Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The best breakfast in the city?

We love The Coastal Cafe. I think everybody does. The menu is small yet creative and the coffee is great. However, the space is so tiny you are always gambling when you decide on it for brunch. But with extremely fast service, you can generally get a table in a few minutes, especially if you're only two people. That also means, however, you eat and leave in a few minutes. It's certainly not the place for chatting over a coffee; there's always someone else waiting for your table. But that's ok. There's a certain charm to a place when we all have to share it!

As always we ordered cappuccinos and as always they were good (not nearly the caliber of Two If By Sea but not weak diner coffee either). This visit Brent had my ol' faithful, the McCoastal, a heavenly breakfast sandwich of a house made sausage patty, Havarti, and roasted tomato all on a toasted English muffin. Even though the McCoastal is rather messy to eat (it's huge!), it is so delicious. And that sweet house made maple sausage has made me begin to love sausage. It all works and has easily become one of my favourite breakfasts in Hali! This time, however, Brent found the sandwich too salty and I had to agree. Something was salted heavily when no added salt was needed at all. His McCoastal, however, included deep fried onions and no tomato. And now that I look at the menu online (it was down for awhile) it confirms the fried onions. Apparently, the menu has changed. Hopefully, the saltiness was a weird mistake and the the new McCoastal will be as addictive as the last.

I ventured far out of my comfort zone this time and ordered The Eggs Oslo: poached eggs, smoked salmon, parsnip dill rosti, butternut jam, and mulled red wine cranberry syrup. While I admit, I was a little scared waiting for my breakfast to arrive (I had actually decided on the Durty South only to find out they were all out...that popular, eh!), this dish turned out to be fresh and delicious. The poached eggs were my perfect medium and the star of the dish, the smoked salmon, was so fresh, it was more like sashimi. Amazing. With a patty of grated parsnips, that could have been cooked a touch longer, a sweet butternut squash puree, and a sweet red wine cranberry syrup, the dish paired hot with cold and sweet with savoury. It surprised me. And I ate every bit of it!

No doubt we'll be back to the Coastal Cafe soon. And this time the Durty South will be mine!
so for some reason you can't get to the menu from their web page but you can here:

The Coastal Cafe on Urbanspoon

Romance at Fiasco

Last night Brent and I decided to try out Fiasco as our post-Valentines Day dinner. Dining out on V Day when you work in the service industry is always impossible! And once again I did not take any pictures. Sorry.

While I could have easily chosen several appetizers from the first and second course menus, we decided to share the mussels. The server must have known how delicious the sauce was as she placed spoons on the table and thankfully so. It took all my strength not to grab the bowl and drink the remaining broth! That delicious. The perfect mix of tomato, garlic, and herbs.

For our entrees, Brent chose the tagliatelle with shrimp, scallops, lobster, chorizo, sherry and cream. The pasta, we think homemade, was thin and delicate. A great accompaniment to the rich sauce. And the spicy chorizo complimented the dish remarkably well. His only complaint was the lack of seafood: merely one scallop, two shrimp and a few small pieces of lobster.

I chose the Coquilles St Jacques which turned out to be the traditional dish served in a shell. Several plump scallops sat atop oh so creamy baked mashed potatoes all complimented by a wonderful bechamel sauce. While the serving was small, it would be hard to imagine eating a larger portion of this rich, buttery dish.

Overall, we really liked Fiasco; the space was classy and intimate, the food was simple and delicious, and the service was great (I was even given my martini at no charge because the bar was out of lychees! A garnish, albeit a delicious one, but a garnish non the less! I would have paid for this delicious martini made with real lychee puree with or without the lychee but thank you anyway). With a rather large three course menu full of seafood appetizers, some delicious sounding salads (you know me and my salads!) and a heap of mains, it'll be hard to think of a reason not to come back. Well, maybe the expense (think $30 entrees)....but sometimes great food is worth it!

Fiasco on Urbanspoon