Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Langdon Hall's Holiday Brunch

1 Langdon Drive
Cambridge, Ontario


In her opinion:
Cambridge doesn't have a lot to be proud of in the way of food...sorry if that offends anyone...but that is my honest opinion. Yes, there are some good if not amazing places but they are few and far between. So whenever I have a chance to promote one of those amazing places...I do. Langdon Hall is the leader of Cambridge's amazing places and with the recent addition of Chef Jason Bangerter, it's even better.

Chef Bangerter came to Langdon Hall at the end of October to replace departing Grand Chef Jonathan Gushue. We have been big fans of Chef Bangerter since his days at Auberge du Pommier and became bigger fans when we finally met him at Luma. We were thrilled when he took this new position and had been itching to visit Langdon Hall.

We decided that Langdon Hall's Holiday Brunch was the perfect opportunity. This was a wonderful escape for Edgar and I. Anytime I get a chance to enjoy the splendour of Langdon Hall, I take it. If you haven't had a chance to eat here...please try...if you have, you know exactly what I'm talking about. As you drive up the wooded, curvy drive you are transported to another realm of service and grace. It is refinement at its best.

Fig Side Car

We were shown to a lovely table for two by the windows. Our attentive server introduced herself and took our drink orders. She also delivered delicious sourdough bread and house-made butter to the table. After checking out the brunch menu, I had made my choices. However, Chef Bangerter came out for a visit and to say hello. I asked for his opinion on my choices...I ended up changing what I had picked! As a result, the beautiful glass of Argentinian Malbec that I had ordered was switched for Edgar's Fig Side Car. This is a gorgeous martini of brandy, Grand Marnier and fig and orange flavoured syrup. 

For my appetizer I order the "Oxtail and Foie Gras Terrine served with port wine shallots, pickled honey mushrooms and watercress."

Really delicious. The flavours of the terrine itself was perfection. The delicate port wine shallots were the perfect accompaniment to the heartiness of the terrine. The velvety smoothness of the foie gras was exquisite.

We were surprised with a dish delivered to our table by Chef Bangerter himself. He brought us a dish off his tasting menu. "Slow-poached B.C. scallops with a hazelnut and sun choke purée and truffle dressing".

In a word...superb. It was just so delicious. The scallops were perfectly cooked. The puree was velvety and delicious. The truffle dressing was so so good. The perfect gift from the kitchen.

For my main course, Chef Bangerter suggested the pickerel so I choose the pickerel. It was served with double smoked bacon, fennel, celery root and white wine mussel nage

I'm so glad I took Chef Bangerter's advise. This was absolutely wonderful. The pickerel was cooked perfectly. The celery root, fennel and white wine mussel nage was very well executed. It was light and fresh and flavourful. A perfect brunch main course.

We were rewarded with a pre-dessert by the kitchen. A lovely "blood orange sorbet with a ginger cookie crumb". 

This was light and refreshing and just beautiful. The blood orange flavour was delightful.

For my actual dessert, I choose the "Dark Chocolate Caramel Tart with rosemary white chocolate crumb and toasted walnut ice cream".

In a word...decadent. I love chocolate...but chocolate and caramel is a real treat. This was just excellent.

Overall, the whole experience was wonderful. It did not disappoint. I am thrilled that Chef Bangerter took the position at Langdon Hall. Langdon Hall made the right choice in picking Jason Bangerter to replace Jonathan Gushue. He brings creativity and excellence to the position and Cambridge is lucky to have him.

In his opinion:
Returning to Langdon Hall is always a treat for us no matter how many times we do it in a year. Being that it is practically down the street from our place is also an advantage, as is the fact that it is one of the best and highest rated restaurants in Canada.

The Christmas season is a particularly great time to visit but this time we had an added bonus. The new Executive Chef is none other than the man that made Auberge du Pommiers, the best French restaurant this side of the Atlantic, the one and only Chef Jason Bangerter. I was quite excited to see what Chef Bangerter would do with the menu even though he has only been in the position for a few months, but his touch was already felt in the food.

After having my "Fig Side Car Martini" drink practically "stolen" from me by my significant other, I ended up with her choice of an Argentinian Malbec which wasn't bad at all. Chef Bargenter graced us with this presence at table to say hi and catch up before our meal. To start I opted for the "Citrus Cured Albacore Tuna with radish, delicate herbs and creme fraiche". 

The presentation was exquisite. In this case the Tuna did all the talking and not only looked amazing but tasted even better. Buttery smooth and melting in your mouth delicious. The creme fraiche worked well to add a bit of tartness to the tuna. The radishes were super crunchy and seemed pickled and again very tasty.

Chef Bargenter brought us a surprise dish to kick off our main courses. Slow-poached B.C. scallops with a hazelnut, sun choke puree and a truffle dressing. This dish was nothing short of spectacular and as I tweeted almost immediately, perhaps the best dish I have ever had in all my visits to Langdon Hall. The sweet poached scallops melted in your mouth and the toasted hazelnut provided the perfect contrast in texture, an ingenious touch. The sun choke puree was creamy and the black truffle shavings just enhanced the scallop taste to a whole new level. I find it hard to describe this dish as it left me basically speechless as I ate it and for those that know me would understand that is no small feat.

For our second main course, I had "Braised Lamb Shank with creamy cornmeal pudding, truffle, parsley and sheep's milk cheese". I'm a huge fan of lamb shank and this one was spectacular. Perfectly cooked and even that fatty part of the lamb was delicious and offered its own texture. The bed of cornmeal pudding was a perfect pairing for the meat and the truffle shaving just made the dish so much better. 

Our first dessert, courtesy of the kitchen was "Blood Orange Sorbet with ginger cookie crumbs". I must admit that it took me almost eating the whole sorbet to pinpoint its flavour to be blood orange, maybe because I don't usually have blood oranges but it was delicious. The idea to pair smooth ice cream with any type of texture crumble is simply genius, playing with the textures makes things all that better.

For my second dessert, I ordered "Honey Creme Caramel with butternut and honeycrisp apple and gingerbread crumb". The velvet texture of the creme caramel was perfect and barely required a fork to cut into it. The sorbet was exquisite with multi flavours with each bite and again the texture complexity of the gingerbread crumb made every mouthful a delight.

Our meal was once again amazing and exceeded our expectations. It didn't reach the 3 + hours proportions of my last 8 course tasting menu did but we still ended up being on of the last couples left the dining room. Langdon Hall will be in renovations to extend the kitchen and the dining room and that is good news to any foodie. Let's hope it won't take too long to complete as I'm already on pins and needles to return.

The Good: Great meal with the highlight of the outstanding scallop dish. The service was impecable as expected and the dining room was very inviting.
The Bad: Hard to get a reservation during Christmas but with good planning, anything is possible.
The Verdict: The results of a visit to Langdon Hall's restaurant seems predictable. But that is only because it always delivers on its promise and treats its customers to an amazing experience. The addition of Chef Bargenter is already being felt in the fresh, innovative dishes that he has introduced and be on the lookout for much more very soon.
Thanks to Chef Bargenter for the lovely experience and to Langdon Hall for being simply the best!

I give it 4 1/2 out of 5 Olives as rating

Langdon Hall on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

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