Tuesday, December 3, 2013

La Joie de Vivre aux Chocolate [EVENT]

Chef Eyal Lieberman (@EyalPastryChef) of L is for... (417 Restaurant, Harbour 60, Didier, Boehmer)  have crafted a six-course pop up dinner in celebration of all things Chocolate. I was lucky enough to be invited by Chey Eyal and host Abbey Sharp (@AbbeysKitchen) to attend the 2nd installment.

The tasting include wine pairings from Stanner's Vineyard (PEC) and put together by wine sommelier Rebecca Meir (Luma). And all chocolate featured are from Valrhona Chocolates.
The six course dinner is $70pp + $30 for wine pairing.

This was a sold out dinner, the place was packed and I felt lucky to be one of the attendants, the whole event felt very intimate.

Due to the incredibly small kitchen (it's a cafe) and Chef Eyal insisting on making everything himself, he was in the kitchen during the entire dinner. And that's also why it takes longer than usual to finish a 6-course dinner, unfortunately I had to leave after the 5th course since it was already 11pm by then since I had to commute back uptown.

I was very intrigue by a chocolate theme dinner that doesn't consist of all sweet dishes and as per Eyal, he's on a mission to prove Toronto foodies that it's not just for desserts.

Amuse Bouche
Oyster & Valrhona Grue de Cocoa
~ Cascumpec bay oyster & cocoa nibs infused tequila mignonette
 Sorry to say that I didn't taste the chocolate at all, all there is was the vinegar and onion flavor.

Shrimp & Valrhona Manjari
~ black tiger shrimp, pure Madagascar chocolate mole sauce, frisee cucumber & mixed greens salad
Paired w/ Pinot Gris 2010
I definitely expected mole since that's probably the only savory chocolate sauce that most people knew, Love the shrimp but wish it was served warm/hot instead of cold but the flavor was really good. Extra yummy mole sauce, wish there was more.

Rabbit & Valrhona Tainori
~ rabbit terrine with pure Dominican Republic chocolate, Celtic Blue, chocolate levash
Paired w/ Pinot Noir 2011
This was my favorite dish of the night and I the chocolate goes really well with the blue cheese. Also love the subtle flavor of the chocolate crisp with the terrine.

Fish & Valrhona Araguani
~ Mediterranean style pickerel fish cake, parsnip puree with pure Venezuelan chocolate
Paired w/ Chardonnay 2010

Beef & Valrhona Caraibe
~ vol-au-vent (pate feuilletee chocolat), veau a la bourguignonne with pure Caribbean chocolate, maple glazed baby carot & haricots vert
Paired w/ Cabernet Franc 2010
The chocolate pastry was delicious but not sure if I liked it better than the regular buttery version with the beef.

Tomato, olive oil & Valrhona Ivoire
~ tomato gelee, a L'Olivier (provence) olive oil & white chocolate mousse, macerated strawberries & lemon marmelade
Paired w/ Gris et Noir 2011
This didn't taste very dessert to me although I did enjoy the light and airy feel of the dish. This was barely sweet and it felt more like an app or maybe even a salad to me especially with the sprinkle of salt on top. Rebecca Meir explained that because Stanner's Vineyard didn't have a dessert wine, they decided on a not so sweet dessert. But I feel like a dish should be the focus where wine pairing should come after.

Bourbon & Valrhona Jivara Lactee
~ cafe-chocolate macaron, bourbon & truffle honey hot milk chocolate
 I left right before this course.

Although I do appreciate the time the Chef put into each dish and I enjoy the company of all the fellow diners, a 4-5 hours dinner was way too long on a weekday. And with each course so far apart, I felt un-satisfied and was looking something to eat when I got home.

Hope Chef Eyal can work something out, maybe less courses?
Cause I was really devastated not to be able to try the dessert dish since it was his dessert that I initially felt in love with (see my last post here)

But all in all, I did enjoy the food which open up my eyes to the use of chocolate.
Hope Chef Eyal will keep up the good work (^_^)

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