Sunday, 19 February 2012

Flashback Review - An Afternoon with Jason - Peller Estate Winery Restaurant

In light of our upcoming Fabulicious reservation at Peller Estate Winery Restaurant on March 3, 2012 (post is here), we decided to do a flashback review on our last awesome experience at Peller.  As an anniversary gift, Edgar booked "An Afternoon with Jason". This was described on the Peller website as an easy-going lunch experience. A four-course tasting menu created and prepared by winery chef and CityLine personality Jason Parsons himself.

Our meal - 
1st Course:

Our first course was a "Wild Boar Prosciutto with baby heirloom carrots and pea tenders with a Sparking Wine Vinaigrette".  This was served with a Peller Reisling "Private Reserve 2009".

2nd Course:

Our second course was a "Chilled Watermelon and Red Pepper Soup with Icewine compressed Watermelon and Pickled Peppers".

Palate Cleanser:

As a palate cleanser, Chef Jason served "Peach, Lavender and Chardonnay Ice"

3rd Course:

Our third and main course was a "Pan Seared Beef Tenderloin with Pearl Potatoes, Broccoli, Goat Feta and Estate Cherry Fricassee".
This was served with a 2009 Meritage "Private Reserve".

4th Course:

The fourth and dessert course was a "Currant Mousse with Apricot Gelee and Pistachio Tuile".

Our Take Home Gift:

Chef Jason made "Almond Raspberry Bars" for us to take home as a gift.

In her opinion:

What this actually was, was wonderful!  One of the best dining experiences that I have ever had.  Peller Estate Winery Restaurant is one of my favourite restaurants and I am a huge fan of Chef Jason Parsons long before I even considered myself a foodie.  We booked our "afternoon" for July 30, 2011.  It was a glorious day in Niagara-on-the-Lake.  Getting there was a bit treacherous due to a traffic accident on the QEW but we made it and it was incredible.

Chef Parsons showcases seasonal ingredients found right in the Niagara Escarpment. The first course was delicious.  The wild boar prosciutto was delectable.  The baby heirloom carrots and pea tenders were a refreshing touch to the flavour of the prosciutto. The sparkling wine vinaigrette provided the right amount of acidity.  

For our second course, we were served a chilled watermelon and red pepper soup. I have to admit this...I hate watermelon and unfortunately I get it served to me a lot.  I know...I've been called weird because of it but it's a textural thing.  This soup was nice. I would not have ordered it off the menu but it was very nice. I really enjoyed the icewine compressed was so good.

The palate cleanser was amazing. Peach and lavender with chardonnay worked very nicely together.

The main course was my favourite. I love beef tenderloin and the combination of the sweetness of the cherry and the saltiness of the goat feta was an unbelievable combination.  The whole thing was perfect. Jason Parsons is a master at his trade.

Dessert was lovely and light. The currant mousse provided the right amount of sourness to an otherwise sweet dessert.  A very nice refreshing end to a perfect meal.

I loved this dining experience. It was the best possible way to spend a summer afternoon. Who wouldn't love being served one delicious dish after another by a fabulous chef like Jason Parsons. Chef Jason was very personable. He invited everyone into his kitchen. He introduced each course himself and was nice enough to sign my copy of the "Three Chefs" cookbook.

In his opinion:

Since Peller Estates is my wife's favourite restaurant, we have been there numerous times and enjoyed every single one of our meals there.
For those unfamiliar with this restaurant, it is located inside the Peller Estates Winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake. It's the mansion looking building that appears out of nowhere as you drive into any of their entrances, down one of their beautiful long driveways.

For our anniversary I decided to book a special lunch reservation for an event called "An afternoon with Jason Parsons". We were to have lunch in the private dining room, talk to and be served dishes at Chef Jason's discretion with wine pairings courtesy of the resident sommelier.

The element of surprise to what the dishes might be and what wine pairings would accompany them was definitely exciting. Being a foodie, nothing gives me more pleasure than trying new foods or discovering new palate tastes. The excitement started before the first dish was ever served when Chef Parsons lead us to his kitchen, where we were given a tour and explanation to what it takes to make that kitchen work so flawlessly. 

Chef was even candid in telling us that usually when you are served a complimentary amuse bouche, it is because the kitchen is slightly behind in your dish (great trick by the way but it makes us feel special).

I'm not going to go into great details of the dishes served or the amazing wines served, as it has been done above but, I will go as far as saying that this experience was well worth it. We had amazing food, paired with local Peller Estates Winery Wines and it was a great time.

Besides being able to chat with Chef Parsons about food, Cambridge and our love for a great meal, the highlight of the experience was given to me by the sommelier, Luanne. The sommelier asked me to present the last wine pairing, which happened to be Ice Wine, one of my favourites. I was glad that I paid attention to the many wine tours we have taken throughout the years, and I almost sounded like I knew what I was talking about.

Many thanks to Chef Parsons for an amazing afternoon of great food, wine and food talk. He took time to speak to us after the event, sign Julie's cookbook and was so gracious throughout.

We are going back to Peller Estates for dinner on March 3rd, I'm sure for another amazing meal to remember! Can't wait!

  Peller Estates on Urbanspoon

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