Lunch at Festival Epicure

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Festival Epicure is DEFINITELY back. Although it was a bit disappointing to see alot of my favourite restaurants and wineries missing from the group of exhibitors; there was still plenty to choose from. 

My friend Adam joined me once again for this lunch excursion. Our aim was to try the restaurants we have been wanting to dine at but haven't had the chance. After a short stroll around to all the exhibitors, our short list was chosen. The three we went with were Taste Bud Bistro, Tecumseh Roadhouse, and Rino's Kitchen.

Taste Bud Bistro (401 Riverside Drive, Windsor), our first restaurant, was one we have heard lots about and have been meaning to check out ever since my return to Canada. Taste Bud Bistro is in the location of my former all-time favourite restaurant-- Bamboo Catering Company-- right inside the Art Gallery of Windsor building. 

In true epicure style, the menu was short and sweet, catering to all palates: Bean and Corn Simosas, Panko-breaded Pickerel, and a Chicken Orzo Pasta Salad. As a sign of how quickly this website is growing, the owner of Taste Bistro upon serving me asked for my name. When I responded with Giovanni, she recognized me from Twitter (hi, Janine). Back to the food, the samosas were delicious though a bit flakey and fell apart when bitten into, the orzo reminded me of a nice light risotto. I told Adam I could see myself sitting in front of the tv with a big bowl of it. The pickerel, on the other hand, was plain on its own but with the samosa's yoghurt sauce-- SENSATIONAL. The sauce had the perfect combination of lemon, cilantro, and cumin. [I'd love the recipe Janine ;) ]  

Adam grabbed the beef tips and pulled pork ravioli from Tecumseh Roadhouse (10672 County Road 42, Tecumseh, Ontario). The beef tips were tasty, but nothing really special. Felt like I could have got them from anywhere. But to the Roadhouse's credit they DID cook them right on the spot to order. The pulled pork ravioli on the other hand were amazing. The barbeque sauce from the pulled pork complemented the blush sauce they were bathed in perfectly.

Our final destination was Rino's Kitchen (131 Elliott Street West, Windsor). A newer restaurant that has opened to much acclaim from the general public. We've been meaning to go see what the hype was all about and Festival Epicure finally gave us the chance. Adam went with the curry sauce gnocchi, and smoke salmon rolls, while I went with the feta and watermelon salad and one of the only desserts I saw on offer at the Epicure-- Margarita and short-bread icecream sundae. Not sure what it was, but Rino's was a bit of a let down. The curry gnocchi while perfectly cooked lacked flavour. Perhaps this was done to appeal to many more palates but for us it just wasn't falvourful enough, the smoked salmon rolls were tasty but king of boring with just lettuce in the middle perhaps some cucumber or tomato might have kicked it up a notch.

The feta watermelon salad was the only dish we left behind. WAAAAY too much feta, and this coming from a guy who LOVES feta. The salad was far to salty with barely any watermelon taste. The dessert was actually the first dish to get polished off this time around. It was 31C (88F) out today. With the sun blaring the margarita was incredibly refreshing, and the short bread gave it a nice bit of texture. While it sounds like I am being overly critical, I begin to wonder if I had started with Rino's whether I would be saying the same thing. Unfortunately, I think I would. But not to fret. The icecream sundae proves they know what they are doing, and we all have our bad days. Will definitely give them another shot at their dine-in restaurant.

I apologize in advance for any grammatical or spelling errors, the 6pm M V Jiimaan ferry to Pelee Island is calling me. Time to head back to work. Till my next two days off guys... 



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