments: