Harvest Wednesday Dinner – July 23rd, 2008

I never manage to take decent photos of the food at the Harvest Wednesdays tasting nights, but at the actual prix fixe dinners, where the food isn’t rushing past with a hundred hands grabbing at it, the photos are a little easier to snap.

As a recap, Harvest Wednesdays is a weekly event at the Gladstone Hotel throughout the summer where Chef Marc Breton creates a four course dinner based on products from CSA farm Chick-A-Biddy Acres as well as a number of other local suppliers. The fun part is that he often doesn’t know until the day before as to what ingredients and in what quantities he’ll be working with, so the project keeps the kitchen staff on their toes.

We went last week with some friends, and here’s what we had…

Red Fife biscuits, Raisin-Walnut Bun, Epi, and Rosemary Foccacia with herb butter rosettes – didn’t get a photo of these, but they were great; I’m really digging the red fife flour that’s coming available.

Amuse Bouche (above)
Broccoli and Black River cheddar-filled ravioli with basil and toasted walnut pesto.

We all loved this, and wished there was more!

Garden Antipasto
Marinated white and orange carrots, red and candy striped beets, cauliflower and fingerling potatoes tossed with cold pressed canola oil, mixed tender herbs, heirloom radishes and cracked black pepper.

A few complaints at our table that the vinaigrette on this was too strong, but the vegetables were a really nice combination, and were all crisp and bright and tasty.

Honey-Lavender Fresh Ham Roast
Red Tamworth-Large Black Cross brined overnight, slow roasted and sliced thin

This was one of the pigs I met when I went to Chick-A-Biddy with the Gladstone staff, although Chef Marc said it wasn’t the mama pig pictured in the photos for my TasteTO post.

Broiled Leek and Tofu stuffed portobello mushroom
with a honey-sherry glaze

Our guests each had the vegetarian option, but I didn’t try this.

Mains were served with stir-fried three colour beans, shredded baby cabbage and a wedge of chickpea ‘Socca’. We all loved the socca, which was a chickpea flatbread that sort of resembled naan.

Raspberry Whip n Chill

Fresh raspberry jelly topped with raspberry streaked whipped cream served with fresh berries and a ChocoSol chocolate dipped Tuille.

Dessert was perfect – fresh, bright, not too sweet. My only complaint was that the tuiles must have been set out with the dessert early on because they had lost their sharp crispness, but I was overruled when everyone else at our table said they liked the cookie chewy.

Greg and I also had the wine pairing for the meal, although it was a bit much for me in terms of alcohol, particularly because we headed down the street to a pub for another drink afterwards.

We’ll be attending the remaining three tasting events and at least two or three more weekly dinners before the Harvest Wednesday series ends in late October. If you’re in Toronto, the tasting events are $15, and the 4-course dinners are $35 – a great deal all around.