Sunday, April 25, 2010

A fine meal at The Queen and Beaver

There are a number of gems on Elm Street, including Adega for a wonderful seafood Cataplana , and Matagali for some amazing butter chicken. We were thrilled to stop in The Queen and Beaver last weekend for a quick dinner before heading out for the night. On the outside, The Queen and Beaver looks like a fine dining establishment, and on entering, you get almost an old Victorian feel. Since we had not made reservations, we ended up sitting at the bar on the first floor - we are not picky and it was no less of an experience! The restaurant has an old style charm, but not pretentious or overly homey. This was reflected by the staff as well - mild mannered, well dressed, and genuinely pleasant. I was also pleased by the old style china used to serve our food, a touch of class not found in your average pub - an average pub this is not!

We had previewed the menu online, and was enticed by several items offered, but alas settled on a pretty minimal dinner: we started with pressed quail and foie gras with prune chutney - a surprisingly light choice (not as fatty as you'd think), and the chutney was delicious, adding a unique flavour to the foie gras main.
We shared the rabbit & potato pie for the main - I had imagined some kind of pot pie but this was NOT an ordinary pie. It was served as a slice of pie (like a slice of apple pie) with thick layers of delicious potatoes and savoury rabbit. Other than the crust being a bit burnt (but who cares about the crust?), it was absolutely amazing - the perfect comfort meal! I can still taste the great flavours of the rabbit and potato mix...and generally, I dislike potatoes. And as it was served with a large portion of salad on the side, it felt like a reasonably healthy meal too! It's one of those meals you just crave some days.

I loved The Queen and Beaver, and since there are many more items yet for me to try, I know I'll be back. A great spot to dine casually or for a food adventure. Next time, I want to try the potted duck, the calf's liver with blueberry glaze, and mushroom pithivier. Be sure to stop in for some delicious food with old English charm! Oh, and check out the review on Toronto Life's best new restaurant list.

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