Omnivore's Ottawa Supper Club hosted their final supper of the year this past Monday, and it was held at Absinthe, a French bistro & bar in Westboro. One thing I have come to love about OO's supper club is the great people you get to meet along the way. Because everyone has one thing in common: FOOD, the conversation is always engaging. I end up sitting with complete strangers everytime I attend one of these dinners, and never are there any awkward silences at the dinner table (at least at the tables I've sat at).
Pat Garland, Absinthe's executive chef and owner, is a charismatic man with a strong passion for food. Although Absinthe is labelled as a 'French Bistro', I've noticed Asian influences creeping into his dishes such as the use of yuzu, fish sauce, and Sriracha hot sauce.
OO's supper club meets once a month and is organized by Ottawa's Ron Eade and Mike McCracken. The crowd seems to grow larger each time I attend, and this time, there were 45 in total.
Here is the wonderful 7 course meal we had that evening:
The first course was called H2O Duo. This was a Queen Charlotte albacore tuna taco with a spoon of crispy bass topped with truffle oil, grape and yuzu.
Albacare Tuna Taco and Crispy Bass
The tuna taco was my favorite of the evening.
Albacore Tuna Taco
Next was a wild boar rillette topped with a layer of duck fat. This was served with rosemary crostinis, mustard, pickle, and pickled shallot.
Wild Boar Rillette
The third course was Thistle Creek rainbow trout three ways: fish and sunchoke chips, gravlax, and tartar 'Selon Mon Ami Adel' (not sure what that means exactly). Of the three, I liked the fish and chips the best.
Thistle Creek Rainbow Trout Three Ways
The fourth course was a Barbarie duck consomme with foie ravioli. The ravioli was delicious, and I loved how the hot foie burst in my mouth with each bite.
Barbarie Duck Consomme with Foie Ravioli
Next came a baby arugula salad. This was served with walnut emulsion, candied walnuts, and baluchon cheese. This was a fairly mild salad.
Baby Arugula Salad with Walnuts
The main course was Ontario lamb stuffed saddle of Texel Spring Lamb wrapped in house smoked Berkshire bacon roasted whole and carved. This was served with jus simple, and a super smooth cheddar aligot. Aligot is a French mashed potato dish that is blended with cheese. I learned from Ron that the smooth texture of Absinthe's aligot was achieved by running it through a fine drum sieve. It was excellent, and I could imagine the effort it took to make it.
Lamb wrapped in Bacon with Cheddar Aligot
Dessert was super rich. It was a trio plate of South American influenced Gianduja tart, lemon brulee, and chocolate fondant. The lemon brulee was delicious!
Gianduja Tart, Lemon Brulee, and Chocolate Fondant
Absinthe's steak frites made it on to Ottawa Magazine's 101 Tastes to Try Before You Die article, so I'm looking forward to trying it out. The recipe for the steak marinade can be found here.
Thank you for organizing another great dinner Mike & Ron, and see you in the New Year!
1208 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada