Wednesday, October 12, 2011

elixir bistro

Last Saturday, we headed West deep into uncharted territory, culinary Mason & Dixons if you will, & went for dinner at Elixir in Cambridge, Ontario with J's parents. Apparently Elixir used to be based in Toronto, situated somewhere in the Annex. It's not clear what drove them West, but whatever it was we're glad it happened otherwise we would probably have had to make do with the notoriously drafty Swiss Chalet on Hespeler, a place so inhospitable it is not uncommon to see patrons slicing open tom-toms & nestling in their innards in a futile attempt to maintain their core body temperature. 

J's dad skipped a starter, but her Mom ordered the lentil soup, J went for the goat cheese salad & L had the smoked salmon. Thumbs up all round, especially for the salad & its creamy cargo of cheese which seemed to have been applied with the reckless abandon of someone who had been bequeathed $300 million by their recently deceased great uncle on the condition that they can exhaust Ontario's entire goat cheese supply within 30 days. 

L enjoyed his salmon, but was somewhat disturbed by the mysterious cold wet patty that accompanied it. Everyone at the table tried a little bit but none of us could solve the mystery as to what it was, so he pushed it under a lettuce leaf & hoped it would go away. When the waitress came back to check on us, she said it was a potato galette, & although even she wasn't sure exactly what was in it, just the reassuring sound of the word potato led L to toss his lettuce leaf asunder & devour the rest of the galette with the zeal of the newly converted.

For entrees L had the coq au vin & J the beef tenderloin (not pictured are J's Mom's veal marsala or her dad's boeuf bourguignon). Another universal sea of raised thumbs. No one enjoyed their dish more than L though, who made a mental note that in the admittedly unlikely event that he is one day elected pope, he make his first point of order to replace the whole wafer shtick with a mouthful of the bacon & mushrooms in red wine that the chicken was braised in, then sit back & watch church attendances sky rocket.

No one had room for desert, but L played his rush & ordered the tiramisu anyway, safe in the knowledge that no one else would want a bite, which was just as well as they would have had to wrestle the spoon from his cold, dead fingers first. The custard was velvety & the balance between the rum & coffee was in perfect harmony. L had almost gone with the chocolate mouse instead, having enjoyed the tiramisu so much on his previous visit, he was nervous it could not live up the idealized image it had built up in his mind's eye over the previous months. He need not have worried. When it comes to Elixir's tiramisu, age cannot wither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety.

Overall, a thoroughly enjoyable experience, & despite the name, Elixir is an unpretentious place to take the family to eat. In fact if we have one complaint it is that a little extra pretension would do this place wonders. Don't get us wrong, it's not that we want our starter to consist of a plum served in a man's hat or anything, but the thing about pretentious places is that you never have to worry about Coldplay coming on the stereo.

Check out their website

Elixirbistro on Urbanspoon

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