61 Grand River Street North
It's been a while! Let me apologize for the delay in writing a new blog post but the inevitable has finally occurred. Our SD card on our camera pooped out on us...so we have spent the last three or so weeks trying to recoup our pictures to no avail. Sorry but this is a bare minimum post as far as photos are concerned. We hope our words do justice to the dishes, without having the visuals to go with them!
In her opinion:
As most of you know, our goal is to find new and exciting places to blog about in Ontario and well, the world! As of late, we have been looking for places close to home...we often go to Camp 31 for dinner in Paris, Ontario and as we drive through this lovely town a few restaurants have caught our eye.
So last Sunday, Edgar and I decided to drive to Paris and visit the Cedar House Restaurant. Unfortunately, we did not have a reservation so they could not accommodate us until much later in the evening. We opted to try Stillwater Plate and Pour instead. This is in the same space that Kenu was once housed. This is Matt Cummings' restaurant (he also owns Cobblestone Public House Restaurant down the street) and the chef is Chef William Thompson of Food Network's Top Chef Canada.
The restaurant is on the top floor of 61 Grand River Street North and has an amazing patio with sweeping views of the Grand River. Our son Ethan loved the fact that we were seated next to a window that he could stare down at this large fast moving river. Our waitress came to introduce herself and take our drink orders. I had studied their cocktail menu in detail but opted to keep it simple and have water instead. I know boring!
After studying the menu some more...and some more...and some more...there was a lot to pick from but I can honestly say that nothing was really calling my name. Edgar actually pointed out "the Buffalo Mozzarella Stuffed Meatball Noodle" in their Bowl Dishes section of the menu. This consisted of "seasoned and stuffed ground chuck meatballs simmered in a fire roasted tomato sauce over Italian pappardelle noodles topped with fresh basil and shaved grana padano cheese". This was served with a slice of warm artisan garlic bread.
This is a vibrant dish. The colours are amazing. The flavours are fresh and lively. The noodles were cooked perfectly. The meatballs were the star of this dish, just as I had expected. These are delectable bites of meaty goodness.
Edgar was still a little hungry after his dinner and to be honest I still had a little bit of room myself, so we decided to order dessert. After checking out their dessert menu, we decided to share "Chef Will's Award Winning Triple Chocolate Semi-Fredo". This consisted of "a semi-frozen mousse with white and dark chocolate accents". Apparently, this dessert won the People's Choice Award at the Decadent Delights Chocolate Competition in support of Aberdeen Health and Community Services Foundation.
When this desert showed up quite a while after we ordered it, I must say that it didn't look at all like what I was expecting. It simply consisted of three oval shaped white chocolate covered pieces of semi-fredo. The first bite quickly made me forget any reservations that I may have had. This was incredibly good. I easily understood why it's called an award winning dessert.
I have to say that the food at Stillwater Plate and Pour was excellent. It's fresh and flavourful! That aspect of the meal definitely did not disappoint. What did disappoint was the slow and at times inattentive service. It might have just been an off night...I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. I think this place would be amazing on a warm summer night out by the river. I think you need to try it for yourself!
In his opinion:
Stillwaters has been on our "to try list" for a couple of months not only for its excellent setting and views but also due to some buzz that has been going around these parts about this renovated restaurant.
My first glance was positive as you walked in the restaurant. Nicely decorated walls, open spaces and an open kitchen as you walk in. There is a terrace just off the main dining room that surely would be popular in the warmer months. In addition to those spaces, Stillwaters also has a phenomenal large rooftop multi-purpose patio that can serve as additional dining space but perfect for private functions.
To start, I ordered a Rickard's Red and found myself browsing the menu for longer than expected. I chose the Steak Sandwich - a tender hand cut AAA strip loin served "open faced" on garlic artisan bread topped with sautéed forest mushrooms and Yukon gold matchsticks. The steak was slightly more done that I'm used to for medium but still within the range of what a medium cooked steak should be. The food tasted fresh and the plating was minimalist and simple. The garlic on the bread and matchsticks on top were a nice addition of flavours and textures.
For dessert, I had a hard time choosing so in the end we ended up sharing "Chef Will's Award Winning Triple Chocolate Semi-Fredo" - a semi-frozen mousse with white and dark chocolate accents. This dessert was very flavourful even for a non-chocolate lover like myself.
The Good: The space is bright and inviting and the food was good. Breathtaking views enhance the experience. Staff was very inviting and pleasant.
The Bad: Service at times was inattentive and menu selection although large lacked some flair.
The Verdict: Great addition/renovation to the Paris food scene. The overall experience was good and the patrons are treated well. Lots of options for seating and views highlight this perfectly placed restaurant.
I give it 3 olives out of 5.