Winterwonderland

Apparently a random post I had written nearly three years ago decided to post up last night on Google Reader without my knowledge. At first I was embarrassed as I cringed and read my thoughts on eating and indulging back then. But then I realized, it was the perfect example of how much I have changed in just a few short years. For the better! I no longer worry about a little indulgence, in fact I embrace it.

Every year Toronto hosts a Winter event, in which hundreds of restaurants in the city have prix-fixe menus, $25-45 of incredible (read: expensive) food for what seems like pennies. A full three course meal from the selections they provide. We chose to head to Southern Accent, a cajun/creole restaurant with a whole lot of flavor and a whole lot of flair.

I immediately loved the vibe I got from the fun creole and soul music playing vibrantly in the background as I was seated upstairs. It was a much bigger restaurant than it appeared from the outside, two full rooms and a bar downstairs and two large rooms on the second floor. Our waitress was super friendly and attentive, asking us if we wanted drinks (tempting, but at $8 a glass not within my budget) and when everyone arrived she was quick to take our orders.

I chose to start out with the Honey-roasted pear salad with blue cheese and toasted hazelnuts. I loved the addition of hazlenuts- you dont see them on salads very often! The blue cheese was pungent and flavorful, a great contrast to the sweetness of the pears. The dressing was simple, which I liked, I thought it paired well with the sharp cheese and sweet fruit.

They brought us a bread basket with hummus, but I didnt partake- I was looking forward to the main deal!

All three of my fellow diners chose the Turducken, the turkey stuffed with duck stuffed with chicken. As interesting as that sounded, I decided to go a different route. We were at a cajun place, why not order the jambalaya?

I am SO happy I did. Soft, creamy rice with a bit of a kick to it, spicy andouille sausage, perfectly cooked tiger shrimp, and the most amazing sweet red sauce to bring all the flavors together in perfect harmony. I was in jambalaya bliss. I was a little disappointed of the lack of collards greens, just a small amount on top, but overall it was an incredible dish so I let it slide.

Then came dessert. I didnt think anything could beat the amazing jambalya I had just cleaned off my plate. But the fluffy, sweet pavlova came pretty darn close.

It came with much more cream than I had expected, and since dairy and I arent really friends I wiped about half of it off. Luckily it was amazing even without the mound of cream! The meringue was perfectly cooked, fluffy but crispy with an almost sickenly-sweet marshmallowy taste. Heaven. I do wish there was a little more fruit on my plate, but I think I would have been too full for it anyway! Later on Twitter Susan and I agreed we were both in Pavlova COMA 😉

Great meal, great company!

We finished our meals, paid our bills and walked into the cold Toronto air, happily stuffed. Of course with Honest Eds being at the corner we had to take a stop in before heading to the subway

It was a fun night 🙂

Does your city host any restaurant weeks? What is the best meal youve had at one of them? This is the first restaurant-week dinner Ive been to and Im so excited to try more next year!