Restaurant review: Bodega

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On Friday night, hubby and I decided to use our Bodega deal through Living Social. I paid $100 for a five-course sampling dinner for two with three wine pairings.

Bodega is located on Baldwin, a cool little restaurant strip. We’ve been here once before, a long time ago for an Arup holiday dinner. The food was good back then. Our latest experience was wonderful. We were seated by the front window. The place wasn’t very full on our half (the restaurant is divided), but there were still a number of happy patrons. Hubby thinks it’s because the location is tucked away.

They started us off with a 3oz of sparkling wine and some hours d’oeuvres which consisted of pate and an olive/tomato quiche-like pastry.

Next came the crab cakes with tomato Provencal sauce and smoke Ancho chili mayo. This was paired with a 3oz of their featured white wine. We forgot to ask what the wine was, but it was light like a pinot gris. The crab cake was meaty and delicious, and I enjoyed the very slight hint of heat from the chili mayo.

Our sever then brought us a warm goat cheese crostini with frisee salad, bacon and raspberry dressing. It was lovely with the white wine. The cheese was a very generous portion and I was starting to get a little full, so I shared a portion of the cheese with hubby.

So far all the dishes were beautifully plated, and the flavours were great. As we finished the last drops of our white wine, the 5oz red wine was brought out. I knew that I would have a hard time with this one as soon as I put the wine up to my nose – heavily oaked. I believe the server said it was a cab shiraz blend from Niagara (Iniskillin winery). The main course was a grilled Alberta beef tenderloin with truffle mash potato, baby carrots and green beans, and a brandy green peppercorn sauce. Hubby really enjoyed the flavours of the beef. I liked it too, though I found the peppercorn sauce a little bit too strong for my palate. I absolutely loved the truffle mash and the veggies were steamed just right – there was still crunch. They also didn’t skimp on the portion size. I ended up taking about a quarter of my tenderloin home.

The meal ended with a warm flourless chocolate espresso & Bailey’s cake with creme anglaise and raspberry puree. We had the option of pairing it with a 2oz port of sweet white wine. Since hubby was driving, he opted for a coffee. I tried the port, and ordered a decaf cappuccino. I can’t say I’m a port kinda gal. It was too strong for me, but hubby thought it was really nice. He said he would have drank it for me if he wasn’t driving. The cake was ok, but because I don’t really care for desserts, it’s hard for me to say much about them. It’s definitely not a heavy dessert which is nice. The raspberries were very sweet (yummy).

Would I recommend this place? Absolutely. The table next to us had ordered duck breast and rack of lamb. Both dishes looked amazing and when I asked them how they enjoyed their meals, they both highly recommended both dishes. The guy that had the duck felt that his dish was slightly better than the lamb, but that the lamb was still good. Check out their menu. If you want to make a reservation, you can do it online through their website, or visit OpenTable where you can also read more reviews.

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