Fare on the Square (1 of 2)
As I’m sure many of you know, this past Saturday, Market Square played host to the Third Annual Fare on the Square. This event promotes locally sourced food by featuring dishes prepared by nine downtown restaurants. At $2 a sample, it’s easy to try a bit of everything. In addition to the paid menu items, Loving Spoonful was also there providing a free heirloom tomato tasting (I loved the white strawberry tomato) and a free corn roast. At 11am Clark Day of Aqua Terra gave a workshop on canning and preserving fruit and veggies. Harvey and I were super keen and got there shortly after things began at 10:30am and the square was already humming when we arrived.
The first dish we tried was a Spicy Smoked Pork Loin on Focaccia Crisps with Savoury White Peach and Plum Jam from Aqua Terra. Having dined at Aqua Terra before, my expectations were quite high for their offering. I have to admit to feeling a bit of disappointment in this dish. The flavours were lovely but the meat itself was dry and overall, I just found the sample a bit dull. I still have every intention of going back to the restaurant as I usually love what they have to offer.
I hit up Curry Original next but was disappointed to see that they were offering the same thing as last year: Mixed Curry Vegetables with Rice. Not only was this a repeat, but as a lover of Indian food, I know there are far more interesting things that would have been a big hit. A small sampling of appetizers or a dish with lentils, chick peas or cheese could have made a big splash. Kudos to them for providing the only vegetarian option though.
Next we tried the Braised Bison and Blueberry Tart from West Seventy6 Grill (located in the new Residence Inn Marriott Hotel). I only had a bite of Harvey’s as I’m not a big fan of bison, but he loved it. He said the flavour was outstanding and it was one of the most generous portions available. It was also beautiful to look at and the puff pastry was perfectly baked. You could see a lot of love going into the creation of each of these – I’m excited to make my first visit to this new restaurant.
I’m not a vegetarian but I’ve always been a really picky meat eater and I can easily go weeks without eating any, so I found the choices a little limiting. I understand the desire by the chefs to work with local animal farmers but a few more options for the vegetarians may have been a wise choice. I would love to see how creative they can get without any meat at all. Hmm, maybe we’re due for a Vegetarian Food Festival…
Stay tuned tomorrow for the rest of my review and I’ll unveil who I thought had the best dish…so much that I went back for seconds…