For a pre-Mother’s Day treat my family took mom to the Terrace Restaurant at Mission Hill Winery. You may remember my Vecu article about it in the July 2011 issue or my blog post last year. I gave it a fabulous review which it well deserved. The architecture, wine and views are some of the best in the entire Okanagan Valley and the food is some of the most innovative thanks to chef Matt Batey and his team. The Terrace restaurant, in Spring, features scenes of sleepy grapes that are beginning to grow to the heights of production, the lake is beginning to be populated with boats and float planes, the skies are clear, bright and blue with the sun bringing smiles to everyone’s faces.
During this visit the dishes were as creative as I remember them but not every dish was a hit. Well actually that’s not fair to say, let me be clearer, most of the desserts were not a hit with the varied tastes of my family. But the most important woman of the day, mom, made the best selections and enjoyed each dish.
|The Terrace Restaurant|
The service, as usual, was consistent and thorough.The menu, which changes often during the restaurants short Summer season, featured some of the following dishes.
This is the amuse-bouche of the evening. Cucumber with a gelatinous cube that turned out to be a bit sour and slightly peppery and the flower petal was very bitter. Luckily it was complementary as it wasn’t the best tasting creation of the night.
The Foie Gras was spectacular and was probably the best dish of the night. Unfortunately I didn’t order this, my sister and mom did so I just ended up trading a few pieces here and there for my pork belly in a creamy sauce. The Foie Gras upon toast dipped in the cream sauce was delicious.
Behold! My pork belly with sweet onions and peas. This ended up reminding me of a sauce that is used in M&M’s chicken and dumplings dish. It is strange how some of the most complex dishes can end up reminding you of the most simplest and comforting meals. The cream sauce, I felt needed a bit more flavour and the pork belly was alright. The fat overwhelmed the crispy skin unfortunately.
This is the roasted duck with mascarpone risotto and mushrooms. It was delicious as it was beautiful. The risotto was creamy and rich which was a nice contrast to the crispy duck.
Creme Brule was executed perfectly but fairly traditional and plain save for the soft ginger cookie with apricot preserves. It was good but I’ve had this dish many times before at different establishments.
The best dessert of the night was the lemon tart with small dollops of marshmallows that tasted like delicious meringues. The secret to this dish, as told to us by our waiter, was that there is more lemon and less sugar than the traditional lemon tarts. Not only is it a healthier option but it is more flavourful and less overpowering in terms of sweetness which may be why it was much larger than we expected. Needless to say it was gone by the end of the night.
The least exciting dish of the night was the sorbet and despite its smaller size it was not finished. I think it was a raspberry sorbet made with goat cheese but I don’t remember the specifics of the flavours. It was really not that interesting terms of taste. It was good but there were better dishes on the table that aroused our taste buds.
This was my pick, an almond gateaux with some lime sorbet. The lime sorbet was perfect for a hot day. The dish was light and just what I was looking for after eating such rich and delicious dishes.
Overall the visit to Mission Hill Winery’s Terrace Restaurant for Mother’s Day was picturesque and delicious. We don’t often go to this restaurant because it is fairly extravagant when it comes to pricing. However, I will see them again soon for a more budget friendly charcuterie lunch and my favourite white wine, the 2008 Perpetua by the end of the summer.
Reading List Fit for Mom
Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
The Half by Simon Annand (a photography book of celebrities preparing for acting roles)
Animal Speak: The Spiritual & Magical Powers of Creatures Great and Small by Ted Andrews
The Flavor Thesaurus by Niki Segnit