Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Milestones' Homestyle Chefs' Tasting Menu

It is always a pleasure attending a Milestones media dinner (this is my third one). Not only do I get the opportunity to taste a bit of everything from Milestones' newest menu, I also get to order as many bellinis as I want (I know it sounds stupid but I've been a sucker for their bellinis since the beginning of time...I'm obsessed with those fruity slushies!) In all seriousness I'm always eager to try Executive Chef Jason Rosso's new creations. Ever since chef Rosso joined Milestones as corporate chef I've noticed a significant change - a very positive one - in the restaurant specifically when it comes to embracing global cuisine. Being Asian, I particularly enjoy the Asian influences in Rosso's plates. His Spicy Thai Basil Stir-fry and Grilled Japanese Tuna Tataki from last year's Summer Chefs' menu, and his Vietnamese Bun Cha and Galbi Style Rib Steak from the most recent Inspired Chefs' menu are all examples of fusion dishes done well (these dishes also demonstrate Rosso's creativity and genuine passion for exotic ingredients and flavours). In this particular Milestones' Homestyle Chefs' Menu tasting, chef Rosso took us on a culinary journey, treating our taste buds to the bold flavours of South Asia all the way to the Mediterranean.

It is somewhat embarrassing to admit this but I had two bellinis before dinner last week at the Milestones located at Dundas Square. Yeah TWO bellinis. This is what I get for arriving way too early, I mean what else is there to do besides downing cocktails? Speaking of cocktails there's word on the street that Milestones (Twitter: @MilestonesCa, Facebook: Milestonesis in the process of revamping their cocktail menu to include classic cocktails such as the Old Fashioned and the Moscow Mule. I'm so excited about this! *GASP* I foresee myself cheating on the bellini...

A frozen blend of premium white rum, peach liqueur, sparkling white wine, topped with Boone's Sangria

Along with our cocktails we were served these beautiful canapes:

Prime rib adobo poutine with smoked gouda*
Gouger of cheddar and poached egg mousseline in puff pastry
Atlantic smoked salmon rosette with tarragon goats cheese and fried capers
Wild mushroom and truffle bruschetta on parmesan cracker
Chorizo and mozzarella fritters with smoked paprika aioli*
*Available on Milestones' Homestyle Chefs’ Menu

After cocktails and apps we were ready for dinner! Below is chef Jason Rosso (@jasonrosso) giving us a brief intro about the new Milestones' Homestyle Chefs' Menu (he also came out in between courses to explain each dish).

Below is a look at the Milestones' Homestyle Chefs' Menu tasting. Wine pairings were provided by Constellation Brands.

Iceberg lettuce, double-smoked bacon, fresh tomatoes, Gorgonzola buttermilk, dressing with maple bacon and fresh mint
Pairing: Le Clos Jordanne Village Reserve Chardonnay, 2010, VQA Niagara, ON

Roasted root vegetables with brown butter, vinaigrette, barley, sweet dried cranberries, spicy pecans and feta cheese
Pairing: Kim Crawford Pinot Gris, 2013 Malborough, New Zealand

Slow cooked shrimp, mussels, salmon, chicken, chorizo sausage on basmati rice
Pairing: Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc, 2013, Malborough, New Zealand

Sample portion of Arborio rice and southern Indian butter chicken sauce
Pairing: The Dreaming Tree Chardonnay, 2012, North Coast, California

Truffle buttermilk mashed potatoes, Gorgonzola peppercorn sauce
Pairing: The Dreaming Tree Crush, 2012, North Coast California

Caramelized bananas, banana cream and warm nutella sauce

Another excellent menu by chef Rosso. I particularly loved the Winter Root Vegetable Salad as it had a fantastic combination of flavours. The hint of sweetness from the brown butter, the tang from the cranberries and the spiced crunchy pecans worked really well together. The soft roasted root vegetables mixed in with a bit of barley also gave this tasty salad great texture. Even though Rosso departed from the Southeast / East Asia flavours since his Summer Chefs' Menu and Inspired Chefs' Menu, I still really enjoyed his Valencia Style Paella and Butter Chicken Risotto. And if you are a fan of truffle (uh..who isn't?) do yourself a favour and try the Beef Tenderloin - the aroma from the truffle infused garlic mashed potatoes is just divine. As for dessert I'm hoping to see the Crispy Banana Cream Pie on the menu soon! Those thin layers of crispy phyllo pastry? Wow. Coupled with caramelized sliced bananas, banana cream and nutella, it is simply a very delicious dessert and one that I would order again and again.

Below is a quick video chef Rosso in action making his Valencia Style Paella. Check it out!

*Other than the crispy banana cream pie, everything in the tasting menu is now available at all Milestones locations. Please note that the portion & presentation of the dishes on my post are not indicative of the actual dishes you will see at Milestones since this was only a tasting*
*This meal was complimentary. The opinions and views expressed on this post are my own*

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