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Johnny Unusual shot the food! JBear needs food badly! J&J's Food Gauntlet.


Internet's foremost Bertolli cosplayer
Johnny and I like to try new foods, and I like to talk about it, so this is my new home for that!

As I posted over in the positivity thread, we signed up for a 6-course meal at one of my favourite restaurants in town, prepared by a guest chef from one of my favourite restaurants in another city entirely. (He made me a ghost pepper ramen a month ago that was *amazing*.) Folks asked for pics, and I am more than happy to provide! (Note that these are all thumb-nailed, so feel free to click if you want larger pics. Furthermore, note that these pictures were all taken and provided by my very sweet girlfriend, without whom I suspect I would not have remembered to take a single photo, despite desperately trying to not forget to do just that.)

To begin, we ordered a bottle of sparkling mead for the table, from a local apiary here in town. I liked it quite a lot, but I'm a sucker for mead to start with. That said, as someone who doesn't really care for carbonation as a rule, I'd have just as soon had one of their other meads instead.

The first course was Suan La Tang, a sichuan-style soup with wood ear, bamboo, and pork:


This was my first time having wood ear mushrooms, I think. They seem fine! Honestly, this was a very mild tasting soup, but an appropriate way to ease us into the evening.

The second course was salmon crusted with lobster mushrooms, served on a bed of smoked tea lentils, chanterelles, roast beet, charred green onion, and lobster bisque:


I thought this course was delicious, although my SO wasn't a big fan-- the salmon was undercooked for her taste (I thought it was perfect, though!). The lentils were too bitter to be enjoyed on their own, but paired very well with the salmon and the bisque.

Course #3 was the salad course, with a simple salad of shredded potato and seaweed:


The salad was surprisingly sweet, and I more or less inhaled it.

Course #4 was when we started to get into the mains, with a Peking duck taquito topped with a marachino cherry and ginger compote and served on a cucumber cilantro salad and garnished with a bit of pickled carrot, spring onion, and hoisin sauce:


This was probably my favourite course of the evening. It was sublime. Again, I don't think I would have cared for the salad much on its own, but it paired fantastically with the taquito.

Course #5 was Hong Shao Rou, pork belly slow-cooked with wine and sweet & sour sauce:


The tastes here were pretty simple, but no less delicious. The pork was nice and fatty, and the sauce was very sweet. Possibly too sweet for some, but there's no such thing as "too sweet" in my book!

Finally, we come to dessert-- a charred peach upside-down cake topped with berries and served on a bed of pumpkin seed brittle and sour cherry brandy coulis, with a side of foie gras ice cream:


It was, of course, very good, as you'd expect. This was, as you might imagine, the first time that anyone at the table had tried foie gras ice cream. I would describe it as... unique? I don't think I'm a fan, but I enjoyed the taste experience regardless!

And that was the night! A great meal all-around.
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Summon for hire
I thought maybe waiting 'til after lunch to read this would prevent it from making me hungry, but it did not.

Johnny Unusual

The first two were good but the flavour was quite mild. The shredded potato was great and if I wasn't told, I'd have no idea that's what I was eating. The two real mains were great. Not mind blowin, but good showings. The desert has a lot going on. I really liked it. Though the foi grois ice cream... better than it sounds but you can feel it in the aftertaste.


Internet's foremost Bertolli cosplayer
Hey, Johnny and I (and my SO) did a thing again! A bit of a drive this time, for a 7-course meal with a "spicy" theme:


There was a bit of a crowd, so we were provided this off-menu teaser to tide us over while we waited (along with the wine):


It was just a variety of greens and spices, and actually may have been the hottest item of the evening? I ended up eating my SO's portion (this would be a theme going forward; her spice tolerance is a fair bit lower than mine).

First up was the carrot and pork stir fry:


This was also one of the evening's hotter dishes, and a pretty tasty one at that. Notably, it included long thin slices of ginger that I thought worked rather well.

Next up was the cold cuts:


This was likely the least spicy dish of the evening, and I think it was no coincidence that it fell where it did, serving as a nice break between courses to help us recover.

This was followed by the deep fried pork dish:


This one was quite tasty, but honestly, aside from the spice, it was about what you'd expect from any given friend pork dish at a domestic Chinese restaurant.

The jalapeno beef dish was next:


I thought this one was perfect, and the bamboo shoots again provided a bit of a respite from the heat.

This was followed by the ground pork dish:


This was likely the hottest course on the menu. I thought it was quite tasty, which was good, because I ended up eating two full servings of it, because it proved too much for my SO. >_<

Next came the soup:


I think we were all looking forward to this course more than any other, since none of us had tried basa before, and it ended up unanimously being the best dish of the evening. The fish and the broth were both spicy and delicious (and probably more than a little caloric). The only bad thing I have to say about it is that there were a lot of peppercorns floating in it which I didn't care for texturally. It's a small complaint, though!

Finally, we had the dumplings:


Johnny loved these, and I thought they were pretty tasty, but both my SO and I tasted something a bit off about them that we didn't care for. Horseradish, maybe? I'm not sure what it was, but I'd have preferred them without.

And that was the meal! A good meal, and good company, and I like the chef, but honestly I'd only give the experience something on the order of a 7/10 or so. It's unfortunate that my SO didn't enjoy it more, but we knew going in that it might be a bit too much for her. I'm planning another even more expensive outing (9 courses) for next week at a restaurant in Moncton that I've never been to with just the two of us, and I'm hoping that she and I will both enjoy that more. I'll probably take more pictures! (Or, to be more accurate, she will, since I have neither a camera nor a memory capable of remembering that I want to take pictures.)

Johnny Unusual

Jalapeno beef might be the best in terms of instant enjoyment when popping it into my mouth, but the soup was definitely pleasantly satisfying all over. The ground pork was good and not too hot... until I choked on a pepper by accident. Then it was pretty hot. Also, I couldn't enjoy the dish as much anymore.


Internet's foremost Bertolli cosplayer
Went out for a very nice meal this evening. Because I'm an idiot, I forgot to take pictures, so I guess the stock photos from the restaurant's website will have to do.

First, for the appetizer, a delicious veggie and goat cheese terrine with crostini:

I love a good terrine, and this one was no exception, although honestly I'm a sucker for goat cheese, so I knew that I was going to love this. I think the outside skin was a thinly sliced zucchini.

For my main, I couldn't say no to the monkfish, as I've never had it before!

It was served on a bed of sauteed asparagus, lentils, prosciutto jerky, and brown butter cauliflower puree, and that all came together in beautiful complementary fashion. I did not regret my choice (although I want to come back and try the rabbit, which was almost as tempting).

Finally, dessert was a canele:

It's hard to so no to pastry with rum, vanilla, and custard, and this one was paired with blueberries, honey cream, and earl gray ice cream! Yum!


????? LV 13 HP 292/ 292
(he, him, his)
Why do I get the feeling that the impact on your taste buds from that meal was only matched by the impact on your wallet?


Internet's foremost Bertolli cosplayer
You're... not wrong.

Just shy of $200 with the tip, although that of course includes drinks and my SO's main.

Johnny Unusual

Meanwhile, it was Ribfest this weekend so my family got ribs at the drive through event, styled like it was last year to make it through COVID. Yummy stuff.


Internet's foremost Bertolli cosplayer
My SO and I are spending the week at a ~spa/resort type thing with a fancy restaurant, so I'll be posting pics of everything that we remember to snapshot. I hate typing on a mobile device, so forgive me if I'm less verbose than usual, and for typos.

We got here late today, so only one meal. This evening's dinner menu:


For apps, we had the rabbit (#1) and the fois gras (#3):



They're both plated pretty similarly, and the garnish was identical (just some greens with a nice balsamic), but for me the fois gras was the clear winner here. The caramelized apples and the apple butter (the pink blob on the right) paired perfectly.

We opted to skip the cheese course, since we'd had a lot on the road, but tomorrow for sure!

For soups, we had the minestrone and cream of seafood:



They were both delicious, but I don't have a lot say, and the photos are boring, so I may skip covering the soup course from here forward.

Finally, for mains, we had a lot of trouble deciding, but ultimately settled on the lamb/gnocchi(#1) and the duck (#3):


The lamb fell off the bone as soon as I glanced at it, and the gnocchi were also delicious, although I don't know that I've ever had bad gnocchi.

That said...


...The duck was even better. I usually find duck too rich, but it paired perfectly with the blueberries on top and veggie puree underneath (mostly turnip, I think). The 3 really worked great in concert, although only the blueberries tasted good on their own.

For dessert, we had the mousse cake and amaretto torte, but we dug in and forgot to snap pics. I assure you they were both delicious.

Next task: waking up early enough to snap breakfast pics!


Summon for hire
For a second I was about to ask whether you were in France or this French restaurant was just all-in on its theme, but then at the last second I remembered about Quebec.

Anyway, that all looks delicious!


Internet's foremost Bertolli cosplayer
We are indeed in Quebec, overlooking the St. Lawrence.





It was good! Not a lot to say here otherwise. There's a fixed breakfast menu with a half-dozen or so choices of just what you'd expect. I probably won't mention it again, and not because I intend to sleep through it and have Lucie bring something back to the room, although I'm not saying that *won't* happen.

On to lunch!


For the soup course, she had the Moroccan spiced cream soup, while I opted to cool off with the fruit cocktail. I suspect this evening will have the same soup selection, so I'll partake then. Neither made for exciting photos, though.

The mains did, though! We opted for the roast turkey (#1) and deconstructed burrito (#4), although, TBH, I saw the veal go by after and had a bit of buyer's remourse.


She quite liked the turkey, although I found the sauce to be bit bland. Fortunately, I had the other!


This was godddamned delicious. Any thoughts of remourse immediately fled my head.

For dessert, I opted for some fruit, while she had the Queen Elizabeth cake:


Stupendous. Fit for the Queen herself. (Which may not be saying much-- I've had truffles at a restaurant that were apparently loved by her personally. They were fine.)
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Internet's foremost Bertolli cosplayer
Actually, on second thought, fuck all of this: a tiny pizza delivery truck just drove by with a shiba inu riding shotgun, so clearly pizza just became a priority.

(The meals are included, so probably not. >_>)


????? LV 13 HP 292/ 292
(he, him, his)
Does the truck sell by the slice? Maybe you could get a snack.

Oh... Wait. You said delivery and not like a food truck.


Internet's foremost Bertolli cosplayer
Look, she's not a food critic, she's a... what does she do? I wanna say... Corgi herder?
Professional hand waver.

Dinner, day 2!


We kicked things off with the seafood bruschetta and beef carpaccio:


The bruschetta was light and delicious, although Lucie correctly observed that it probably would have worked better as a lunch option, since it was essentially a fancy salmon sandwich.


The carpaccio was also quite good, although I found the herb garnish to be a bit too intense of a flavour-- you don't want to drown out the star! The red onion confit on the side was stellar, though.

I didn't take pictures of the soup course, but we both had the Peking soup, which I quite liked and she didn't care for (tasted too strongly of shrimp for her taste). I thought the broth was tasty and hearty, and the vermicelli in it was delicious.

Again, we just couldn't find room for the cheese course, but tomorrow, I swear!

For mains, this was the most trouble I had deciding thus far. The Greek dish promised a "feta fondant", while the fish dish had tiger shrimp and layered trout and anglerfin. Lucie was getting the veal sweetbread flambe, and I eventually narrowed my choice down to the orange braised veal shank and the vegetarian tofu fish & chips. I was torn. I felt like the earlier would likely be tastier and make for a better photo, but I was really curious to try the latter. I decided to crowdsource it to some friends online, and the vote came back overwhelmingly in favour of the tofu.

But first, the sweetbread flambe!

So, a thing about me: I will make appreciative noises when I eat basically anything. It's no secret when I'm enjoying my food. My mother assumes I hate Sunday dinner if she doesn't hear me enjoying it. My partner, however, is very much not me. So it was notable when she took the first bite of this and immediately put her hand to her mouth and said "Mhhrmph-- oh my god". So yes, this was delicious. The sweetbread was to die for, and the creamed potatoes were very yummy as well.

So, was I disappointed with my choice?


Oh, hell nah. My dish was also amazing. We both agreed that if we were fed it blindfolded, we wouldn't know this wasn't a "real" fish & chips, and I've been eating fish & chips my whole life (it's an Atlantic Canadian staple). And it makes sense, really: nail the breading and the tartar sauce (which in this case was a house mayo with capers), and the fish arguably becomes the least important part. The highest praise I can give it is this: I leaned across the table and whispered that it would go great with some ketchup.

Oh, and there was also a bed of tasty root veggie fries hiding under that wild spinach (the spinach itself was only okay, though).



Sugar pie is a Quebec staple, and Lucie was excited enough to get hers that I wasn't able to stop her from putting her fork in it before snapping this photo. High praise!


The Oreo cheesecake was, of course, delicious. *Duh*.


Internet's foremost Bertolli cosplayer


We're saving the soups for tonight, so we both just had the peach, pear, and raspberry cocktails to start. They were yummy!

For mains, she had the duck and potatoes, while I had the fish with jalapeno jam, scallops, and rice (although I was sorely tempted by the vegan tempeh dish). Unfortunately, we forgot to take pics! Which is a shame, because my fish dish looked amazing (and tasted it too!)

We each has one of the desserts:


I've often been known to say that dessert is the least interesting course in a meal, because the floor is higher and the ceiling is lower and it seems largely codified, but today's was a pleasant surprise in that regard. I've never had anything quite like the chia/jam mixture, but it was very tasty, as was the maple avalanche cake (layers of maple cake and maple mousse topped with more maple cake and caramel), which was impossibly light and airy.


Internet's foremost Bertolli cosplayer
Anytime I see a fish I never ate, I want to eat it. Is anglerfin a different thing than anglerfish because a google search is insistent I mean anglerfish.
I mean, probably not? She's doing her best to translate, but Quebec french <> NB french, and food tends to be a whole 'nother language entirely.

Dinner, day 3!


For starters, we opted for the crostinis and the beef tartar:


The crostini were topped with leeks, white wine, and parmesan, but I mostly tasted the latter (this is not a complaint).


The tartar was sublime, although honestly I think it was the spicy mayo (at the fore of the plate) that was the best part. My one regret is that I wish I'd saved some of the complementary bread to have it on.

We each tried one of the soups:


A nice hearty veggie soup. The mushrooms were delicious.


The other soup was... very carroty. Not bad, but I couldn't taste the curry as much as I'd have liked.

I regret to inform you that we punted on the cheese course yet again. Mark my words, I *will* gorge myself on fancy cheeses before we leave this place.

For mains, it was another tough decision, and I had trouble saying no to the herb-crusted lamb, but the scallop pasta was calling to me, while Lucie went with the cauliflower tempura bowl:


This was probably the heaviest dish I've had this week thus far, but it was worth it. A bed of linguini topped with two kinds of scallops, veggies, sundried tomato pesto, and melted parmesan. Yum!


The cauliflower tempura gave it a run for its money, though, with pineapples, a sweet tao sauce, and a bed of vermicelli.

So, for dessert, we were initially disappointed, since the offerings were unchanged on the menu since last night, but it turns out that was a printing error!


First was a maple cheesecake. It was yummy, 'natch.


More exciting, though, was this blueberry and currant pie. Lucie found it to be a little too tart, but I thought it was perfect!


Internet's foremost Bertolli cosplayer


Again, we went for the cocktails and saved the soups for this evening. They were blueberry and star anise, although the latter was pretty subtle.

For mains, we went with the vegan stir fry and the beef.


The stir fry was pretty simple, with some nice veggies and tofu. The mango sauce was pleasant, though.


I am unclear on why this dish wasn't called beef bourguignon, because that's definitely what this was, and it's a French word. Maybe it doesn't count as one because it was served on a bed of noodles? It was a very tasty beef bourguignon, in any case!



For dessert, a boston cream pie and a vanilla raspberry cake. They were both yummy!


Internet's foremost Bertolli cosplayer
Dinner, day 4!



For apps, the tartar was a repeat, and although it was good, eating the same thing ain't how I *roll*, so we opted for the other two.


Salmon & shrimp mousse, served with house biscotti. Delicious, although admittedly I'd have liked one or two more biscotti.


Garden salad with pralines may sound simple, but it was no less delicious for it, and the honey dressing was delightful. Apologies for the photo-- the sun was setting over the water, which made for a lovely view, but made the photos challenging.


This cream of mushroom soup may not look like much, but it was to die for, probably in part due to the fact that it was also very salty. It tasted like we'd put saltines in it!

The other soup was less exciting, but chasing them both was...


...the cheese course! Finally!

Now, yes, this was essentially just a small charcuterie board, but it was a fancy and delicious charcuterie board! Quebec has a lot of cheese makers, and this was a trio of local cheeses. Oddly, the goat cheese (on top) was probably our least favourite, and I am usually a sucker for goat cheese (it's my favourite pizza topping!), but that just speaks to how good the other two cheeses were!

For mains, I was a slam dunk for the rabbit, but Lucie was struggling to decide between the pork and the sweetbread, since the other sweetbread dish was her favourite of the week thus far. She ultimately went with the veal, but we got a look at the pork afterwards and I think she may have made the wrong call.


It was still pretty good, although she preferred the bed of creamed potatoes in the other sweetbread dish.


I've narrowly missed the chance several times in recent years, but I think this is my first time having rabbit on it's own. It's... a bit dry? Fortunately, however, that means that it pairs really well with the veggies and barley! This is just one of those dishes where you want to make sure to get a bit of everything in every fork-full.

We each had one of the desserts, as per usual, but we took them to go to eat back in the room later (blame the cheese course), and I'm not going to subject folks to a pic of a to-go container. It's a shame, though, because the caramel cheesecake has a really unique look. Anyway, they were both great! The chocolate cake was *very* chocolatey.