We passed by Fressen a few times, walking on Queen. The long warm lamps look great from the outside. Based on that, we made a reservation a day ahead to bring my grandparents who were visiting.
From the outside, white frames with a well-lit blank top banner. The inside is glowing with warm orange light, looking perfectly cozy with the brick walls.
aroma of honey and peach
Once inside, the long lights and candles here and there fit in nicely. They went great with the wooden tables and chairs. The room is long and has a second part a few stairs up, followed by the kitchen in the middle back under a circular arc.
blossom, fig, apricot
We sat down and as I requested we got a round table near the middle. The waitress lady was interesting - light hair, black summer dress and tattoos. She was happy and calm. Cheri and I were the once picking all the dishes. They all sounded great. She came by a few times to check on us, if we are ready. We wanted to get a bottle of a white wine, but weren't sure what to go with. I asked for her opinion on their first chardonnay. I was expecting the usual "Its alright" but she instead said she wold definitely not recommend it. Instead she pointed us to the Ontario Calamus White '10. She said it's mainly a riesling grape. Once we tried it, I was more than happy we listened to her, it was a great choice - crispy, pear and a bit on the sweet side - yummy and light!
rich notes of honeycomb
a perfect combo of crisp refreshing and sweet addiction
- very well balanced
Ok, food. To start we asked for their Fava Bean Smash, Chickpea and Avocado and their Beet and Mandarin Orange Salad. Followed by Spinach Blini and Tempeh Fish Styx, the latter she recommended as part of their specials.
We then realized, there would be no meat in our food. My grandparents are a bit of carnivores, but had nothing against some "dieting".With all the cold tapas, we got some fresh poppy-seed bread. Plates were small, but nicely arranged. Let me start off by saying everything was great, they really made them all very unique with all the spices and herbs. My grandparents were big fans of the Beet Salad with balsamic vinegar, a good contrast to the Fava Beans. I quite enjoyed the Chickpea Avocado Salad - dry chickpeas went great with buttery avocado all surrounded by spinach, cucumber, tomatoes and lemon dressing.The Spinach Blini Appetizers were nothing like the russian blini, which my grandpa had craved. It was rather more like a mexican dish - green, poppyseed pita bread, topped with spicy avocado-corn salsa. The Tempeh Fish Styx were great - 3 fried sticks with a side of a refreshing cucumber-tahini salsa. Unexpectedly great! After all the awesome tasting, everyone was getting rather full, so decided to get pretty much the rest of the appetizers - Jicama & Mango, Mixed Leaves and Babaganoush.
long, rich finish
The soft chatter from the few tables on the side kept up the warm ambience thought. They had plenty of worthwhile entrees for the adventurous vegetarian few. Perhaps another day.
Overall.. a lively Late-Harvest Riesling