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All GAME tasting menu?!

I remember years ago, a friend drove me to a ski resort outside of Toronto where I was introduced to an all game multicourse dinner, cooked by a kitchen run by a Chinese chef. The meal included swan, elk, venison, wild boar, bison and pheasant.... to name a few. Since then, I have had individual plates of venison, elk, wild boar and the ever popular bison at Scaramouche, George, Splendido and Perigee etc., Question - Any fellow CH heard of any Toronto restaurant planning to serve an All game or at least predominantly game tasting menu in the near future?

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  1. A lot of chefs, if approached, would be more than willing to serve you an all-game tasting menu if you were willing to pay the price.

    However, game is not something that appeals to a wide range of diners. Therefore, restaurants don't feature it, let alone create entire tasting menus around it (at least, not permanently). But as you and I know (and chefs know), game can be some of the tastiest food imaginable if you're willing to just try it.

    Mark Thuet loves game, and always has a bunch of game dishes on his menus which are usually fabulous. If I approached, I bet he'd be keen on hooking you up. Same goes with Didier.

    Speaking of Thuet, there is a game terrine on the menu right now that is fantastic that you may wish to try. And his Alsatian Choucroutes are awesome and he has an elk dish currently that I've had before that you must try. Foie, bison, venison, squab, etc. are commonly scattered throughout his cuisine.

    When George first opened, the menu was full of game and "ugly cuts" of meats (chef being British) but that quickly changed. It was glorious while it lasted, though. Celestin used to be the same, but no more. :( A lot of times, you're lucky to find a sweetbread or two.

    1. you peaked my curiousity mr. yu and so i did a quick google to see if anything interesting came up.

      http://www.peppinosonthebeach.com/
      from dine.to
      "Wild game menu, featuring Musk Ox, Ostrich, Venison, is presented every last week of every month in addition to the standard month. The quaint space bodes well for romantics or epicurists!"
      the website does note they have a new chef (formerly Fawzi Kotb who is at opal) and i'm unsure if that would mean a discontinuation of such a monthly event. they may also be limited in the variety they can offer.
      BUT
      http://www.where.ca/toronto/guide_lis...
      notes that Chef Fawzi Kotb has continued this game menu at opal... which means you may have *just* missed it.

      outside of gta....

      nov 6th in nobleton
      http://www.danielsofnobleton.com/comi...
      "This is always a popular event. Each Fall Daniel creates a special game menu to showcase the wonderful flavours of game meats to fans and novices alike."
      at $65 this seems like a steal, but of course you have to go the extra distance to nobleton

      other than that... you'll either have to travel to nyc or vancouver/western provinces to get a variety of game menus.

      1. That ski resort may have been in the Blue Mountains on Georgian Bay. The resorts there often have a special bus trip to the Range Road Diner where they specialize in game meats every day. Being an everyday item for them means that they've figured out how to cook the meats successfully. I dropped by this summer and had a fantastic bison steak! You can find a review and map here:
        http://torontovore.blogspot.com/2007/...

        1. I think Trattoria da Gianni e Maria used to serve a Game menu this time of year. Maybe not a tasting menu, but a prix fixe of some sort. They still have a venison risotto and hunter's antipasti on their regular menu.http://www.giannimaria.com/pasta.html

          1. Can anyone here let me know what "game menu" means exactly, as opposed to "tasting menu"? I googled, but had not much luck. Thanks in advance!

            2 Replies
            1. re: chutchut

              I just found it:

              Game is any animal hunted for food or not normally domesticated (such as venison). Game animals are also hunted for sport.
              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Game_%28...

              1. re: chutchut

                It would be an interesting concept if you could only eat what you catch yourself.

            2. http://www.azurerestaurant.ca/tasting...

              The November menu is 'game' based but not particularly 'gamey...' ;)

              4 Replies
              1. re: kawarthagirl

                How can it be a "Tasting menu" and only have four courses? I would never buy a tasting with less then 8.

                1. re: OnDaGo

                  I've had tasting menus with less courses. I've had tasting menus where you had the option to have 5, 7 or 8. I think it's a situation of having appropriately sized portions and a good enough variety. I am not saying that Azure is all that, but the query was for game... Hence, the response.

                  1. re: kawarthagirl

                    What is the problem with a tasting menu less than 8 courses ??? I don't quite get it. I have many tasting menu that is less than 8 courses too. In fact, the "tasting menu" at Splendido at this moment is 7 courses...
                    Back to my question, how's the food at Azure ? Anyone try it recently ? Thanks.

                    1. re: skylineR33

                      Ok I was over exagerating but come on Azure doing 4 courses on a tasting menu... calling that a tasting is a bit of a stretch

                      here is thier tasting:

                      Game Tasting Menu

                      Terrine of Foie Gras various beet presentations, ice wine vinegar syrup

                      Roasted Squab with Squash Confit rainbow chard, darjeeling tea date puree

                      Roasted Loin of Caribou celery root puree, forest mushrooms, roasted plum sauce

                      Sticky Toffee Pudding mandarin ice cream, caramel sauce

              2. There's an Exotic Game Meats event on Tue, Nov 6th at Coupe Space on Queen East that has been posted on TasteTO. Might be what you're looking for....
                http://www.tasteto.com/2007/11/02/to-...

                2 Replies
                1. re: phoenikia

                  This is not a "dinner" but more like a wine tasting with experts explaining everything. Stephen Alexander (proprietor, Cumbrae Farms) will be hosting the event the listing does not even say that a chef will be there.

                  1. re: OnDaGo

                    You're right, it's not a tasting menu and it doesn't mention whether a chef will be there. But the $75 pricetag does include tastings and a light dinner. http://www.cumbraes.com/

                2. Fellow Chowhounds! I've just heard from a reliable source that David Lee of Splendido is currently planning for a multi course Game tasting menu to be implemented in the near future. He is waiting to see what 'goodies' his hunter friends will bring from the lodge before finalising the menu. Should be most interesting!!

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Charles Yu

                    The chinese chef is still doing game tasting menu. He used to be at a resort close to Peterborough. He has now moved to another nearby location but the meal is at his house/farm.

                    If you are interested, I can give you his number.

                    We take our guests there sometimes and they always enjoy it.

                    1. re: caitlink

                      Hi Caitlink, can you please provide the contact info for the chef in peterborough?

                      thanks...

                  2. According to an ad I saw in King Station last night, Esplanade Bier Markt is doing a special game meat menu starting sometime next week until early December. Their website - http://www.thebiermarkt.com/ - still has their Oktoberfest menu up, but it should be replaced with the game one soon.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: gregclow

                      For those that are interested, I was told that the bison on the menu is grass-fed, which is good for anyone who prefers a lower fat game meat.

                      1. re: torontovore

                        I tried the bison, yes it has no fat at all. However, it is very rough and hard to chew, no taste, not like it at all. The venison is much better, the meat is much tender and nicely grilled.

                        1. re: skylineR33

                          Hello skylineR33! The bison that I had in George and Splendido these past couple of weeks was very tender ( different cut, may be? ). I totally agree with you though, venison definitely tastes much better, sweeter and more tender. However, if given a chance, do give 'elk' a try. What gorgeous meat! First time I had it in Norway, my friend's wife pan seared the tenderloin in shallots, onion and butter and then finish it off with a Cognac mustard cream sauce. She then paired it with slices of a slow braised elk tongue in red wine and root vegetable. Absolutely Heavenly!!!!!

                    2. I saw that Bier Markt has the wild game menu again, until December 7. Has anyone checked it out yet?

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: blue bike

                        I hope they're not actually marketing it as a WILD game menu.

                      2. Has anyone tried Oro's Game Menu? It's not a tasting menu though, unfortunately.

                        http://www.ororestaurant.com/menus/game