Last week we made our way up Kelowna for dinner at Waterfront Restaurant. The Chef Mark Filatow was busily training some new staff for the summer as we dined in the newly expanded space that increases the overall seating, but more importantly gives the kitchen more space to work their magic.
We decided to share all our dishes and it was the perfect way to experience the talent Mark has created. We started with the pickled sardines over grilled white polenta. I get excited any time I see sardines on the menu as they are such a rich and important food that has fallen out of popularity. Once a staple on the west coast these oily and sometimes smelly little gems are not only incredibly tasty but full of omega-3 fatty acids that we can’t seem to get enough of. The sardines were pickled in house and then lightly fried and served over a piece of grilled polenta that had a nice density to it. Garnishing the plate were pine nuts and a tangy grape compote that balanced the dish.
Pure and utter joy is how I describe the sweetbread dish. The sweetbreads were perfectly cooked, well prepared and once you enjoyed getting through the crunch they just melted away. The depth of flavours in the mushroom ragout was hearty and earthy and the right accompaniment to the sweetbreads. The cappelletti gave the dish the weight it needed to complete its decadence. This dish was hard to share!!
Simply put, these are REAL pomme frites. Twice cooked, at the right temperature, perfectly seasoned…. the only thing missing for this dish is a porchetta flavoured aioli but thats only because I believe bacon and porchetta should have its own food group.
Lets start with the risotto itself. Its all about consistency, making sure the grains of rice are cooked just enough that your palate can still discern its shape but not hold any firmness to the grain. Then you need to ensure the risotto is in enough liquid that it can still settle into the bowl like soft porridge but not have too much liquid that it is swimming like soup or be so stiff that you can stand a spoon up in it. Mark layered the flavours in the risotto with some fennel and roasted red pepper, garnished it with grilled asparagus and then topped it with grilled spot prawns that had been brushed with a lemon syrup that made the flavours just pop. This was a very refreshing dish that had all of us clamouring for the last spoonful.
Pork cheek ravioli’s, need I say more?
Yes, they had a great stringy texture to the filling with a distinct pork flavour. The carbonara sauce added to the richness of this dish. Overall this dish was wonderful with the Beaujolais Village we had. This Gamay held some bright fruit and an almost menthol greenness to the flavour but brought a wonderful balance to the savoury meatiness of this dish. Well done.
Lamb, carrots, potatoes, all sounds pretty tame and traditional!! Yeah right!!
You take the lamb cheeks, slowly braise them with some morroccon spices till the meat is melt in your mouth tender and then let the richly spiced sauce pool on the plate. You take the small tenderloin and grill it till its just about medium rare, any more and you miss the point of enjoying a tenderloin. You roast some carrots until their natural sweetness prevails. You whip up some potatoes so they are so light fluffy that you make f*#@ing DOUGHNUTS with them so they have a light crispy exterior and an airy pillowy filling. You dot the plate with tiny dollops of honey yogurt and you have one killer meat and potatoes dish! This dish was exciting for the depths of flavours and textures. Did I mention the potato doughnuts??
Finally for desert we had a PB & J with banana. Light, elegant, nostalgic, the perfect end to a wonderful meal. The peanut butter log held enough flavour without being heavy or too rich. The chocolate wafer grounded the dish while the candied banana chips played with all the flavours to bring new textures to an old classic.
We’ll be back, hopefully soon.