Thursday, July 24, 2014

Canyon Creek - More Than a Steakhouse [VLOG]

Canyon Creek (Twitter: @CanyonCreekEats, Facebook: Canyon Creek Restaurant) may not be the first place you think of when you eat out. Heck, it's not a restaurant that I would normally write about (or one you would expect me to write about anyway) but trust me, there are some radical changes happening there...ones that you should definitely know about.

So what do I mean by "radical changes"? Not sure about you but for the longest time, I thought Canyon Creek only offered steak. Okay, let me rephrase - I know they had other options but none that were too exciting. That all changed once I took a look at their updated menu; what I saw were enticing offerings such as Pakora Chicken, Fish Tacos, Thai Lettuce Wraps, Steak and Kimchi Quesadillas, and Asian Nachos... and these are just a few of their shared plates options. Nope, not boring anymore.

Another noticeable change is the number of non-steak selections. Grouped into Salads, Burgers and Sandwiches, Pastas, and Mains, these four categories combined together offers more than 20 different plates. If you're craving steak, by all means order it, but if you don't feel like having steak you can still walk into any Canyon Creek and be confident that there'll be something delicious waiting for you. 

So again you may ask, just how delicious? Just watch this video! My lovely friend Nicki (@ViewTheVibe) and I were invited to dine at Canyon Creek on Front Street several weeks ago for the launch of their new summer menu. We even had the pleasure of having Canyon Creek's Executive Chef Dorian King make us his Avocado & Bacon Salad at our table.

If, for whatever reason you can't or don't want to watch the video, or you have watched it but still want to look at pictures (yay!) here are some shots I took that evening along with my thoughts on each dish.

Executive Chef Dorian King plating the Avocado & Bacon Salad.

Avocado, Campari tomatoes, bacon, shaved red onion, crumbled blue cheese, with creamy bacon vinaigrette
Pair avocado, an extremely healthy and fleshy fruit, with tasty and fatty bacon and you have the best of both worlds on one plate. Then add sweet Campari tomatoes, blue cheese, red onions and bacon vinaigrette, and you got yourself one very delectable starter salad.

Fresh Jail Island salmon, poached prawns, Japanese furikake, fresh greens, radishes, goat cheese, with lemon caper vinaigrette and dried cranberries
Salmon that's not dry? Can this be true? Yes. Resting on a bed of luscious greens, shrimp, goat cheese and dried cranberries, this piece of moist salmon was cooked to perfection. I also like the light dusting of Japanese furikake on top (furikake is a seasoning usually sprinkled on top of rice in Japan)

FISH TACOS ($11.95)
Panko crusted haddock, fresh avocado, pico de gallo, lemon caper cabbage, with Valentina crema on soft corn tortillas
I enjoyed these fish tacos way more than I thought. The key to these tacos are the warm corn tortillas sourced from Torito in Kensington Market. There are also no fancy frills here either - just delicious salsa fresca with lightly crusted haddock. Simple and delicious.

Chef King putting the final touches on our next course.

Wild Ontario pickerel, bacon sherry brown butter, with braised Savoy cabbage and basmati rice
Last dish of the night and no steak in sight! Not complaining though because everything so far have exceeded my expectations. For this particular dish, I love the orange and yellow summer-y colours. The seared pickerel, with its thin crispy skin, is elevated by the delicious bacon sherry brown butter. Bacon + sherry + butter..of course it's gonna be tasty.

Canyon Creek is really stepping up their game. By incorporating international, eclectic flavours on the menu and constantly introducing new dishes that are modern and refreshing, they are upping the ante in chain restaurant dining in the city. Breaking away from their "steakhouse" image and offering delicious salads and seafood mains, Canyon Creek is well on their way to attracting customers that they've never had before.

Before I go, you should know about Canyon Creek's newest Flash Your Glass contest. Until August 19th, you can enter the contest by posting a selfie enjoying your wine on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook, and mention @CanyonCreekEats and hashtag #FlashYourGlassOne lucky winner is announced weekly and will win $100 for posting the best selfie. On August 20th, one of the many $100 winners will win the grand prize: a dinner party for 10 at Canyon Creek with Executive Chef Dorian King and Ravenwoods Wine, plus a brand new BBQ!

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

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