Monday, October 4, 2010

Local Kitchen and Wine Bar

A friend and I went for supper at this new 'it' spot in Parkdale. The Local Kitchen and Wine Bar is an interesting place with a suburban basement feel circa the 1980's. The decor may be trying too hard. Some of the small touches such as presenting the menu on clipboards and serving platters using cutting boards make you wish that the decision was to allow the food to speak for itself.

I probably should have been taking better notes on the food but I tend to have a good memory on this kind of stuff. My friend started with a traditional tomato, cheese and basil salad with the claim that the tomatoes were very local. While the flavour was intense, as only a backyard vine ripened tomato can be, it was priced to be more than pedestrian.

We also shared the salumi platter which had us confused when ordering. There were three different prices when we dined that night. The only difference was the number of slices, so we took the one with the least amount of meat. There were two standouts on the aforementioned cutting board -- a prosciutto and and a wild boar sausage. There was a total of six different meats but only two were standouts. The prosciutto was silky with a bit of herb and spice at the end, and an almost nutty flavour. The wild boar had the texture of a ground meat with a little tooth. The flavour was spicy and rich. Unfortunately, this platter was served with a caponata that was Grandma's own recipe and didn't add anything.

For our second course, we had the ziti with pepperoncini and the smoked gnocchi. Both these pastas were made with love. They were made like all pastas should be made. The gnocchi were fluffy and took the accoutrements of taleggio and greens well, while the tomato and pepper sauce complemented the ziti. It seems such a shame that it takes solid food to make you wonder why when something is done the way it is supposed to be makes a great restaurant when you should be getting this as a minimum quality at every restaurant.

Mains were the steak, tomatoes, zucchini and pesto. My companion did not enjoy the pesto. I had no quibbles with the things on the plate other than I felt that the ingredients didn't talk to each other. That is just a fancy way of saying that the pieces were too disparate. While the steak was cooked perfect and seasoned great, you couldn't take a mouthful of all the items and make it make sense. I have often had some version of steak and tomatoes but this didn't work together.

We then went on to dessert but it was unremarkable. For the two of us including wine it was around the $140 mark. This is not a destination spot. If you live in the area and are hunkering for some salumi, then by all means go for it. I felt as if it was like spending time at an Italian Grandma's at the kids table in the basement. It was good food but maybe not at this price point. I hope they keep working at it and just get a little more cohesiveness on the plate. Oh and stop playing it hip, it comes off too cute, the food deserves better.

No comments:

Post a Comment