Unfortunately we haven't have a chance to experience the Dundas / Ancaster culinary delights to their fullest. For such an affluent area, there are plenty of options to choose from and Quatrefoil is known to be one of the very best.
APPEARANCE & SWIRL
The restaurant is in a beautiful standalone house adorned with lights and icicles. Welcomed by a quatrefoil mirror piece above a fireplace, the space seemed to be clean and french, interrupted by this heavy, dark decor upon entry - a bit intimidating as a welcome area.
The hostess was prompt to check our coats and give us a number in return - a small gesture, which makes our experience much more pleasant. With two floors of dining, we would expected more renaissance hints to connect to the name, but that didn’t seem to be the vision for the space. It was tastefully decorated, nonetheless.
The candle lit at our table as we sat down - getting us in the right mood. Our waiter Kyle was very expressive and enthusiastic. He was there throughout to answer any questions we had, often with little stories.
NOSE & PALETTE
Our wines for the evening were a straightforward and classy Argentinian Malbec - Carens, Vista Flores, Mendoza (2014) plus an elegant 2014 Pinot noir, Pearce Predhomme from Willamette Valley, Oregon. We started with the wine and chose our dishes to match that, a bit unconventional, but we knew what we wanted to drink that special night. For food, we chose House Smoked Salmon, Gnocchi à la Vodka, a Rose Veal Chop and Icy Waters Arctic Char the last two being main courses.
We got a little something special from the chef to get us going - parmesan custard, dried tomato and potato crisp - a beautiful amuse bouche, tart with a sour cream. The creamy sauce to offset and add that buttery texture while the potatoes crisp added a meaty smell with burnt texture - a much needed nuance.
There were only a few pieces of very flavorful and smoked in-house Salmon on the plate tastefully arranged with radish, cucumber, buttermilk and pumpernickel crisps. A large plate made eating the dish a bit of an adventure - chasing the scattered goodies around. A very interesting combination of flavours and a delightful option to consider as a first course. Maybe a few more slices of salmon could make it even better.
Rose Veal Chop came with a wonderful medley of mushrooms and a generous size chunk of meat - the chop in a beautiful thick balsamic sauce was a little burned and caramelized. The meat was cooked to perfection, melting in the mouth with every bite. A very large plate was used, but there was plenty of food to go around so it did not look too empty.
Icy Aaters Arctic Char with beets, spinach, beluga lentils and lemon beurre blanc also looked magnificent on the plate. Dark lentils added a texture and substance while the boiled spinach had a light juicy bitterness. The beets were not our favourite part here and did not add much to the plate. The hero was the crispy skinned char - a bit of skin on the meat made it that much more interesting. The meaty fish was a tad chewy, but well balanced by the buttery side juice. Little breads plate with 4 different types were also part of our flavour experience. We especially liked the anise pumpernickel and the tiny cheesy brioches. Breads were unlimited
We were getting full...one dessert choice was Gingerbread to share, Ma Cherie was not too enthused about that choice, but that didn’t last for long. It was an original interpretation consisting of a deconstructed gingerbread adorned with earl grey tea sauce and spruce ice cream. Warm, moist bread was beautiful and the cranberries were an amazing addition. The dish came topped with thin, flat meringue and needles all around. Our waiter poured the earl grey cream in front of us. The small side of homemade ice-cream was light and not spruce smelling, just a tad of a nuance, to our disappointment. Overall, this dish really topped off our evening experience.
With a light, ambient, lounge music throughout and many rooms, we felt as if we visited a posh friend for a gourmet dinner.