Friday, 22 March 2013

Culinaire Bites of 2013

It seems odd to do a review of a one-time event that you'll have to wait 364 more days to get to experience - but I think the intent of Culinaire (and Dine-Around and Feast of Fields and other food events) is to raise money for a cause and awareness of the incredible restaurants we have here in Victoria.

At Culinaire, they are out in force, trying to entice you into their restaurant....all in one bite.

Bring it on.

This is in no way an exhaustive (or National Geographic photography level) example of what was served at the Crystal Gardens tonight - but it was some of the bites that I thought were extra-tasty.

Housemate lamb sausage with mango dressing wrapped in naan bread.....from the Butchart Gardens, yes, the Butchart Gardens! Not my first thought for a dinner destination (when I'm doing the mental "drive-around" Victoria thinking of places to go) - this bite was really great - sausage was flavourful and nicely spiced.

And then the next bite....

Savoury and sweet donut from Aura (ok, a special place in my heart right now, because of the outstanding dinner consumed there recently). The savoury side was crusted with seasame seeds and topped with a touch of pulled pork and the sweet side was dusted with a cherry sugar. Yummy.

Aura - savoury/sweet donuts

The Elvis - grilled banana, peanut butter and bacon sandwich from Pig. Salty, sweet and sticky goodness. The King can't be wrong.

Pig BBQ Joint - the Elvis

Pork and a beer - with a twist - Phillips rootbeer and pulled-pork bites (formed into balls, covered in panko and fried). I love (read: LOVE) the Phillip's sodas - Bard & Banker was pouring the rootbeer (but try the ginger-ale too - it puts the ginger in, well, ginger-ale).

Bard & Banker - Phillips rootbeer & pork bite

Probably the award for the best plating/presentation - spring Easter eggs from the Fairmont. perfectly capped eggs with hardened sugar seats formed around them, filled with mushroom risotto and topped with duck confit. I should mention at this point that close to 1,000 tickets are sold to Culinaire - so that's a lot of egg-beheading.

Fairmont Empress - mushroom risotto & duck confit

Shine Cafe - fresh off their "You Gotta Eat Here" visit - prepared Scottish Eggs Benedict - potato scone, blood pudding, maple bacon, egg, covered in whiskey hollandaise. And it wasn't just a 'hint' of whiskey.

Shine Cafe - Scottish benny
For "dessert" we cooled ourselves with a chocolate-dipped salted-caramel gourmet revel from Fruition Paletas (yes, they do fruit too...but this was CHOCOLATE COVERED! - so we skipped the fruit offerings).  Find them on Fisgard, between Quadra and Blanshard....I certainly will be heading there for more of these babies.

Fruition Paletas - chocolate dipped salted caramel

And so much more - as my Culinaire "date" said so perfectly.....nothing bad passed our lips.

I will be waiting with baited breath for the 2014 tickets to go on sale.

No comments:

Post a Comment