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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A Taste of Indian in Canada: 3. An Epic finish.


Next day Agent Triple P was feeling somewhat fragile. He decided to skip breakfast and had a light lunch at an Indian restaurant (ironically) near to the government offices he was visiting. C, who had left before breakfast, had claimed that she was busy that evening and so he was surprised and delighted to get a phone call that afternoon indicating that she would be free for dinner after all.

She asked if he had eaten at the new Epic restaurant at his hotel. Triple P had not been there since the hotel had renovated the restaurant a year or so ago so, although he would have preferred to go to one of his favourites such as Canoe. Epic was, at least, handy for his suite but he did not have high expectations. Restaurants at The Royal York tended to be the epitome of hotel business establishments; conservative, expensive and dull.

C was late, inevitably, for their pre-dinner drink so decided to go straight into the restaurant. He ordered some water and was presented with a water list. This had only ever happened to him once before, at the Adlon Hotel in Berlin. True, Epic’s list of 22 waters was modest compared with the Adlon’s 87 but they were divided into still and sparkling, artesianal and mineral. He was tempted by the Fijian water but C had impatiently already ordered San Pellegrino, rather boringly, he thought.

C ordered Peekytoe Crab (Maine rock crabs, originally an unwanted by product from the lobster industry until someone changed their name to Peekytoes in the nineties and started selling them as a gourmet item) Cakes with crusted Ahi tuna loin (how a tuna had a loin was beyond him) and spicy tarragon and mango dressing. Triple P had seared Quebec Foie Gras on Port marinated braised berries with truffled quail and wild mushroom fircasee. He did enjoy simple food. The waiter suggested a glass of Moscato with his Foie Gras and he readily agreed. C had a glass of Roederer Brut premiere with her crab cakes. First, they were presented with an amuse-bouche of smoked salmon with pea and mint puree.

They both ordered the duo of Alberta beef tenderloin with lobster tortellini served in a red wine reduction with Yukon Gold truffle spun potato and cipollini onion and fava bean fricassee. The rather gorgeous sommeliertrice, Courtney Henderson, suggested a Canadian wine. He ordered a Okanagan Jackson Triggs shiraz, explaining that he had never been convinced by Ontario reds. Courtey visibly bridled and explained that she waould soon change his mind on that point. C asked him if he had done that just to wind the girl up but he claimed it was just in honour of her BC birthplace of course. C did not look convinced.

She then offered the fact that she had met someone from London who knew him. She then followed up with the fact that the person was from the government and found him “very intimidating”. Agent Triple P expressed surprise given that he was well know to be a laid-back jovial sort of chap. C looked unconvinced, again.

For dessert C had Vanilla bean crème brulee with passionfruit sorbet. Triple P had a truly excellent selection of cheeses. La Sauvagine, a washed rind cheese from Saint-Raymond de Portneuf, Quebec-the recent Grand Champion at the Canadian cheese Grand prix, A Thunder Oak Gouda, a Riopelle from the Madeleine Islands of Quebec, which was a triple cream cow’s milk cheese with a slight hazelnut taste and a Chevre Noir from Fromagerie Tournevent in Chesterville Quebec. These superb cheeses were served with a selection of strawberries, grapes and walnut bread.

During the latter part of the meal Courtney plied them with Ontario reds finishing up with an Ontario “Port” and extra cheese. They both then had a grappa and green tea.

This Epic meal had stretched for over three hours and, as a result, when they retired to their suite he found that, thankfully, C was considerably less energetic than the previous night. It had been one of the best meals Triple P had had for a long time and he would thoroughly recommend Epic to anyone.

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