Chocolate covered chips. This is a new concept for me, one I’m not entirely sure I’m down with. But I got to sample it twice in one week recently: once as the finishing treat at Canoe for their Taste Maritimes menu and the other was a take-home gift from the Tourism PEI event 1864 that I was a guest at.
Canoe’s Taste Maritimes
Taste Maritimes is a part of Canoe’s cross-Canada menu series that kicked off in the new year and will continue until they’ve covered the country. To start off the Maritimes menu, we were screeched-in with a tasty nibble of a battered cod tongue. As was appropriate, a screech sour accompanied this starter. Too bad I didn’t know the appropriate reply.
Elevating the everyday is what Canoe does best, and this reimagining of the Jiggs Dinner is a great example. A delicately smoked corned beef, a crisp for figgy duff pudding, artful dollops of pease pudding, all strewn between cabbbage, mustard, and pickles. This discovery of dishes – not only of their ingredients and flavours, but of their origin and development – is a big part of why I enjoy tasting menus.
Another course continuing the experience, plates becoming pearls, in this string of narrative that this meal became. Though this wasn’t the first time I’d experienced an at-the-table clam bake, it was wholly different. This was so much more of-the-sea and a wonderfully sensory-driven course.
Though Taste Quebec and Taste BC still retain my top spots on this Canada-wide tasting menu series, Taste Maritimes was the most playful.
There’s a week or so left You’ve got until Thursday, August 14th before Chef Horne changes the menu and moves it northward. My top tip would be to call and ask to sit at the Chef’s Rail for what I think are the best seats in the house.
Tourism PEI’s 1864
As part of Tourism PEI‘s celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Charlottetown Conference, they held a pop-up in Toronto called 1864 at the Berkley Fieldhouse to promote the festivities and events surrounding this key moment in Canadian history (that I might not have recalled until the invitation hit my in-box).
Of course, all the usual suspects came into play for their outdoor reception: oysters, fish & chips, lobster rolls, and their giggle-worthy raspberry cordial cocktail.
Things got rambunctious when we came into be seated for the dinner. With their ambassador Chef Lynn Crawford – a very funny and thoroughly engaging host – leading the charge. Two teams of voluntold guests competed head-to-head to make our first course: mussels in a white wine broth.
Eventually things calmed down and became quite the normal dinner. As long as you count an in-character Sir John A seated next to you for the evening as normal.
Or if you count playing with your food as normal. I cobbled (and wiped down) a plate of PEI steak and lobster to only little remark.
And as we ended the evening, the lovely PR ladies sent me home with a basket full of all things PEI… including the requisite chocolate-covered chips.
Despite my love for salty and sweet, I’m still dubious as to if chocolate-covered chips should ever return to my plate. I will, however, return to Canoe, and someday, my east-coast plans will materialize.