16 February 2008

The (Mostly) 100 Mile Diet.

A couple of weeks ago, G and I attended a '100 Mile Diet' event at the Summerhill LCBO. (The LCBO is the Ontario run liquor store.) It was put on by the woman who owns "All the Best", a specialty food store near the LCBO, and much to my surprise included a full dinner with wine! I had no idea.

I left work a tad early to get to what I thought was a lecture, only to show up and see tables with full dinner place settings. When G arrived, I exclaimed, "It's a full dinner!!! With drinks!!! AND one of the drinks is the JT bubbly!" G seemed a bit shocked at my lack of understanding that at the price we paid to attend, of course there was food involved. *Blush*

The food was actually prepared in advance, though they did prepare things while we were there. There was a presentation screen, so everyone could see, and the room smelled amazing.

It was really neat!

The first course was a roasted beet salad with local blue cheese, walnuts, and a niagara dressing. Really nice, and something that we make at home more or less the same way, which made us feel very gourmet. (ha ha)

The portion was generous, the beets were golden and zebra beets. I absolutely love golden beets. They don't have the same overtly dirt/earthy taste that red beets have. And the blue cheese was really mild and quite nice.

From there we moved on to rack of venison with mushroom ragout and sweet potato and turnip mash. I really don't like turnips. I don't know why, but they taste like lemon Pledge to me. I have had them made in a variety of ways at this point, and they really really don't work for me. This was no exception, except I could mix the turnip into the sweet potato, and that worked.

But of course, the star of this show was the venison. WOW! It was unbelievably amazing. The meat was crazily tender and juicy, and the earthy mushroom ragout just made the whole thing really sing. I have only made venison at home a couple of times, and I do think it's almost always been in the form of ground venison for chili or something, but I would consider making it at home.

We then had a cheese course. I enjoyed it mightily, so much so in fact that I didn't take a picture until it had been ... quite enjoyed!

I didn't write down the types of cheese. They were all Canadian, and I think the vast majority of them came from Quebec. But amazing. Really good.

Then, what little (very little) room that was left was given over fully to the apple galette. They served a too sweet ice wine variant with this dessert, and I was really so full that I couldn't eat the whole thing...

All in all, the LCBO evening was fantastic and I would recommend it and would definitely do another one. I think the price was around $65 for the whole thing, and it was very informative and really tasty. (Two thumbs up!)

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