Truffle mustard, Apricot & Lavender jam, Rose petal confit, Salted butter caramels from Brittany, Cooking lavender, Truffles and Truffle Oil.
First, let me say that out of Terry Kilrea’s guide of 12 locations, I have actually been to 11 of them.
I am a regular at Maclaren’s and the Metropolitain, I go from time to time to The Lieutenant’s Pump, Dunn’s and the Elgin Street Diner, and I have been a couple of times to Biagio’s Italian Kitchen and Milestones.
But I have never been to the Ottawa Courthouse – since I have never been charged with:
You can follow the next episodes of the trial by following McGregor’s Twitter.
We decided to go with a starter, and after hesitating between the grilled and the fried calamari, my arguments for a healthier selection prevailed and we went for the grilled ones.
Melissa’s dish arrived before my pizza. Unfortunately for Melissa, it was the wrong dish. They had brought the Papardelle a Casa, with mushrooms and black olives – not something she would order. Ever. Strike one. She returned it. Our friendly server, Brenda, came back with the menu, stating that what was brought was indeed what was ordered. Melissa showed the item in the menu, and Brenda realized that there had been in fact a mistake.
My pizza arrived 15 minutes later. We had been warned that there was a bit of delay for the pizzas, despite the brand new, state of the art, metallic wood oven. The Grand is going for the Napoletana style pizza. They will try to get certified from the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana, the official non-profit association whose goal is to safeguard and promote the culture of the real Neapolitan pizza worldwide. The specifications are numerous, but the basics are that the dough must be made with hand pressed Italian flour, the sauce is made with Italian tomatoes and is spread thinly on the pie in a spiral motion, and the mozzarella has to be made from water buffalo produced in the region between Naples and Rome.
Today, the Canadian Friends of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Canada-Israël Committee were hosting a reception on Parliament Hill, Celebrating Partnerships in honour of Israel’s 61st Anniversary.
Hundreds of guests, including parliamentarians from all parties, were mingling and enjoying the tapas-style creation of Israeli Chef Ovid Alfia while Israeli Opera Star, Yevgeni Shapovalov, was impressing everyone with the strenght of his voice while Ernest Shteynberg was accompanying him on the piano.
The best two hors d’oeuvres were the beef roulades on a bed of avocado and covered with strips of marinated vegetables (right); and a spicy tuna on artichokes served raw with a milder sauce and sprouts(bottom).
Both dishes were delicious, and they were freshly prepared before our eyes during the event, which was a nice change from the usual fare on Parliament Hill.
There you have it. A spicy mustard, or a Dijon Mustard. Not unsimilar to the mustard needed for W’s Deviled Eggs recipe.
Some are defending Obama, some are defending the Dijon mustard. Seems to me both are right. As well, Grey Poupon, the Kraft-owned leading seller of Dijon in the USA, weighs in with some sense of humour.
This guy, a permanently drunk blogger from Quebec, is presenting his technique for grilling burgers on his BBQ.
After a lengthy and useful meeting with our advertising firm in Montreal, we ended up going for lunch with one of the partners to continue our discussions.
Nyk’s is quite popular – the place was packed, even though it was already 12:30 PM. The hostess welcomed us and charmingly informed us that we would be seated in two minutes, the time needed to clean a table. Alas, it was two minutes Montreal-style, and the four of us finally sat down 10 minutes later.
The place is very warm – mostly wood, some red brick, it is meant to look like an old-time Inn, but branché. Quite a nice spot, on a prime location, they do squeeze a lot of people in here, enhancing the coziness feeling one gets when walking in.
Nyk’s menu is not very elaborate – an appetizers section, which we all skipped, a salad section with only three choices, a bistro side – pasta dishes, fish, steak, duck, etc… and a pub side – burgers and sandwiches. They also offer a menu du jour, but we simply ignored it and zeroed in on the pub side.
Nicolas-Dominic went for a classic burger with cheddar, Carl went for the same but with brie. You have to give Nyk’s thumbs up for the cheese options offered – I counted 6!! - no processed slices here. Nammi picked the vegeterian burger – what else - with a pattie made from chick peas, carrots, onions and celery. It looked better than the ingredients make it sound.
For my part, I went with the Philly steak. The description made it very tempting: Marinated and minced steak, deglazed in a mushroom sauce, havarti cheese, sauted onions, lettuce and tomatoes on a kaiser.
So I went for it. Nyk’s has the good idea to serve its sandwiches with half fries, half salad – permitting us to indulge and feel good at the same time.
I felt there was a tad bit too much dressing on the salad, so I moved my tomatoes and lettuce from the kaiser and added it to the salad. It gave it more substance.
The fries were very good – typical Montreal french fries, of a nice dark golden colour, crispy on the outside yet tender and warm inside. The portion was a bit small – mostly because they were soooo good.
The sandwich was a bit underwhelming. The havarti’s presence was a sad cameo. A good Philly cheesesteak has plenty of gooey cheese – of course, Nyk’s was listing its version as Philly steak – perhaps an indication that they go (very) light on the cheese. The meat was tender, and the mushroom flavor from the deglazing was present, but subtle. The sauted onions were also reduced to a minimal, there should have been more. The bun was slightly grilled, giving it a nice texture and an added flavor. Not a bad sandwich overall but it read more promising then what it gave.
The Cream Ale is a rarity – it not available in bottles, and when you see it on the menu, you should go for it. If you like Cream Ale, you will rank this one pretty much at the top of your list. It gives another meaning to the word cream. The secret? Nitrogen. Most draft beer are pressurized with carbon dioxide, but McAuslan decided to go with Nitrogen for this tap-exclusive brew. The results are great – you end up with a very smooth beer with a full-bodied texture, with a thick and long-lasting head. This is truly a fantastic beer.
Nyk’s is a neat place – the beer is cheap, and goes even lower for their Happy Hour “4 à 7″, when the pints go down to 4.75$ on selected brands. They also have live music, mostly jazz, and the atmosphere is usually quite pleasant.
After lunch, guests were certainly not happy to learn about the WHO latest warning about pork, despite the reassurance of the government. Meanwhile, China is wondering why the infected herd hasn’t been killed yet. After all, Egypt is moving forward.
That is probably why staffers and politicians on Parliament Hill just received this timely invite :
Canadian Pork Producers
Invite you to a
Wednesday, May 6, 2009 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
East Block Courtyard,
For additional information
Phone: (613) 236-9239 ext 232 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Come show your support
UPDATE 2009-05-06 9:47:57
I guess they are worried about people not showing up because of the weather. I just received a reminder:
“We have a tent.”
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