Friday, November 25, 2011

Earl's Kitchen & Bar (King Street)

I was invited by Jacqueline, Regional Marketing Leader of Earl's King St (@earlskingst), to try their seasonal menu a couple of weeks ago. I dragged my partner-in-crime Cindy along for the dinner and headed over to Earl's one night after work. I've been to this Earl's location before but only for drinks; it is a pretty "happening" place especially for happy-hour as it is right in the middle of the financial district (their patio is also stunning in the summer). I've been to Earl's in Mississauga a couple of times and trust me, the vibe in the 'burbs is very different, to say the least. Hm....more family-oriented? Yeah definitely more family-oriented =)

Waiting for Cindy to show up = picture taking time!

The kitchen at the back. Chef Dorian King is the chef at this location.

Jacqueline came over and asked whether Cindy and I have any food allergies; we both responded "no". Well, this only means one thing: tasting menu! Awesomeeeee~

We started off with some drinks:

The Skinny Martini (left) - the low calorie lemon drop, Smirnoff raspberry vodka, sugar free house made vanilla syrup, white cranberry juice, fresh squeezed lemon juice ($8.75)
Whatchamacallit (right) - Cabernet Merlot, Italy ($10)

Potato Leek Soup (Featured Soup) - Al dente potatoes, sweet tender leeks and smoky bacon suspended in a light cream based broth garnished with fresh scallions.

Hmmm such a warm and hearty soup. I especially enjoyed the abundance of leeks and also the savoury flavour of the smoky bacon (who doesn't like bacon?!).

Albacore Tuna Poke Nachos - Crisp togarashi wontons, tuna, cucumber, avocado and tomato poke, spicy mango coulis, sliced serranos, crushed macadamia nuts ($12).

My favourite dish of the night, hands down. I ordered this again as a main last Saturday when I was at Earl's again for my friend's birthday dinner. I love everything here, from the crispy wonton chips to the buttery avocado chunks to the fresh tuna, and of course, the slight kick from the mango coulis and serrano peppers. 

Gnocchi with Italian Rose Sauce - Hand made potato gnocchi, San Marzano tomato cream, burrata cheese, fresh basil ($11)

Cindy and I thought the gnocchi was a bit too hard for us. Not that we like super soft gnocchi, we do like texture, but we both thought it could have been cooked just a tad longer. We enjoyed everything else on the plate though, including the smooth tomato cream sauce and the burrata.

Lois Lake Cedar Planked Salmon (Ocean Wise) with Tomato Caper Chutney - Grape tomatoes, capers, fresh tarragon and garlic brown basmati rice and seasonal fresh vegetables ($23.50).

Flavourful and moist, the salmon was tasty. I hardly ever order salmon because I've had too many experiences where they turn out dry and flaky so I was pleasantly surprised with this. I was also happy to see beets =)

Warm Gingerbread Cake - Roasted brown sugar apples, salted caramel sauce, vanilla bean gelato ($8.75)

I enjoyed this dessert as it is not often that I get to eat gingerbread cake (as opposed to something ordinary like chocolate cake). Salted caramel sauce (love the savoury + sweet) drizzled over the warm gingerbread cake, gelato and slightly warm sweet apples, this was a nice end to our meal. 

Thank you Earl's for the lovely dinner. I also want to say a special thanks to Jacqueline again for setting up the dinner, as well as Ann, Managing Partner at Earl's King St for coming by and saying hello. And of course, last but not least, thank you Chef Dorian King for our delicious dinner and personally bringing out our dessert! ^_*

*This dinner was complimentary. The opinions and views expressed on this post are my own*

Earls Kitchen and Bar on Urbanspoon