Osborne Village Cafe

March26

“You should not judge a book by its cover” as the saying goes, but I must confess, I was worried that I had shown up at the wrong place when I arrived at 160 Osborne St. to find that it was the Osborne Village Motor Hotel, a place I had always referred to as “the Zoo”.  I had made arrangements to get caught up with a friend at the Osborne Village Café and had imagined something altogether different.  To be honest, the décor is very modest (nay I say a bit on the shabby side) but I witnessed our server scrubbing the floors and scouring every other surface, near closing time and I can attest that the place is as clean as can be.  Besides, shabby is in, right?

The star of the show is definitely the food and we were not disappointed.  In fact, both of us were equally blown away perhaps because our expectations were low.   This as an error on our part as owner and Chef Leighton Fontaine has extensive restaurant experience and it shows.

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There are occasions when diners choose spaghetti squash to obtain a healthier alternative to plain white pasta.  In this case, the spaghetti squash was not merely a stand in but an essential ingredient of the dish as a whole.  All the components including red wine mushrooms, red peppers and avocado, tasted sparkling fresh and each individual strong flavour was not overpowered by the seasoning of the tomato basil sauce.  The dish typically arrives with a topping of mozzarella but my acquaintance tries to go easy on dairy.  She was happy with her decision because she believed that the sensation would have been overwhelmed by gooey cheese.  Her highest compliment was that the dish was reminiscent of meals she had savoured while traveling in Italy-high praise, indeed.

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Our server (the Chef’s sister) recommended the Perogies.  The hand-made dough is absolutely tender and when the enormous half circles were stuffed with maple poached bacon, potato, cheddar and dill, they reminded me of decadent gnocchi recipes which I have relished.  The plentiful crescents are topped with butter sautéed onions and sour cream.  Since I typically chose 0% BF sour cream, I declined and was so glad by my own determination as the delicate tastes would have been masked by rich cream.  Instead, my decadent treat was to enjoy a side of Winkler farmer sausage.  There is also a vegetarian version of the perogies available stuffed with celery root, potato, parsley, mozzarella and roasted parsnip. 

I may chose these next time, but then again, the server also recommended the Potato and Beet Latkes-crowned with two poached eggs, sautéed white wine spinach, brunoised red pepper and dill studded crème fraiche.  I have learned my lesson and will not judge this gem by its unpolished exterior.

Osborne Village Café on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote: “No man is lonely eating spaghetti; it requires so much attention.”Christopher Morley

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Love-that is all.

 


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