For seventeen years, I lived a stones throw away from Burlington and not once did I ever venture out there for a meal. I just chalked it up to be a few chain restaurants and pubs.
Until I got invited to the Martini House earlier this year to experience their three course prix fixe tasting menu. I was completely blown away and spent the next few weeks ranting and raving about the place. Since then, I’ve made the conscious effort to explore more and more of the food scene out there – and I haven’t been disappointed yet!
Two weeks ago, I was invited out to the Taste of Burlington (TOB) Launch Party – Summer Edition (happening July 21st – August 5th). Nineteen restaurants all offering up tasty samples. Myself, Dave from Goat Roti Chronicles and eventually Christine, spent an amazing two hours feasting, socializing, tweeting and just having an all around bomb diggity time.
Here’s what we devoured inbetween tweets and making vine videos:
The Stone House Restaurant (@StoneHouseFood) : Hoisin Glazed Pulled Pork Taco (pictured above) This was the first sample I had once I got there and it was a great opening to the whole event. The perfect bite of something fresh, flavourful and familiar.
I’ve heard lots of great things about Eatalia and was thrilled to see they were a participating restaurant.
Plan B Organic Farms offering up a delicious locally sourced summer salad – see I didn’t just eat pork the entire event.
Ye Olde Squire (@YeOldeSquire1): Succulent Shrimp sauteed in house made Butter Sauce and house made Naan bread – shrimp was overcooked and the butter sauce was over reduced and was slightly bitter, kudos for making the naan in house though!
Red Canoe Bistro (@RedCanoeBistro): Summer Vegetable Gazpacho with marinated Canadian Waters Scallop Kebob – I usually run the opposite direction when I see gazpacho because most people butcher it and it ends up tasting like cold pureed tomatoes – this one was the opposite. Intense flavour profiles with a light, refreshing finish. The scallops were cooked to perfection and the presentation was sophisticated and appetizing. Dave and I went back for seconds. Christine was allergic to seafood so this was a no-no for her.
Paradiso (@ristroparadiso): Pepper chicken Liver & Andouille Sausage Pate with mushroom ketchup on olive oil crostini – My favourite dish of the night. Great flavour and texture on the pâté, with a perfect ratio of pâté to crostini – it’s what we foodies like to call “nom nom nom” worthy.
The Purple Heather (@PurpleHeatherGP): Seared Tuna on a Cucumber Crostini – Tuna was cooked to perfectly and I loved the concept of a cucumber crostini but it was cut too think and completely overpowered any tuna flavour. Would have definitely gone back if they’d just let me pick off the yummy tuna slices.
The Rose Garden Restaurant (@RoseGardenFam): Sweet & Spicy Shrimp – way too sweet not enough spicy.
West Plains Bistro (@bistrobound): Coffee & Ancho Braised Beef Short Ribs with a bell pepper salad with pumpkin and sunflower seeds and a cilantro honey oil – Perfect portion and fall off the bone tenderness. The flavours needed to be pumped up a notch but the colours on the plate were beautiful.
Honey West (@HoneyWestBar): Pulled pork wontons with Apple Bacon Relish – This was definitely a pleasant surprise – for one, it looked nothing like a traditional wonton but resembled more of a spring roll. The sweetness from the relish went really well with the salty greasy “wonton”. They were slightly on the greasy side only because they’d been sitting in a hot box but if they had been fried to order – they would have been mind blowing and crazy addictive!
I had a great time at the launch and especially enjoyed the opportunity to mingle and get to know a few of the other local bloggers. Dave, Christine and I definitely noshed to our hearts content that night!
Now it’s your turn! Mark your calendars July 21st – August 5th, for now, head to the Taste Of Burlington website to scope out all twenty five participating restaurants and start counting down the days till TOB. Thanks to Tourism Burlington for hosting a great event.
*Disclaimer// I received media tickets to this event