Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Birthday Dinner, Part Blue

I'd already had one birthday dinner earlier in the week, but as promised, it was a week full of celebration.

A friend was also getting ready to celebrate her birthday, and since the Blue Talon Bistro was also honouring their one-year birthday, it seemed the natural choice for a proper feast.

We came into the restaurant, and were greeted with a dizzying roar of motion and conversation. The hostess took us to our table, tucked into the side of the rear dining area.

After several minutes of menu-studying, DucCat flagged down a runner to see if we could get started on the wine. Fairly shortly, our waiter arrived to take the order. He plastered a fake and pained smile upon his face as he wrote down our selection. Turning, the smile slipped right away, his mouth perfectly in synch with the dead look in his eyes.

[Let me apologies here for the blurry pictures. I was seated on the aisle side, which jetted out into the middle of the dining room. I kept feeling like people were brushing past me all evening.]

A cute pair of little girls were working their way steadily through a balloon-studded dining room. One was dressed like a waiter, and politely offered a spoonful of jelly bellies. Her partner was dressed, as you can see, like the cutest little chicken that you can imagine. Her beak didn't quite cover her giggles.

Our waiter returned and stoically took our orders, with the same plastic expressions that vanished the moment he turned away. It was just creepy. I have to wonder if the man wasn't dealing with some catastrophic personal event, and simply was unable to bow out of work. At any rate, it was disconcerting-.

We settled back with our Lalande Chardonnay, and watch the frantic activity all around. There was a guy dressed up in medieval clothes who appeared to be doing magic tricks at tables; a roving couple were festively playing violin and accordion; the chicken-girls finished their rounds, and returned to the kitchen. DucCat called over the musicians, and asked for a birthday jig for the birthday girls, and they happily complied.

Runners circled the table, and our appetizer were delivered.

Both of us girls were unable to sway from the call of Classic Escargot.It arrived piping hot, and reeking of garlic. Oh, the escargot was good, but the garlic was a bit over-powering. As we plowed through the dish, it was eventually all that I could taste.

Typically, the French Onion Soup here is very good, but my friend said that tonight, it was only average.

My next course was the Roasted Tomato Tart, and it was the best plate that night. The tomato had a great depth of flavour that was perfectly picked up by the creamy goat cheese. This was truly a pleasure to eat.

As our main courses were arriving, we drank a Rex Hill 2003 Pinot Noir. It was berry-licious, but not a fruit-bomb. It was light in body, with a nice finish of cherries.

For my entree, I ordered the Calamari Salad. The calamari was slightly doughy and cold. The salad was extremely light on the dressing; I stirred vigorously to spread the flavour around.

I didn't photograph this, but one of our friends was served pommes frites that were icy cold, like little block of ice. Once again, a waiter had to be waved down to correct this- luckily, the next batch brought out were piping hot, and delicious.

Finally, dinner was over, and the frantic pace of the restaurant was slowing down. Our waiter, still looking pained, took our dessert orders.
Apparently, every table that night received a complimentary birthday cake. It was chocolatey, and an appropriate accompaniment to the port that I ordered.

My friend took the liberty of ordering some truly lip-smacking choux-pastry-type thing. I can't remember what exactly it was... banana cream, maybe? But it was quite delicious, far better than the cake. Just look at those chocolate drizzles...

We paid up, and left as the restaurant was finally clearing. DucCat and I have been very lucky, in that our previous visits have always been good ones. We've heard from other people- actually, quite a few other people- who have had less than exemplary service and meals. Since we usually dine at lunch, or on a weeknight, perhaps we've just managed to avoid the crowds.

In the future, we'll definitely stay away from 'Amateur Night' on the weekends, or any sort of event here, really. When Blue Talon has the time to work its charm, it really does- and we're grateful to have that atmosphere here in our little area.

When it's a really busy night... perhaps they need another year's practice on keeping service smooth and flowing. Blow out the candles, and make a wish...


Blogger Punky said...

Wow. I am a little over stimulated just reading about all the action going on in there that night. I have found that so many restaurants are so much better in their off peak times. But I am glad you had a good week of birthday celebrations.

September 29, 2005 8:07 AM  
Blogger Mona said...

Great pictures! I'm trying to upload pix today and having NO luck ...grrr!
When was your bday? Mine was tuesday! I feel it's been a birthday week-too many dinners I can't keep up!!

September 29, 2005 2:13 PM  
Blogger Chef Cindy said...

The Blue Talon. Have eaten there and enjoyed every bite! Lovely restaurant.
Enjoyed your write-up on the Birthday Girl!

December 16, 2005 11:29 AM  

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