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Sunday, April 8, 2018

The Event: Down the Rabbit Hole/Reverie at the Park first anniversary dinner party.

The Date and Time: Thursday April 5, 2018  6PM - 9PM
The Event: Down the Rabbit Hole/Reverie at the Park first anniversary dinner party.
The Venue: Reverie at the Park, College Street
The Target Audience: food media (I was one of the older folk, but I did note Dick Snyder and Sara Waxman as attending).
The Quote/Background: David Mulock provided us with inspired cocktails such as Sweet Lou's wet Negroni or A Forager's Find with bourbon, shiso, lemon, sugar, and High Park wild ginger. Beer and wine were also available. Most media had a cocktail followed by wine at dinner. While others were nursing their cocktails, I talked with Executive Chef Jef Edwards who has been here about a year. This was Reverie's first anniversary dinner, followed by a music party upstairs at 9PM (I had to go home: busy day on Friday at the LCBO tasting lab and at the Green Living Show). Chef Jef comes from Winnipeg and spent some time in creating the sharing menu at Reverie.  He also spoke before each dish, giving its history and creation notes. Previously, he had told me about his fab "chef's selection", a menu of some 11 courses for four persons ($204 total), which included sea scallops, salmon croquette, pork belly, Alaskan trout, duxelle chicken, muscovy dick, rack of lamb, venison, and dessert. He had a printed menu for it so that he could compromise on any allergies or dislikes by patrons. So there is a lot to play around with – even with a comparable seafood menu of "chef's selection". Currently, though, they have no corkage license rider so you would be limited to the short house wine list.
The Wines: I tried tasting samples of five wines. I did not see the labels --
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Charles & Charles Chardonnay Washington
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Pfaff Riesling Pfaffenheim Cuvee Jupiter Alsace
-Santa Margherita Prosecco Superiore
-George Deboeuf Hob Nob Pinot Noir Languedoc
*** GOOD -- Three Stars (85 – 87 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Santa Margherita Valdadige Pinot Grigio
The Food: It was a five course dinner for about 36 – 40 attendees, with excellent table service and significant plates. We began with house made focaccia and breads with pesto and then moved on to s lovely smoked beef tartare and enoki with crisps and hot mustard (served in a beef bone where the marrow would have been). This was followed by a scallop surf and turf with pea and piccata and oyster mushrooms. There was more: cured mackerel and artichoke with kohlrabi and pickled blueberry, and a light gnocchi and ricotta with spinach and palm hearts, like a gnudi. The ending was a veal and porcini aligot (potatoes, cheese, white wine) with peaches. Kudos all round, as well as the applause...
The Downside: typical for the area was the excessive music level, not very enjoyable when eating, and especially when it goes on and on for three hours and more. But then, that's just me...
The Upside: a chance to talk to Chef Jef Edwards.
The Contact Person:
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 89


Dean Tudor, Ryerson University Journalism Professor Emeritus
Treasurer, Wine Writers' Circle of Canada
Look it up and you'll remember it; screw it up and you'll never forget it.

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