Our friend Flora found this event at the Chefs' House featuring an inventive four course dinner with wine pairing and hor d'oeurves, with Lindt chocolate as the key ingredient to every dish. The night would showcase the talent from the Chef School of George Brown and the Master Chefs would discuss the construction of the menu and dishes. It was a one night only event and we were sold. The menu would only be revealed the night of, and we secured our seats as soon as the event was open for reservations.
Doors open at 6:30pm and after getting to our table, we were promptly greeted with such goodies as chocolate dipped bacon, and a Parmesan tart with grape chutney drizzled with chocolate. The night was getting off to a great start!
While waiting for the evening to officially start, we went over the menu with our sparkling wine in hand, and chomped on some bread at our table, which included a dark chocolate and sour cherry loaf, a red fife pain au levain, as well as some lavash. Norm thought he tasted cumin in the pain au levain, but no one else did.
After some introductions and speeches by the chefs, our first course arrived: the braised beef cheek and dark chocolate ganache ravioli in brown sage butter. I have to agree with Moj on this one, it's definitely the yummiest ravioli I've ever had. For one, the chefs didn't feel the need to include ricotta or mascarpone or any other cheese in the filling, which was quite refreshing; and they didn't cheat by just adding a hint of chocolate; it really was a full on chocolate ganache with the beef cheek. The taste of chocolate was evident, but not overpowering. This dish worked well all around, like the braised beef cheek and chocolate ganache were BFFs.
Our second course was the cocoa infused wild mushroom consommé with a pan-seared scallop. This was an interesting dish, but in my opinion, less impressive than the first. As Norm has duly noted, the scallop was cooked perfectly, but the flavours didn't do much for me. As I got more into the dish, I found the consommé a bit saltier than preferred.
Our third course was the oven roasted chicken breast, with a blood sausage and brioche pudding, white chocolate parsnip purée, in a bitter chocolate and chipotle sauce. The many different aspects to this dish definitely made it a favourite at our table. The chicken was perfectly roasted and not too dry; the blood sausage and brioche pudding had an interesting texture and went well with the parsnip purée; and the bitter chocolate and chipotle sauce wasn't bitter at all. It was hard to decide where to start, and what combination to try next. Everything seemed to blend so well together.
Our signal that dessert was on its way: fresh bread sticks dipped in Lindt chocolate.
And last but not least, our dessert. They weren't kidding on the menu about there being "chocolate of various forms and textures! There was chocolate foam layered on top of a small piece of chocolate brownie/cake, with chocolate crumble all around, whilst sitting on top of a decadently smooth chocolate mousse with bits of liquefied cherry and hazelnut. Flora thought it was a bit sweet for her liking, so I finished hers, too. :)
At the end of the meal, our server presented us with a plate of Lindor milk chocolate truffles, as well as a box of chocolates each as a takeaway gift. With such great food and company, we all had a splendid time. In fact, Flora's proposed to make these a monthly outing. I wonder what's next on the agenda? :)