Thumbs up for La Palette
- Frederic Tutundjian
I went to La Palette (226 Augusta) in kensington Market.
After having been constantly told how good it was, I just had to try it. In addition, since I had read that the two gentlemen responsible for this establishment were veterans of Le Select(one of my personal faves), I finally gave in.
The space itself is very small, in comparison to Le Paradis, La Bodega and other french eateries in the city, yet very nicely decorated. In addition, with the scorching heat and smog combined to the proximity of the kitchen to the tables, the heat was relatively high. However, the professional, yet unhurried and casual service makes you feel at home.
The small but to the point selection of wines is complemented by wide variety of beers: Belgium, Ontario, Quebec, France, etc., as well as a well stocked bar.
I started with a pint of McAuslan Pale Ale, while my date sipped on a generous serving of refreshing cranberry juice.
We skipped appetizers (blame it on the heat) and went straight to the mains, after having nibbled on very good white crusty bread. My guest had a roasted stuffed squab (28 dollars). Mashed potatoes, grilled vegetables and an interesting stuffing comprising both fruits and veggies completed the dish. The bird was well cooked and its bony nature was compensated by the great flavour and tenderness of its flesh. Magnifique!Though my guest didn't have any wine, I myself would have well seen a glass of Gewurtzstraminer from Alsace or maybe Cotes-de-Provence Rose with this high-flying bird. I, myself had a steak de cheval (horse steak, 21 dollars). The horse (Hi-yo Silver, awaaayyy!!!) was organically raised in Quebec, especially for human consumption. Let me tell you, despite galloping down the 401, the meat was tender and well done. I'm sure if Loblaws would have this product on its shelves, they would call it "Memories from Woodbine"! The dish also included roasted small potatoes and grilled veggies similar to those in the squab dish. A glass of Argentinian Malbec (red wine) was the perfect complement to this great dish. Believe me folks, that wine course at George Brown paid off!
One of La Palette's strengths, nevertheless is definitely desserts (6.50 each). We shared two of these heavenly clouds of sweetness and taste. A lemon tart, served with creme anglaise, a gooseberry and strawberry slices, and a flourless chocolate bourbon cake with vanilla ice(Ice, Ice Baby, and I thought he retired...) cream, with strawberries as well.
A nice caffe americano for me and a tea for my ladyfriend were the final note on this fine meal.
So, go ahead, it's great. Price wise, it's not cheap but not overpriced and worth every penny.