Taste of Burlington: The Martini House

Listen up foodies, Burlington has a legit culinary food scene. I know, I know,  you wouldn’t expect it right?  But I promise you won’t be disappointed. Luckily,  from February 7th to March 10th Taste of Burlington – a culinary event showcasing a prix fixe menu among some of Burlington’s Top restaurants is a great chance for you to sample the best without thinning your wallet.  Lunch is $20 and Dinner ranges from $15-$40 for three course. The Martini House was $35. 
This is my first TOB event and I was in all honestly completely blown away. I’ve been living in Hamilton for over ten years and it never occurred to me to explore the food scene next door. Better late than never right?  We headed out to the Martini House for their TOB menu and I’m already counting down the days till my return. 

We started the meal with something from their extensive …and I mean EXTENSIVE martini menu.  Winter Sunset consisted of  Skyy Vodka, Triple Sec, juice of two clementine oranges, a squeeze of lemon with a sugar rim and sprig of rosemary and the Cover Girl  was vanilla vodka, Raspberry & Orange Vodka, Triple Sec, pineapple & a splash of cranberry juice. 
For Someone who isn’t a big drinker I thoroughly enjoyed my beverage. The fresh clementine juice was incredibly refreshing and I loved the hint of fresh rosemary. My coworker really enjoyed her Cover Girl as well. All martinis were under ten dollars! Next came the appetizers. I’m going to be honest – I wasn’t really expecting much – but I was pleasantly surprise! Way to impress me Burlington! My Cajun Calamari with spicy aioli was like butter in my mouth. The calamari was warm and melt-in-your-mouth – without being under done. It was beautifully cooked. Even my coworker who isn’t a seafood fan at all really enjoyed it! 

Now let me really blow you away with the Cheeseburger Spring Rolls – Ontario grain fed beef, dill pickle spear, smoked ketchup & queso dipping sauce. We definitely weren’t expecting this masterpiece at the table. The fried pickle in the middle and the ground beef tasted exactly like a cheeseburger… rolled into a wonton! We were dumbfounded!! The queso (chilli with cheese) dipping sauce was the icing on the cake as well! 

After those spectacular appetizers, we had really high hopes for the mains – and we were not disappointed. My Maple Brandy Creme Scallops – seared scallops, maple brandy cream, potato rosti was orgasmic. Thats right – o r g a s m i c. The scallops were seared to perfection and the crab cake (yep! – they threw a crab cake in there!) was delicious! The creamy maple brandy sauce was spectacular.  I actually contemplated licking the plate afterwards but I didn’t want to be judged.

Onto the Smoked Beef Short Rib – slow braised short rib with Dr. Pepper glaze, and homemade cream corn. Before I get to the short rib, lets talk about what it’s sitting on …a beautiful spoonful of bacon creamed corn. Yep. It was phenomenal. I’m not a fan of creamed corn but this stuff was some good S#%^ Like I’d put that #$%^ on everything kinda good!  The short rib fell apart at the tug of a fork and the Dr. Pepper glaze was genius! The carbonation did a great job of breaking down the tendons and the sweet glaze was lip licking yummy! 

For dessert we split the Creme Brule & Marscapone Crepe. The creme brule had the perfect sugar crust on top and there was the perfect ratio of creme vs. brule. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE this. The mascarpone cheese crepe was creamy and fluffy and the perfect ending to my meal. Not too sweet but just enough to satisfy someone like me. 

I walked into The Martini House thinking it would be a nice meal but we walked out completely surprised by the offerings and the quality of food. The service was also exception – like Canoe exceptional. Carl our server was attentive, but not overbearing and he knew when to touch the table and when to let us enjoy the meal. He also got us laughing a few times so that’s always a bonus! 
TOB is running till March 10th and I am definitely returning again with my girlfriends! By the way, I apologize for the quality of the pics. I came in after work so the SLR had to stay at home and it was romantic lighting in the restaurant = not sexy food pics. 
The Martini House
437 Elizabeth Street
Burlington, On

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