Living in River Heights has many advantages; the canopy of elm tree- lined streets is only one of many. The exceptional restaurants within walking distance of our home verge on gluttonous: Fusion Grill, In Ferno’s, Pizzeria Gusto, Chew, Bonfire Bistro, Mona Lisa and now right smack at the end of our street at 1670 Corydon Ave.: Enoteca Wine Repository! We were very lucky to get a reservation on a recent Friday evening. We had the choice of 5:30 or 9 pm. We picked the former, thinking that we would be the only ones dining at such a gauche hour but such was not the case. The little place was singing with happy diners.
We were celebrating Sister #3’s birthday so we let the guest of honour choose a couple of small plates to start us off.
First up were roasted beets and oranges accompanied by shards of fennel and horseradish and garnished with toasted pine nuts and pumpkin seeds along with a cool ladle of labneh (strained yoghurt). Olive oil may have been drizzled onto the plate or perhaps the sparkling ingredients simply oozed their natural juiciness.
Along next was freshly made fettucine with lamb sugo which I would describe as a meaty broth, sugo literally meaning the natural juices of a roast. Chevre and a second sauce of parsley, garlic and lemon zest adorned the top and floated around the edges of the dish.
The piece de résistance was a braised short rib, pressed into a smoked potato puree and topped with oyster mushrooms and hot mustard. The essence of the dish was sauce perigeux which is made with Madeira and decadent and earthy, black truffles. Just a little of the latter goes a long way. This and all the sauces were so heavenly that we did something that we should have done at the start of the meal-we ordered a bread basket to lap up the sauce. The attentive serving staff tried to clear the plate a couple of times, but we continued to grasp it until the toasted bread arrived.
The Bread Pudding that the birthday girl chose was no ordinary bread pudding as it was made with buttery brioche. The caramel burnt butter sauce caramelized walnuts and in-house made ice cream put the humble dessert over the top.
As opposed to oohhing and ahhing about each dish separately, I have waited until this point. Each dish was simply sensational and it is hard to find the words to say the same thing over and over again. Simply sensational… The service is an added bonus to the food. A team of servers took care of us under the leadership of waiter Doug. We have met Doug before at Segovia and believe that he is one of the city’s best. That evening, my friend Laurie Hughes who is the publisher of Taste and Ciao Magazine was catching an early dinner with her daughter (in fact, she offered to take the photo of the three sisters). She loved everything that they sampled too. Praise from Laurie is high praise, indeed. Go, just go.
Kath’s quote: “Anybody can make you enjoy the first bite of a dish, but only a real chef can make you enjoy the last.”-Francois Minot
Love-that is all.