Kelowna – Krafty

For our last night in Kelowna wanted a more casual meal but still better than a fast casual place. Menu @Krafty looked pretty good online and while the actual menu was a bit different wasn’t too put off. K didn’t get the play on words for Krafty Dinner and I had to explain to her that in Canada Kraft mac & cheese is called Kraft dinner. The bison was exceptional and the yolk was almost orange.  Overall the food was pretty good but service was severely lacking, I had to wait 15 min for a 2nd drink.

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Krafty Dinner – cheesy sauce, gobetti noodles, roast mushrooms, white truffle

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Bison Tartar – classic seasoning, egg yolk

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Crispy Duck Leg – lentil, roast carrot

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Burger (sans bun at my request) and fries

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Karate Chop – I thought the descriptions were funny if not PC at all

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Kelowna – Micro

At the suggestion of Salt and Brick’s chef we went to Micro for dinner instead of it’s sister restaurant next door like I had originally planned. It reminded us a bit like Hotel, RIP, in Montreal with an u-shaped counter where staff served you from the middle. I was better this night at not ordering with my eyes. While the food was quite good, it didn’t come close to Salt and Brick but did get to eat some lovely foie gras and poutine. Continuing the streak of super tender octopus was a nice surprise and while the pork belly was excellent I wish that had been a bigger portion. The branzino was also very tender and unlike the ceviche the fish had a pure flavor, not saying which way was better but was a big contrast.

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Coppa – apricot mustard

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Crudo – branzino, side stripe prawns, watercress, scallion

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Foie Gras – sherry marinated, buckwheat blini, blueberry compote

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Poutine – mushroom gravy, smoked oyster mushrooms, cheese curds

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Bison Polpetta – sundried tomato ragu, manchego cheese

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Octopus – potato brava, romesco sauce, corn & cucumber relish

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Pork Belly – green peas, chicharron, lemon mustard

 

Kelowna – Salt and Brick

Having gone to wine region in far flung places, for the long weekend K and I decided to go to somewhere a bit closer but still a fun getaway. After a long drive we wanted some good food and more importantly local wine, we found both in spades at Salt and Brick, we sat right in front of the kitchen at the counter if you can call five hot plates a kitchen in the traditional restaurant sense. The food was amazing, I was expecting good food here since it’s a tourist town but nothing of this caliber. I made the mistake of ordering with my eyes and it was made worse than when chef gave us the mushroom dish when they made it with cheese when other guests requested it without. When I eat out I like to find dishes that are out there and the salami cone was definitely out there, while the photo make it look a bit like vomit the flavor was really good by itself, nice and creamy but adding the sweet waffle cone added an extra dimension. The veal was really good but it was served with French’s yellow mustard, I would’ve preferred a spicy brown mustard which I did try when I asked a cook to give me some when she was platting a cheese and meat board. The coppa was excellent and while I usually hate ketchup the homemade tomato “jam” on the fish and chips was very flavorful and tasted more like tomatoes than a store bought one. I think the chef enjoyed talking to us and the fact that we really appreciate food, our waistlines would say appreciate it too much, and gave us some Karat chocolates. We had already planning on going to get some bars and these delightful bites only reinforced this decision.

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Watermelon: cheese, cilantro

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Asparagus: fresh and pickled, poached egg

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Salami Cone: yam, apple

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Coppa: pickled asparagus

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Veal

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Fish and Chips: tomato jam, pesto

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Halibut Ceviche: berries

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Mushrooms: tomato, cheese

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Karat Chocolates

Seattle – Tavolata Pig Roast

It had been 14 months since we last went to a Sunday feast at Tavolata. Once again it was pork, but this time the main was a 120lb heritate pig they roasted whole for most of the day. As usual it was too much food but with only one pasta it was manageable, wish he had more pig ear to split among four people. The mustard so was so good we all wanted to bring some home. The pig skin was a bit too salty but the meat was insanely tender and I ate way more than I thought could fit in my stomach.

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Salumi Board – prosciutto, porchetta, mortadella, speck, finociona, torta fritta

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Spinach Salad – warm bacon vinaigrette, red onion, pecorino

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Crispy Pig Ear – agliata, chive, sorrel

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Bucatini Carbonara – housemade pancetta, parmesan, egg yolk

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Calabrian chili aioli, salsa verde, housemade mustard

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Roast Pig

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Marble Potato – aioli verde

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Peach Semifreddo – candied almond

Seattle – Tarzan I Jane

We’d been eager to try this modern Spanish restaurant for their Sunday paella meal. While it’s fairly pricey the meal was fantastic and I’m already planning on going back for the much fancier dinner. We’re so full from this 5-course meal that started before noon that don’t even need dinner. We each started with a different gin and tonic since it’s a specialty there, K had the I and I had the Forca. Both were excellent and we sipped while enjoyed the view, there is an open kitchen with a wood burning stove and they had  mini gardens hanging from the ceiling.  Sadly they don’t hand out menus so I’ll do my best to remember each course. Everything was amazing and the paella was K’s favorite even though I ended up eating 2/3rds of it. The rice was crispy and the rabbit was flavorful. I really liked the sausage and poached egg, I nearly asked to buy some sausage to take home even though there are a few purveyors in Seattle that have amazing sausages for sale.

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Blackberry gazpacho

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Seafood ceviche with avocado

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Sausage with poached egg

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Rabbit, snail, artichoke and kidney bean paella

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Chocolate cake and deconstructed lemon tart with apple and coconut icecream

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Chocolate tuffle and olive oil gummy bear

 

Vancouver – Medina

Also before heading home was able to eat at one of the top brunch spots in Vancouver. Normally in warmer weather there is a long line outside that I’m unwilling to stand it but when it’s 0C out there isn’t. We were able to get seats at the bar right away. They’re known for their waffles and they were indeed very good, nice and chewy with a good contrast between the crunchy exterior and steamy center. The house-cured peameal bacon was a letdown though, very dry liked it was in the oven way too long. Guess even though I was in Canada should’ve known better since we were nowhere near Ontario. The Coca was pretty good but wish had more of the pork ragout on it.

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Coca
Blistered Woodstone Fired Flatbread, Pork Ragout, Sfoglia Cheese, Truffled Potato Purée, Oven-Dried Tomatoes, Hannah Brook Farms Greens, Fried Egg

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Liege waffle – dark chocolate

 

Vancouver – Pidgin

I’d been wanting to try Pidgin for a while and after a very cold and lots of waiting for lifts at Whistler I decided to come down to Vancouver a night early. Glad I did as the food at Pidgin was very good and had a wide range of booze on offer. I went from a cocktail to a sake flight and finished off with a glass of BC Meritage. The only thing that was a bit weird as they only had a single item for dessert and it’s relatively easy to make, makes me think they don’t have a pastry chef.
The foie gras and fried chicken wings were my favorite. The pork belly was cooked Taiwanese style and while the flavor was good the pork was quite dry, it was so lean it was almost like a pork loin roast with a bit of fat on top. Would’ve preferred a fattier cut that melts in your mouth.

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Chicken Wings – very light batter, Japanese style

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grilled asparagus, smoked mayonnaise, cured yolk gremolata

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pork belly rice bowl, asian pear kimchi, bamboo, quail egg; foie gras rice bowl, chestnuts, daikon, unagi glaze 27 daily fish MP

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Chocolate pot de creme