Wow, what a week end. Sunday was undoubtedly the most decadent day my wife and I had in several months. We spent our day in the company of top notch chefs. The whole thing started out with a surprise brunch party organized by Chef Fawzi Kotb of Bistro Veloute for his wife Alise.
As always, Chef Fawzi’s menu was delicious, and featured his sea food risotto which my wife and I would kill for. If you should find yourself in the Beaches, stop by Bistro Veloute at 2343 Queen Street Street East in the Beaches and Chef Fawzi and his wife Alise, a sommelier by trade, will take good care of you. On a special note, chef Fawzi never forgets a little something for my wife’s gluten intolerance.
We rolled out of Veloute, at around 3:30 and needed to freshen up for another Chef’s meal, this one by Peter Petruniak of Ten Restaurant, 139 Lakeshore Rd. E. Port Credit, ON L5G 1E5 which I urge you to visit as well. However, last night was different for Peter and his crew as they were invited to take part of another pop up event at the Monarch Tavern.
Although this is a beer blog, I am getting to like the idea of sharing with you my culinary findings, especially when beer is involved. This week-end my discovery of the Monarch Tavern and Ten Restaurant are worth mentioning because the two were delightful accomplices; one culinary, the other beer. Somewhere upstairs, at Monarch sits a small but functional kitchen in need of love and to fill the void, owner Michael Dorbyk and partner in crime Juliana Conceicao from torontopopup.ca made clever use of its space by inviting Chefs and food trucks on Sunday nights. Last Sunday was Peter Petruniak’s turn.
We discovered the Monarch Tavern sometime in early January when my wife and I paid them a visit. She had heard that it was the only Tavern with gluten free options in Toronto. We walked up the stairs and on that day, the Gourmet Bitches occupied the kitchen. That’s when and how we found out about torontopopup.ca. By the way, the “Bitches” was also a good find. Look out for that truck.
Peter served us a five course gluten free meal featuring Ontario lakes fishes and Monarch paired it well with wine for Lisa and, you guessed it, beer for the Beergonaut. I review two of the five beers at the end of this post. But first, here’s a quick outline of the meal and the beer pairing…
- The first platter featured Lake Erie pickled smelt on a bed of sour cream with micro green and very well paired with King’s pilsner. The result was delicious. (King Pilsner is reviewed bellow)
- The next plate, also delicious, featured Lake Huron White fish with a delicious celeriac puree and also well paired with Beau’s Log Tread which I reviewed way back
- Shortly after was an apple featured dish made with Lake Huron rainbow trout which was paired with Thornbury Cider. I don’t know if the pairing worked as well on this one given the intensity of the cider, but overall, another success. I prefer my cider with BBQ or pork.
- The last savory plate was made with Lake Erie Pickerel in a very soft broth paired with Great Lake’s Pompous Ass English Pale Ale. Personally, I would have opted for an IPA on this one but it’s not like the pairing was a failure either. (Pompous Ass is reviewed bellow)
- Last was dessert, a beautiful plate of fruit in a delicious yogurt, nut and butternut squash puree. The pairing was another incredible beer from Great Lakes; Harry Porter & the Bourbon Soaked Vanilla Bean. Incredible beer it was, but I feel the pairing would have worked better with a Kriek beer or any barrel aged beers. I prefer my stouts and porters with pastries, caramels and chocolates.
What my wife and I enjoyed the most about Chef Peter’s meal was a fascinating complexity found in a simplistic meal prepared almost in an Icelandic fashion. Less was more. Good job Chef Petruniak and thanks for paying special attention to my wife’s apple allergy!
Further, Beergonaut jumped the fence and went to bed with Scotch Whisky and Bourbon which we have the Monarch Tavern owner Michael to thank (or blame) for. He introduced us not only, to a bourbon flight of 4 incredible pours for only 12.00$, but also offering us a delicious sampling of the Balvenie Double Wood aged 12 years. Wow, what a drink. It was a beautiful evening and in good company.
A quick last note: although the pop-up happened last night, according to Michael, the kitchen has now been filled and a menu is in the work. I don’t know if last night’s pop-up was one of the last events and if you’re looking for a good time, good gluten free beers and a fun way to spend a Sunday night, visit Monarch. If however, you are looking to capture Chef Peter Petruniak’s culinary skills you can find him at Ten Restaurant and don’t forget Bistro Veloute, of course!
King Brewery Pilsner (on tap)
LOOK: King’s Pilsner poured a beautiful golden orange color. It had a good amount of head which lasted some time before leaving behind good lacing.
SMELL: This pilsner has a beautiful aroma of grain, hops, a grassy feel to the nose and citrus notes.
TASTE: What I liked the most about this beer is the consistency with its aroma. The flavors of grass, Lemon, grain and some spices are well balanced and keep giving. The carbonation refreshes the palate and keeps you tasting it for the first time over and over again.
FINISH: It finishes crispy and clean.
FEEL: Crisp, dry and well carbonated.
CONTEXT: Bang on!
Pairing: With pretty much anything.
Price: $12.95 / 6x 341ml (I had on tap)
Availability: All year round
Beer type: Pilsner
Brewery: King Brewing
Country / Region: Ontario, Canada
Great Lakes Pompous Ass English Style Ale (on tap)
LOOK: This is one sexy pour. The beer is light orange with a generous and retaining head that leaves behind good lacing.
SMELL: You know when a man in a movie gives his pissed off girlfriend a bouquet of flowers and she ends up beating him over the head with the bouquet? That’s what this beer does to you with its floral aroma. It’s strong. It’s strong yet good. There is no way this beer is pissed off at you. Its aromas are too generous for hatred. Malts, hops, caramel and some citrusy notes come out quite vividly.
TASTE: The strong floral aroma doesn’t dominate, which is a good thing. Instead, caramel, malt and pine like flavors make for a very interesting taste. Grapefruit and biscuit notes are also found. This is a very good tasting beer.
FINISH: It finishes up a little dry with some bitterness.
FEEL: Medium body.
CONTEXT: A little too floral for an English Pale Ale but all is good!
Pairing: Pair with strong flavors like Indian, Middle Eastern, blue cheeses, etc…
Price: I had as part of a pairing package. I’ll let you know…
Availability: On tap
Beer type: English Pale Ale
Brewery: Great Lakes Brewing
Country / Region: Ontario, Canada
That’s it for this week folks… I have a magazine to complete and a couple of more reviews for next week end to prepare… Cheers! Drink responsibly.