Michael Stadtlander - when in town?
- Food fanatic Nov 27, 2003 12:48 AM
When is Michael Stadtlander back in town to cook?
Do you know how long the wait is to book a table at Eigensinn?
It's a weird booking system, (or at least it was when I booked last time). You can call 3?? months in advance, starting on the first of the month. I called at about noon on the first and they were all booked! Michael's wife called back 1/2 hour later and offered a cancellation. I was trying to get a reservation for the day of my birthday, but when she offered the second option, I didn't even check my calendar, I just took it.
I would highly recommend doing the same. The respect this guy has for ingredients is unlike anything I have ever seen. You can see the influences of his Asian experience throughout his cooking, but the fusion with french and even scandinavian cuisine is seamless. The different courses (7) were served on an eclectic mix of crockery and wood, collected from his travels around the world. The fact that you eat in his living room being served by his wife and son (about 10 years old) make an amazing experience almost surreal.
From the amuse gueules (including squid sashimi, head cheese, foie gras, and pickled fish), to the blue cheese and rocket salad, to the shark fin soup, to the squab supreme stuffed with blackberry compote, to the wild atlantic salmon with smoked cherry tomatoes, to the blue berry struedel, to the delicious, truffle-like petit fours, it was perfect. The volume of food does nothing to diminish the appetite (in fact, the portions are very sensible, and the dinner is broken up by a short stroll in his back garden, to let things settle before the next onslaught of delicacies), and the fact that I remember this meal course for course almost a year later is testament to his mastery.
Chowhounds often spur the pricey and fashionable in favour of the backalley diners, but this place is just another backalley diner that happens to be run by one of the top ten chefs in the world. The price is totally within reason for what you get, (many of the garnishes take longer to cook and require more knowledge and experience than entire high priced meals I've had in Toronto.)
He tries to grow as many of the ingredients as possible right on the farm, and what he doesn't grow there are hand selected from local farmers, or top Toronto importers.
Without a doubt, the best meal that I have ever had. Likely one of the best I ever will.
Take them and enjoy. $150 per head. Leave her at home.
That might be a little premature. Call and ask. His wife does all of the bookings etc and she is very friendly and helpful. They might have something set up to deal with veggheads, or the answer might be "don't eat the courses with meat" (5/7 when I was there).
Call and ask. Michael has such great respect for food that I'm sure he'd accommodate vegetarian. But, for planning purposes, try and go when there's an excellent choice of vegetables e.g summer/fall. Right now the root veggies haven't reached their prime, and the summer ones are pretty well gone.