Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Cambridge Mill - Take 2

130 Water Street North
Cambridge, Ontario


In her opinion:
Last year as we sat enjoying our New Years Eve dinner, we decided to start this blog which has brought a lot of fulfillment and enjoyment to our lives. So it was fitting that we returned again for New Years Eve!

We were seated promptly in a lounge room table. Our server, Angela was awesome. She was very attentive and friendly. She took our drink orders - a glass of Riesling for myself and a glass of Chianti for Edgar.

To start, I ordered the Seared Sea Scallops with Crispy Pork Shoulder. It is described on the New Years Eve menu as being served with "smoked carrots, parsley and orange vinaigrette".

This was extremely delicious. The scallops were huge! Succulent and perfectly cooked. The crispy pork shoulder was a very pleasant surprise. Crispy, moist and flavourful. The accompaniments were perfection. The carrots and orange are a match made in heaven. I was very pleased with this appetizer.

For my main, I ordered "The Arctic Char with Potato Gnocchi". It was accompanied with mussels, chanterelles and roasted carrots.

This was an exceptional piece of fish. The Arctic char was cooked perfectly. The skin was crispy, the fish moist and tender. The potato gnocchi was soft, fluffy and delectable. It was served with a caper sauce which added the right amount of acidity. I really enjoyed the black olives, Brussels sprouts and tonnes of capers that were scattered on the plate.  This was a flavour explosion on the plate. So so good.

I was pretty full after this amazing meal but I wanted to end the meal off right. So I ordered a coffee and the "Chocolate Nemesis" for dessert! This is a flourless chocolate cake with raspberry sorbet.

I love chocolate and raspberry. It reminds me of trips to the Westdale TCBY when I was McMaster! The cake was moist and delicious. The centre was molten chocolate heaven. I loved the lightness of the sorbet and how it balanced the density of the chocolate cake. Just excellent.

I enjoyed our New Years Eve dinner very much. It thrills me to know that we have this caliber of food in Cambridge. The Cambridge Mill should be very proud of themselves for producing excellent, high quality food!

In his opinion:

The return to the place where the food blog idea started seemed inevitable. Exactly one year and 100  posts later, I find myself commemorating a full year of blogging about my favourite passion...food!

I returned to Cambridge Mill for New Years Eve for the second year running and arrived with my typically high expectations. The restaurant and its surroundings seemed more refined, more regal. Maybe due to the fact that last year's New Years was their first and a mere 6 months after their re-opening but nevertheless, it looked very nice and welcoming.

We were shown to our seats in the lounge room but when my wife asked if we could have any other of the empty tables around us, we were told that there were no other tables available, even though the very same table that we desired sat empty for the full time we were there. Not a great start to the night for sure.

We were greeted by a very attentive waitress, Angela who promptly took our drink order. Chianti was my choice for the meal and it was actually very good. We were served three types of bread, olive, multi-grain and white baguette with whipped butter. We also had two separate managers visit our table to ensure all was good and that's a show of good customer service.

Browsing the menu was fun but I found myself undecided. Inevitably I  had picked the dishes that seemed to be calling my name and realized that both of them had scallops in them, so I decided to change my appetizer for a better contrast on my palate. 

My choice of "pork belly poutine' seemed like the perfect way to start the night. It sounded delightful and just the kind of start to a meal I needed. Fresh cut fries, melted Pine River cheese curds, jus and hollandaise sauce. The succulent perfectly cooked little squares of pork belly were the perfect topping and the dish was extremely tasty.

For my entree, I ordered "Fresh Orechiette with Seared Scallops" - a pasta dish from the 'Land and Water Section" of the menu. At first glance I cannot hide the fact that the huge scallops served made the plate very appetizing even before a single bite. They were also perfectly seared, very fresh and tasty as well. The orechiette pasta was cooked beyond al dente but worked well with the softness of the scallops. The mid texture of the double smoked bacon, as well as the feel of the kale in between it formed a formidable mix of textures. Thrown in the mix were also roasted parsnip, pickled mustard and seed vinaigrette.

As I glanced over the very limited dessert menu for that day, I found myself not ordering any dessert for me, and instead had my customary espresso that was made a bit too weak. I got to taste my wife's dessert and although very tasty, would not have been my first choice.

Overall, the food was great, I left full and happy with the quality of the food.

The Good:Great meal and a wonderful atmosphere. This restaurant has what it takes to continue to gratify its customers with a delightful meal experience.
The Bad: Having 3 burgers on the menu from $21-24 is a bit presumptuous, almost arrogant to say the least. In many 4 Diamond star restaurants in Toronto there would be at least some foie gras to justify such a price. Let's hope that this doesn't turn into a theme in which people would shy away due to overpricing on "regular" dishes.
The Verdict: I love having Cambridge Mill down the street from my West Galt home and truly appreciate all the work that the Ciancone family put into this historic landmark in Cambridge. It is exactly what we needed to elevate our  eclectic but sporadic food scene.

I give it 3 1/2 out of 5 Olives as rating

Cambridge Mill on Urbanspoon


  1. Hi I'm Heather! Please email me when you get a chance, I have a question about your blog! LifesABanquet1(at)gmail.com

  2. Wow, I love the glass you used in this. I turned out absolutely fantastic! Keep up the good work.

  3. Thanks for reading the blog John.