Friday, April 04, 2014

Charred & JC Patissier

Love the bottle of tap water we were given!
It was a dark and stormy night. Ms HitH had the h-anger.  You know what the h-anger is? It is when one is so hungry, one is angry.  Given the early dinner hour (5:15) we decided to hit up our neighbourhood Italian eatery, Chicago Style Pizza.  Unfortunately, their line up was already approaching the door.  Given that, we decided to try somewhere new, Charred.

Our delicious Caesar salad.  Superb!
We went in and were immediately welcomed.  The restaurant is lovely, with a small seating area. The rotisseries are up front, and the entire place smells amazing - the burning charcoal, the roasting chicken - so so good! Mr. HitH was pleased to see that he uses the same charcoal in his BBQ.  We were immediately given a bottle of chilled tap water. Love it! The menu isn't extensive, mostly featuring chicken, potatoes and salads. Mr. HitH ordered up a half chicken with fries as his side, and extra spicy piri piri sauce. Ms. HitH got the brand spanking new rice dish with spicy piri piri sauce, a side of roasted potatoes and we got a caesar salad, without bacon, to share.

Veggie food!  Rice, roasted taters & piri piri sauce.  These are the small portions!
First, let's focus on the vegetarian food at a rotisserie restaurant. Cue the sad trumpet sound. You know the one.  Mwah wah wah.  Now take your pathetic trumpet noise back because my food was awesome!  The rice is nothing fancy, just rice cooked in veggie broth with some green onion.  However, when you mix in the piri piri sauce, it is truly delicious.  Loved it! The roasted potatoes were crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. I ordered a small of both, and the servings were huge.  Before today, I thought the best Caesar salad in the city was at Memphis Fire BBQ Co., but Charred has them beat. The lettuce was fresh and crisp and the dressing was fabulously garlicy.  It wasn't overly creamy and while it coated each leaf, it didn't become cloying at any time. The shaved parmesan gave it the necessary umami, and I was very impressed that our server took the time to ensure that it was OK for the vegetarian to have the egg in the dressing.  I'm sure it would have been better with bacon, but sadly, Mr. HitH has to give up some delicious pleasures for the awesomeness of having Ms. HitH in his life.  Overall, great meal!

Meatarian food!  Delicious chicken, fries, piri piri sauce & a great bun!
The half chicken was moist, with crispy skin.  No burning or off flavours, and again, a very generous portion.  When Mr. HitH used up all his piri piri sauce, our server immediately brought him another bowl for dipping. The fries are slim, slender, and delicious.  They rival the goodness of The Burnt Tongue's fries - and those fries are awesome. The bottle of malt vinegar is up at the bar, so ask for it. It also came with the same bun you get from The Burnt Tongue with the soup.  They're from a local baker, and we need to ask which one, because they are great - soft and yummy.

I am torn about glass bottles.  They are adorable, but pricey!
Service throughout was excellent - attentive, fun, helpful.  We were impressed with the quality of the food and the serving sizes were so generous that we are contemplating changing our name to Full in the Hammer. We will be back.
Clockwise from upper left: apple tarte, strawberry tart, mango cheesecake and very fancy blueberry cheesecake

We had to hit The Mustard Seed so we decided to stop in at JC Patissier, a bakery that we had passed by many times since it relocated from downtown to York Street.  We went in and ordered a mango cheesecake, a strawberry tart and a apple tart. The owner then very generously told us to pick a complementary treat out, and we chose a blueberry cheesecake.  We packed them up and brought them home.  Overall, they were a nice little treat, with the fruit tart being excellent.  The almond base brought out the flavours of the strawberries, which were deliciously sweet.  The cheesecakes both had great cheesecake, but the crusts were too buttery (who would have thought this was possible?) and there wasn't enough fruit flavour, especially in the mango. It frankly tasted more like a plain cheesecake. The apple tart had good flavours, but the apples were quite dry despite the glaze on top.  Overall, the treats were good and the owner was lovely, but we probably won't add this bakery into our regular rotation.  There was nothing wrong - at all - but nothing amazing either.

Charred Rotisserie House on Urbanspoon
J C Patisserie on Urbanspoon