Last Friday marked the kick off of the Big Taste 2016. If you’re in need of a little background info, or perhaps feeling overwhelmed by the list of participants, check out my previous post here on my 2016 recommendations.
With dollars saved and reservations booked, Cole & I were ready to kick it off with a bang.
Starting, with a relaxing dinner at the Living Room.
If you’ve been following me for some time, the Living Room might sound familiar. I did, indeed, write a post on it some time ago. But, given that it’s one of my favorite restaurants and absolutely perfect for a date night, we thought we would return.
Plus, the Big Taste menus looked phenomenal.
We arrived late Saturday evening, starving and ready for a feast. Meeting up for a double date with one of my colleagues & her beau, we spent the first few minutes catching up and perusing the drink list.
Recently, I’ve been a little obsessed with ordering virgin cocktails, getting the bartender to whip me up whatever fruit juices he has in stock. And this time, I was rewarded with a pineapple and orange concoction.
After careful deliberation about whether we would do the 3 course or 5 course menu, and heavily comparing the seemingly delicious offerings of the two, the three triumphed and we were on our way. And, because it offered a selection of two choices per course, we decided to order each one and share.
Starting, with basil topped Ricotta Tortellini in a parmesan broth.
And, a house made sticky pork sausage, on a bed of lentils and cooked egg. Recommended to be mixed together for maximum flavour.
The girls seemed to love the soft shells and flavourful ricotta the most, slurping it up with spoons of the sweet broth, while the boys were seen hoarding their breakfast inspired plates of spicy sausage.
If you haven’t been to the Living Room before, it’s important to note that meals don’t come out quickly. There is quite some time between each course, meant to facilitate conversation and perhaps a few sips on your beverage of choice. It’s in no means a place where you feel rushed, and instead, you casually sit together in the dim lighting, listening to the sound of the cracking fire nearby.
Moving on, to course two.
Tender braised lamb shoulder paired with fingerling potatoes, tomato sauce, and peanuts.
And, a massive portion of flaky confit red spring salmon, on a bed of chewy forbidden rice (basically, black rice with the husk on), ginger puree, and charred gui choy. The rice was perhaps the biggest surprise, cooked to perfect and hearty & delicious.
Check out the size of those portions though, friends. By the end of this course, I think we were all happy we didn’t go with the five.
After four incredible dishes, I was excited to see what was coming for dessert. The descriptions themselves were a little vague, leaving a lot to the imagination.
Pleasantly surprised, we were served another set of winners.
A dark chocolate brownie, swimming in kahlua crème anglais and milk crumble.
And a rustic apple tart, smothered in sweet sticky caramel and topped with a cool scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Now, big taste is always best enjoyed with a friend or partner. But, if you’re going alone – or you don’t like to share, I would say my favourites of the night were the tortellini, salmon, and fruit tart.
If you haven’t booked already, I highly recommend making The Living Room one of the destinations on your list – for Big Taste or otherwise. It’s the perfect place for a quiet night with a date, a stunning meal for out of town guests, or just a hearty and comfortable few dishes with a friend.
Book a reso here.