Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Restaurant Review - Breakwater at the Waterfront Hotel, Port Credit, Ontario*****

The restaurant has a really old fashioned dining room, it's something you might expect to see in a grand Parisian hotel, high ceiling, soft lighting and tall chairs. The menu is modern Canadian I suppose, it sounds very busy with numerous items making up each plate.

Grilled king prawns, rice, creamy garlic and tomato sauce sauce, this was Meg's choice from the a la carte menu and it was really good.

I opted for the price fixe menu which the restaurant was running as part of a village wide autumn promotion with four other restaurants in Port Credit. My starter on the fixed menu was popcorn crusted goat's cheese, quince jam, frisee salad, potato and leek soup. Everything was good, the cheese with the popcorn was very light and a really fun idea, the Spanish styled quince jam went well, not too sweet and in texture lighter and nicer than the quince jams they serve with Manchengo in Spain. The soup was thick and creamy and satisfying.

Rack of Australian lamb from the a la carte, very nice rare lamb and a good sized portion, squared vegetables, jus, fruited brioche with caramelised onions, this was Meg's choice, I thought it was good, especially the quality of the lamb.

My main course on the price fixe though was stunning, duck breast, duck confit, jus, mustard foam, forest mushrooms, cranberry jelly, celery root puree. Everything about this dish (with the exception of the cranberry which jarred a little with the warm autumnal flavours) was wonderful, the confit had been shredded and made into a patty with tiny cut vegetables, tasty and warming. The duck breast was rare in the middle but had been seared to provide a browned, crisp outer surface. The puree was soft and perfectly seasoned, the just deep and rich and meaty and the foam had a nice tang of mustard, wonderful.

Chocolate swiss roll, chocolate fudge, fruit coulis, filo basket with raspberry ice cream.

Almond and pear tart, apple puree, creme anglaise, vanilla ice cream. As part of the $48 dollar price fixe I got two glasses of wine, an Australian Riesling to go with the starter and a stunning Canadian Cab Sauv with my main course. After dinner we splashed out on a bottle of Inniskillin Ice Wine after questioning the bottle size with the waiter, he was adamant that the winery made bottles no larger than 200ml, but at home I have bought standard 375ml half bottles, I think he was a bit taken aback by our knowledge of the wine.

We had coffee and the total bill was just over $200 (but the ice wine was $60). As in the US, there are taxes to be added on top of all menu and shop prices in Canada, I would much rather they follow the UK model and show inclusive prices on everything. The service was polite and attentive, the staff on all departments at this hotel are wonderfully friendly and charming.

To be slightly picky, I thought the inventiveness of the desserts didn't quite match that of the starters and mains, and the filo pastry baskets had a rather oily taste to them which tainted the other items on the plate. I gave the Breakwater 5 stars, there were some minor quibbles, but overall our experience at the restaurant was fantastic, it's well worth visiting just for the fantastic duck.

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