Monday, September 21, 2015

Atelier [Ottawa / Tasting Menu]

Since Chef Marc Lepine (@MarcLepine) pop-up dinner in Toronto this past winter (see post here), I have wanted to go to Ottawa just to visit his restaurant Atelier. And finally manage to find time to make a weekend try but was disappointed that they are fully book but thanks to Yvonne (@th3hungrycat), who got in touch with the chef himself and they set up a table in the kitchen for us (yay, Chef's table even better)

Atelier only serves 12-course tasting menu at $110 pp with the menu changing regularly, it's really a surprise dinning experience. As per their website, with their $75 pp optional wine pairing, you get 9-10 wines averaging a little over 3 standard glasses in total (but I think we def got more than that)

Owner/Chef Marc Lepine's bio from their website:
"After 3 years of culinary school, Marc Lepine spent time working in Toronto, France, and Italy, before accepting his first executive chef position with Bartlett Lodge in Algonquin Park in 1998. Marc decided to move to Ottawa in 2001 with the intent to eventually open a restaurant. He received his sommelier certification from Algonquin College and spent 6 years working as executive chef for the Courtyard Restaurant, where he was twice named 'Ottawa Chef of the Year' by the Canadian Culinary Federation. Marc decided it was time to open Atelier in 2008, and while the restaurant was preparing to launch, Marc went to work with Grant Achatz at Alinea Restaurant in Chicago. In February 2012, Marc was named the Canadian Culinary Champion after winning gold at the finals in Kelowna, BC."

Sriracha Focaccia

Chopin Waltz Opus 69 no.2
~ beet root, lemon confit, tarragon syrup, taragon cream, crumbled pine nuts, prosciutto dust, pickled blueberries.
Isn't this too pretty to eat yet too good not to?!

Aw Shucks!
~ La Saint Simone Oysters from NB w/ Mignonette foam and horseradish
~ paired w/ 2012 Charles Baker Picone Vineyard Riesling, Niagara, Canada
I usually am not a big fan of mignonette on my oyster since I find it usually overwhelm the oyster itself but in the foam form here, it was light and just right.

You're Singing Out of Tuna
~ tuna tossed in almond oil, Wasabi creme fraiche snow, citrus compressed cucumber, lime pickled hearts of palm, salsify fried chicken skin
Love the wasabi snow, although it's not green it did pack quite a punch. Love the light airy testure of the snow with the small bits of tuna and who would have guess chicken skin would go well with tuna plus the added crunch from the hearts of palm was a bonus.

Strawberry Fields For Now
~ wafer of whipped strawberry purée, lemon balm leaf, white sphere of yogurt, shiso spray, cold peppered strawberries, lemon grass crumble, aloe foam 
~ paired w/ 2009 Studert-Prum Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Spatlese, Mosel, Germany
Love how they only introduce the top part when it was served and let us discover the treasure inside. The sweet and sour combination was a surprise for this palette cleanser but somehow it worked really well, the sour component did wake up my palette and the sweetness was welcoming

Love the light aloe foam with the tart strawberry which gave me a tingly feeling.

Shrimp Ring
~ Pacific Oregon shrimp tossed in Chipotle dressing, mint mayonaise, avocado puree, dehydrated pumpernickel, dehydrated celery salt, micro cilantro, micro spring beans, chickpea, bacon powder
~ paired w/ 2014 Vina Leyda Garuma Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc, Leyda Valley, Chile
It looks like a mini garden, love the micro veggies which are so cute but also totally delicious to bite into.

Squidgee Kid
~ cabbage consomme, sous vide onions, sous vide cabbage, seared pienapple, grilled and marinated squid in basil oil, grilled tentacles, beet puree, beet chips, chorizo powder
~paired w/ 2014 Gaia Estate Thalassitis Assyrtiko, Santorini, Greece

Abraham Lingcod
~ pan seared ling cod, fennel compressed with lemon juice and anchovies, tomatoes and anchovies in fava bean puree, deep fried olives, smoked paprika sour cream, BBQ crumble, blanched and peeled grape tomatoes
~ paired w/ 2014 Chateau Leoube Rose, Provence, Francee
This was the only disappointed dish of the night with the fish slightly overcooked.

Belly Up
~ cured pork belly w/ fennel seeds, anice and sous vide for 24 hours, star anise caramel foam, brunoise of apple and jalapeno tossed w/ lime juice. Rolled up kaffir lime leaf
Love the idea of the rolled up kaffir leaf that meant to be sniff/smell and not to be eaten when you put the pork belly into your mouth. What a cleaver way to use the cute clothespin spoon.

Meat and Potatoes
~ corned beef in caraway powder, house made kimchi, confit potatos, puffed potato pillows, mustard seeds, hard boil egg crumble, puree broccoli w/ roasted garlic, pickled mayonnaise
~ paired w/ 2013 Green Lane Gamay Noir, Niagara, Canada

Pasta La Vista, Baby!
~ Quebec Rabbit Ravioli, shaved toasted cauliflower, cauliflower puree, Alberta 2yr old Gouda, corn & leek foam, crispy panko & hemp seed, Ontario birch syrup
~ paired w/ 2012 Domaine Viret Renaissance, Rhone, France
The ravioli filling was inspired by tourtiere and although this was probably the most "normal" plating of the night, it was delicious and definitely one of our favorite.

Ducks of Hazard
~ sous vide duck breast, cedar roasted carrots, purple cauliflower, bay leaf spiced puffed rice noodles, quail jus, onion and sumac puree, chanterelles, pomegranate seeds
~ paired w/ 2010 Cinelli Colombini Drago e le 8 Colombe, Tuscany, Italy

Edible Balloon
~ rosewater orange blossom, sour cherry fruit leather
How fun is that?! Warning: Don't get your hair on it... very very sticky. Not only was it cute, it was delicious, the balloon was super thin and light while the sour cherry was just the right texture, moist but not tough and plastic-ky.

Dino Egg
~ sous vide cooked cheese cake, passion fruit sorbet, freeze dried banana crumble, microwave cooked sponge cake w/ tonka beans, raspberries
~ paired w/ 2014 Ca' del Baio 101 Moscato d'Asti, Piedmont, Italy
This is the chef signature dessert, had a similar version back at the Toronto popup but I think this version was even better. Love the lighter base/cake to go with the passion fruit sorbet and lighter is good since after all the courses, you don't want to not finish your dessert.

Rhubarbara Walters
~ rhubarb mascato fluid gel, buckwheat honey cake, chocolate streusel, white chocolate ganache w/orange zest, vanilla rhubarb nitro rock, crispy cardamon meringue
~ paired w/ 2009 Domaine du Petit Métris Quarts de Chaume, Loire, France

Verdict :
I would highly recommend everyone to try Atelier when in Ottawa, it's a must!!!
What an experience especially our "kitchen table" where we got to witness all the actions, you won't believe the amount of work put into each plate. 
Very affordable Tasting Menu only at $110pp
Wine pairing was good but nothing "wow" or super interesting
It's a really small space, so make sure to make reservation in advance. 

Related Ottawa post:
NeXT [Fusion / Lunch]
Atelier [12-course Tasting Menu]
The Albion Room [Canadian / Brunch]
Town [Canadian Italian]

Atelier Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

1 comment:

  1. Omg everything looks so nice... definitely putting Atelier on my must go list!