I was sadly disappointed in going here for a date. I heard about it, saw the menu, and so wanted to love it. I did not. Now, before saying anything more I need to state that when I visited the regular chef had just left and a new one had only recently taken over. By the time I am publishing this all my complaints may already have been fixed. Perhaps it was just inexperience with the menu. Maybe next time I go it will be awesome. Maybe… and I do plan on going back, I am willing to give a second chance to anyone brave enough to start up a tapas bar in Saskatoon.
First off, my Caesar: mixed perfect. However, it seemed like the Caesar I assume David Suzuki would order. No salt on the rim? A cucumber slice for garnish? What? I want something super unhealthy like a picked hot pepper with a chuck of processed cheese, pepperoni, and mini pickle: a small meal of overly-salty heart-hating artery-clogging death on a fancy bamboo stick. What am I going to do with a cucumber? Put it in salt and vinegar until it becomes a pickle? Oh well, even if this was by far the most healthy Caesar I have ever had it was excellent and masterfully mixed. My wife had orange juice. It was the juice of actual oranges and not out of a plastic jug.
We ordered truffled organic popcorn; mushrooms in garlic, olive oil, and pesto; scallop ceviche with lemon, harissa, and Moroccan fluer de sal; ricotta gnocchi in sage butter and parmesan; duck poutine of truffled fries, cheese curds, and duck gravy; lamb and pork meatballs; crème caramel; and churros & chocolate. Nothing was bad. But, nothing was amazing, though the gnocchi and ceviche came close. At the price-for-portion size every bite of food has to knock it out of the park or a tapas bar like this just won’t make it. The gnocchi was very good, but also the smallest portion size. Gnocchi is potato pasta. It is cheap to add a few more gnocchi to the plate. After all, they are not truffles to be used sparingly. On the topic of truffles, just because they are expensive is no guarantee of excellence. Could have had just as good a poutine at any fry-shack. The popcorn, also with truffle, was good. The meatballs tasted great but there was no caramelization on the outside. Had the outside been crisped up a little it would have imparted that wonderful flavour of meat-sugar turned caramel. Even more important, it would have had an extra texture of crispiness the dish needed. Mushrooms where okay, but I wanted more butter and garlic. Butter and garlic is always a good idea, more is always a better idea. The ceviche was great with bold lemon flavour and nice heat from the harissa, delicious. Harissa is our first food word of the day. It is a North African chilli sauce. The crème caramel could have looked sexier on the dish with a bit more finesse. It also could have been a bit more set, but tasted okay. The churros and chocolate is not the chocolate you’re thinking of. The chocolate was a dark bitter sauce. It was the churros that where the sweet part of the dish. It was still good though, but just good. Churro is the second food word of the day. It is often called a Spanish doughnut. It has a different shape though: long with ridges down the side.
So, over all, it is a good place. But, in order to justify the prices it needs to be awesome. Many of the dishes had the potential to be great. Perhaps if the new chef settles in it will get better. I sure hope so. I would love a great tapas bar in the city. I will be back, at some time, to see how they are doing. I hope the very best for them.
Find out what others have to say at Urbanspoon: