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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Blind Tasting at Eighteen




For my second wedding anniversary my husband surprised me with a fabulous night out to Eighteen. Eighteen is a restaurant in Ottawa which upholds the philosophy of using the best in seasonal local ingredients and wines to produce a wonderful dining experience. Even more exciting then going to this restaurant was the surprise of having a Blind Tasting - which turned out to be an incredible dining experience, particulary for a Foodie.

For the Blind Tasting executive chef Matthew Carmichael prepared a five (although there was much more food and drink involved) course meal, which they rightfully proclaimed would take us on a journey of the palate. Each course was served by well versed and passionate waiters and waitresses. They took the time to explain each course in details, I wish I would have had a note pad and of course my camera (but somethings are better left to memories). The presentation and flavor cannot be expressed, but were in myopinion, more than impressive.

Upon arrival we sat at THE table...the one beside the 10-12 foot gas fire place and next to a stone encassed window overlooking the market area and providing a view of the entire bar and lounge area including some amazing art by local artists.

Wine: Known for having one of the best wine cellars in the area and promoting local wines, I decided on an excellent bottle - 2005 Chateau des Charmes Cabernet Sauvignon, from St. David's Bench Vineyard (Niagara Peninsula). This wine is aged for 1 year in French oak barrels, resulting in a deep ruby color and a bouquet of cassis and bell pepper. It was certainly full bodied and complex tasting. We used a decanter in order to loosing up the wine, getting the most of the smoky rich flavors.

Starter: we were served a small spoonful of japanese eggplant roasted with sesame, soy and cilantro flavors.

Bread: 2 slices of grainy french bread

Course #1 - 2 large spicy, sweet, sour and salty shrimp and 2 dumplings filled with white fish topped with roe.

Course #2 - Duck on grilled brioche with sherry vinegrette pearl onions and porchini mushrooms.

Course #3 - Blacked Cod with coconut carrot puree and sweet snap peas.

Intermission - palate cleaser, some sort of sherbert infused with champagne served in an elegant martini glass.

Course #4 - Sliced duck breast and lobster served with seasonal baby vegetables (carrots, brussel sprouts, parsnip - so tiny and cute), with a pureed turnip and blueberry compote.

Course #5 - your choice of a cheese or sweet dessert. We both went with sweet and were brought a large square platter with 3 different desserts (but 2 of each totally 6 desserts) - a coconut mandarin rice pudding, triangle shaped chocolate gnoche and the most amazing cheesecake I have ever tasted, and I am not a cheesecake fan. The cheese was more of a roll (not your typical cake shapre) and it was creamy with so much flavor and crusted in something...I wish for the life of me I could have put my finger on those flavors.

Wait one more thing, if we were not full and impressed by Course #5 there was still to come - 2 shot glasses of french red dessert wine and a glass with Happy Anniversary written on it in chocolate served with chocolate truffels in an asian soup spoon.
Again...wish I had pictures and the exact description, but since I don't you will just have to go try it for yourself. Overall, it was certainly a memorable dining experience, one which has inspired me more than ever.
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6 comments:

VeggieGirl said...

My oh my, what a fabulous way to spend your anniversary!!! Such a fun dining experience!!

giz said...

This is a place I really have to visit on my next trip to Ottawa. What a delightful experience and what a nice husband.

Psychgrad said...

What an awesome evening.

Kait said...

Your husband's a romantic guy! Lucky!

It sounds wonderful.. glad you had such a great time.

Apples and Butter said...

Sounds absolutely delicious. Happy Anniversary!

Bellini Valli said...

Happy Anniversary..it sounds like had a memorable day:D

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