11 December 2007

One. Singular Sensation.

We went to Mark McEwan's new restaurant 'One' at the Hazelton Hotel a few nights back. Now let me start by saying that I forgot my camera. My grandmother had just died and my head wasn't on straight and I just completely forgot it. BUT, G always tries to nab a menu, so I can at least walk you through the things we ordered.

One is a 'shared' dish place where you order a few meats, a few sides, and the waiter plops them in the middle of the table so that everyone can sample. When they remember the serving spoons. All in all, as a concept it works, but some of the dishes were really too small to share between four people, which our waiter should have stated as we ordered.

Our first course was the wonderful Lobster Spoons with butter braised vermouth ($23). I am not a fan of lobster, but I could honestly eaten all five spoonfuls. It really was a bit of a decadent order based on the number that you get, but it was a celebration. A celebration of what? Ummmm.... life?

From there we decided to order a whack of plates and just dig in as they came. First we ordered the Papiri with veal ricotta meatballs and tomatoes ($20). This was a huge plate of pasta with a lovely sauce and four plump meatballs. Perfect for sharing between four people. I ate the remaining pasta because, well, how could I not?

Then we ordered Roasted 1/2 baby chicken diablo ($20) and Braised beef short ribs with horseradish and parsley ($25). The baby chicken was small indeed and my poor cutting skills meant G got the short end of the bird. Oh well. The chicken had a crumb coating that tasted a bit like it had wasabi or something similar in it. The meat was tender and the coating was really flavourful. The beef ribs were very tender. You just hovered the fork over the slab and the meat fell off. Really nice.

Our Vegetables and Potato and Grains choices were as follows: Creamed corn with chives ($10); Roasted king mushrooms ($13); Soft polenta with mascarpone and parsley ($10); and Chanterelle risotto with truffle and chive ($14). Let this be a lesson to you, don't let me order most of the sides because I will order the richest things on the menu.

First the creamed corn. This was G's choice, and it came in a very cute Le Creuset pot with lid. But, it did have that disappointing, "I could have made this at home for less than $1" taste to it. The mushrooms on the other hand were a complete run-away hit at our table. You got a fairly generous serving for the price, and the mushrooms were of a type I have never had before. The polenta and risotto were superb. Crazy rich. Crazy creamy. And I could have eaten the entire contents of both little bowls with my fingers.

For dessert, I ordered the Maple Creme Brulee with Pumpkin Ice Cream ($13?). Lovely. But as I was so blissed out on dinner, it could have been terrible and it wouldn't have noticed.

For drinks, I had the amazing "The One" martini. It's Christmas in a glass, though that might not be their intentions. According to the menu, it has Infused apple and pear vodka with fresh pineapple and lime juice and a touch of cinnamon and clove. Oh yeah. Pour me another.

All in all, One was a great experience. The dining room is incredibly comfortable and the staff really goes out of its way to make you feel welcome. I really recommend it. Now if I can just stay at the Hazelton Hotel....

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