Sunday, January 1, 2012

gettin' cheeky at fid

We were recently invited to share in a celebration with some friends at fid resto. Being a big supporter of local cuisine, I am rather embarrassed to admit it was my first visit. I simply hadn't had the chance to cross it off my list. Needless to say, I was more than excited.

To start, Brent and I chose the surf and turf, an interesting pairing of pickled mackerel and local lamb rillette. While I was not a fan of the rillette, it certainly had nothing to do with the quality or flavour of the rillette itself but more a reflection of my distaste for lamb. Apparently I only like lamb when it is braised in heavily spiced curries. Brent loved it. I did, however, enjoy the salty pickled mackerel, complimented nicely by a wasabi cream. While I cannot recall every dish ordered at the table, a few others had tried the scallops but were a little put off by the inclusion of the chewier foot. The quail appetizer, on the other hand, another hit.

For our next course, a few guests including Brent ordered one of the daily specials, local veal with truffled polenta and brussel sprout almond chiffonade. I really wish I could report rave reviews but sadly I cannot. While I won't speak for everyone, Brent's veal was overcooked. He actually has horrible luck with meat, forever getting served over cooked steaks despite asking for blue rare most of the time. This unfortunately was one of those times.  His medium rare veal was far less flavorful than expected. At least he enjoyed the rest of his dish. The truffled polenta was the best polenta he had ever tasted but, then again, we don't generally eat polenta. The unexpected star of his plate was the chiffonade, an incredible example of how tasty a brussel sprout can be.

If you have read some of my other reviews, you're well aware that Brent is generally a whiz at ordering some of the best dishes on a menu but this time the tables had turned. I had easily ordered the best dish on the table, espresso braised beef cheeks with dauphinoise potatoes and shitakes. Lets start with the star, the beef cheeks. I had learned not so long ago during a wonderful supper at Brooklyn Warehouse that beef cheeks, while they sound strange, can be some of the most tender meat when cooked properly. So when I read the menu before going (like I try do every time since it takes me forever to order), I had already made up my mind. And I had picked the winner. These beef cheeks were so incredibly tender, like fall off the non existent bone tender. And pretty sure I'd order anything braised in espresso from now on. The serving was also plentiful with more meat than I would normally eat. Brent was thrilled when I couldn't finish it. In addition, the sides were expertly cooked and equally as delicious. My plate even included some surprise kale, sauteed and salted perfectly. This meal was nothing short of amazing. If you see this on their menu, do yourself a favor and order it. It may even be life changing.

Having shared a small appy, Brent and I ordered some cappuccinos and decided on a dessert to share, the deep roasted coffee creme brulee. Can you say coffee addicts! While the cappuccinos were not our fav (we are, after all, coffee snobs), the creme brulee did not disappoint. Executed perfectly. The moelleux au chocolat and the churros were also hits.

The atmosphere at fid is warm and inviting with a space small enough to feel intimate but large enough not to feel crowded. Somehow it wasn't busy for a Friday night but good thing because we were rather loud! We were even lucky enough to score the long family style table, the perfect setting for our celebration. To top it all off, the service was stellar. Our server, a lovely French Canadian from NB, was attentive and knowledgeable yet fun and relaxed. I think she read us right away. So, despite some less than exceptional meals, we all walked away full and happy (and, at least, for me eager to return). It probably didn't hurt that the wine never stopped flowing.

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