Earlier this week, I went to the Winter Launch of “Taste Of Burlington” at the Burlington Performing Arts Centre, with various media outlets, fellow bloggers, and people looking to get a sneak peek at the Prix Fixe menu offerings.

I took Christine as my guest, whom I hadn’t seen since last year’s Taste of Burlington Winter Launch. It was great to see fellow bloggers (and great peeps) Sid and Chanry there.

A Taste of Burlington is a culmination of Tourism Burlington, Aldershot BIA, Burlington Downtown and local restaurants. This year, 18 local restaurants participated in this event, designed to showcase the culinary diversity of Burlington with a Prix Fixe Dining Program.

This year, they gave a book of “tickets” to each entrant, which allowed for one sample from each restaurant. They started to do this at last Summer’s Taste of Burlington event, to stop people from going back for multiple portions, which, if the restaurant is not prepared, can cause them to run out of food. By handing out tickets, each restaurant knows how many portions to make.

We’ll get back to this later.

The Restaurants

Stone House Restaurant

Website: stonehouserestaurant.ca
Twitter: @StoneHouseFood
Serving: Apple Braised Pork Shank, with a chorizo and smoked cheddar cornbread, with a morel mushroom cream sauce
This was heaven in a cup. The flavour were amazing, the pork was very tender, the cornbread was delicious, all complimented by the morel mushroom cream sauce. You could tell the staff were proud of this offering!

Taste of Burlington Stonehouse

The Water St. Cooker

Website: waterstreetcooker.ca
Twitter: @EmmasBackPorch
Serving: Vegetarian Curry – Coconut milk, green curry and naan
This made up for last year’s kale salad. The curry was amazing! Not too spicy, and they had a hot sauce on the side if you wanted more kick. The naan was nice to dip into the curry. My only issue – they gave you a fork – and the curry had the consistency of a soup. The fork was great for eating the vegetables in the curry, but left you with nothing to eat the liquid with. A spoon would have been much better. A great offering.

Taste of Burlington Water St. Cooker

Paradiso

Website: burlington.paradisorestaurant.com
Twitter: @RistoParadiso
Serving: Maple Bacon & Bean Cassoulet with House Cured Pork Loin
I was surprised by how delicious this dish was. The maple bacon and bean cassoulet complimented the tasty pork. Fantastic! Check ‘em out.

Taste of Burlington Paradiso

Rayhoon Persian Eatery

Website: rayhooneatery.com
Twitter: @rayhoon_eatery
Serving: Ghalieh Maygoo – Shrimp, tamarind & herb stew
The flavours of this dish were amazing. I love Indian food, and all the flavours that can be infused into the food. The stew base was very tasty, and the potatoes were tender. But the shrimp ruined it for me. Two things – at an event like this, the food sits. The shrimp would have to be kept warm in chaffing dishes. Meaning, the shrimp were cooking slowly – and getting rubbery. They were overcooked.

Taste of Burlington Rayhoon

Ivy Bar & Grill

Website: ivybar.ca
Twitter: @ivybarkitchen
Serving: Crab and Lobster Cake with Key Lime Créme Fraîche and Sundried Cranberry and Napa Slaw
Freshly grilled crab cakes. They were hot, tender, and delicious. The slaw was a nice compliment to the crabcakes. Yummy!

Taste of Burlington Ivy

Alloro – Holiday Inn Burlington

Website: hiburlington.ca
Twitter: @HIBurlington
Serving: Stuffed, Herb-crusted Tenderloin and Red Roasted Garlic Mash with Merlot Demi
A hotel restaurant? Yup. And they came prepared. I have eaten at many restaurants, and had many great dishes. These guys didn’t disappoint. The taste of this dish was incredible. I am definitely going to go there for dinner sometime. I am glad they were at ToB… I would have never know about them otherwise. They knocked it out of the ball park with this one.

Taste of Burlington Alloro Holiday Inn

Fraticelli’s Italian Grill & Bar

Website: fraticellis.ca
Twitter: @fratsburlington
Serving: Bruschetta, Gnocci and meatballs
I know what you’re thinking. Where is the gnocci and meatballs. The Bruschetta was awesome, but the gnocci and meatballs were replaced with a butternut squash filled ravioli. It was good, but took a fair amount of time to prepare, so there was a consistent lineup at this station. I was lucky to get a sample before they ran out – and it was tasty.

Taste of Burlington Fraticellis

Beaver And Bulldog

Website: beaverandbulldogburlington.com
Twitter: @beaverbulldogb
Serving: Citrus Almond Quinoa Salad
This salad was tasty. I am normally not a fan of salads without a dressing of some form, but the mandarin oranges gave it the taste it needed. They came with a salad, and won me. Kudos B&B.

Taste of Burlington Beaver And Bulldog

Wendel Clark’s Classic Grill and Bar

Website: wendelclarks.com
Twitter: @WC17Burlington
Serving: Chocolate Mousse
The mousse was okay. Last year, they served a Chocolate Brownie with Vanilla Ice Cream. Neither of which is something that is going to make me walk through a restaurant’s door. I am really hoping they bring their A-game next year, because I have been to Wendel Clark’s – the food and service are fantastic.

Taste of Burlington Wendel Clarks

The Queen’s Head

Website: thequeenshead.ca
Twitter: @pub_queenshead
Serving: Steak and Wild Mushroom Wellington drizzled with a Gorgonzola and Double Smoked Bacon Cream Sauce
I don’t like Gorgonzola cheese, so I asked for mine without the drizzle. After tasting the Steak Wellington, it didn’t need it. The pasty was soft, the steak was tender, and the flavours were amazing. This dish edged out Alloro by a pinch… in fact, I was on the fence with the flavours of both restaurants. What did it for me was when I asked for one without the drizzle, the chef said “Without drizzle? No problem.” He didn’t ask why, he just gave me what I asked. I totally understand that chef’s create their dishes with care, and curate the tastes to be the best they can be. I know I likely won’t get the full taste of the dish because of this. But the chef not giving me a hassle pushed me over the fence. Grand Slam baby!

Taste of Burlington The Queens Head

When is Taste Of Burlington?

The winter edition of “A Taste of Burlington” runs from February 21 – March 13, 2015. Be sure to check it out!

For more information, visit the Taste Of Burlington website.

Bon Appetit!

Cheers,
Big Daddy

Disclaimer: Burlington Tourism invited me to the media launch of Taste Of Burlington. All opinions are my own.

If you would like me to review your product, service, restaurant, or travel destination, please send me an email at craig@bigdaddykreativ.ca or find me on “the twitter” at @BigDaddyKreativ

Craig is a husband, a father, team leader, senior youth group coordinator, designer, brander, community builder, volunteer, blogger, and the senior community manager for Ford of Canada. He likes to go camping, travel, go on road trips, watch movies, read with his girls, build stuff, operate the grill, and play bass guitar. Known as Big Daddy Kreativ, his blog specializes in parenting, lifestyle, automotive, events, travel, movies, recipes, health, reviews and giveaways.

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