Milestones – Summer Chef Tasting Menu
The Muddled Raspberry and Blueberry Vodka Cocktail was quite strong in alcohol content and subconsciously helped us mingle a little easier.
Constellation Brands provided an array of their finest wines to pair along with the six course affair.
First course was the Crispy Quinoa Shrimp w/ chimichurri aioli and vegetable slaw. Instead of frying shrimp in regular flour batter, they coated them with raw quinoa for an extra nutty crunch. It didn’t look very appealing to the eye but I thought it was delicious!
They were ever so generous with the Panko Blue Crab Cakes and when Chef Rosso said they were stuffed to the brim with crab, he wasn’t kidding. The whole patty was crab and had barely any filler. It was so light that I didn’t even feel the need for chipotle aioli which I thought overpowered the crab just slightly.
Unfortunately, this Spicy Thai Basil Stir Fry was my least favourite of the bunch. Noodles (especially Asian noodles) are my forte so I have high expectations for how they should be prepared. I felt the rice noodles were overcooked and was void of the delightful chewiness that I so love and enjoy in Asian noodle dishes.
The NK’MIP Cellars Riesling was a great pairing for the stir fry as I enjoyed the clean citrus finish.
Our fourth course consisted of Grilled Japanese Tuna Tataki w/ asparagus fennel slaw and mandarin dressing. It was a beautiful piece of fish and the light searing of the sides really sealed in all the flavour. The mandarin dressing however was a bit too acidic.
Originated from Sonoma County, California, Mark West Pinot Noir is one of the most well known Pinor Noirs in the market. Its medium-bodied with notes of raspberry, sweet cherry, and nutmeg spice.
When eating red meat, you know the wine pairing is going to be a nice full bodied red. In our case, it was the Dreaming Tree Crush Red Blend from California.
To end off the night, we were given an interesting dessert of Avocado and Lime Tart w/ brown sugar chantilly. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea but it certainly highlights the risks Chef Rosso takes in experimenting with different flavours and combinations. Though I appreciate the innovation, I think it can still be further refined with plays on textures because I found the overall dish too soft and supple. There needs to be an unexpected crunch somewhere.
The Inniskillin Okanagan Riesling Icewine was a delectable treat at the end. To produce ice wine, the grapes need to be picked at exactly -8 degrees before it can be pressed. Due to the sugars that do not dissolve and the ice that becomes frozen, the result is a very concentrated sweet wine. It nicely balanced the naturally acidic avocado and lime tart.
Overall, I think Milestones is taking a great leap forward in introducing new innovative culinary items and I applaud them for focusing so intently on the quality of each dish. For such a high volume restaurant franchise, I know it is an incredibly difficult task. Though for me personally, the chef tasting menu had a few hits and misses, the dedication and plain hard work is apparent so I’m excited to see how the public will respond to their revitalized menu in the future.