When we think of dinner on New Year’s Eve we often think about caviar and champagne and rich foie gras sprinkled with gold dust. This year I wanted to propose a menu that will appeal to the more thoughtful eater, selections that support producers in Ontario and across Canada who make incredible products that deserve a shining role this New Year’s Eve
To start with, some cheese and wine. We carry a number of wonderful Canadian cheeses, and a lovely one we’ve just discovered is the Le Bonaparte from Alexis de Portneuf in Quebec. Serve this soft, silky cheese with Ontario McIntosh apples, BeeGrrl Honey (made with honey from the bees that live on the roof of the Royal York) and delicious Country Wheat Baguette from Ace Bakery. Serve it up with a VQA wine, perhaps the new Fielding Estate Brut, and you have a great first course that comes from caring Canadian producers who deserve our support.
For the main course look into locally sourced meats or sustainable seafood choices – scallops in a beurre blanc, or beef tenderloin with wild mushrooms, lamb rack with a herbed mustard crust… or perhaps a delicious trout almondine? This recipe is my go to with trout from Kolapore Springs, it is basically just fried trout with some brown butter and almonds served with lemon-y green beans. To take this simple dish over the top I serve it with some plain boiled fingerling potato wedges garnished with a bit of dill and a spoonful of sustainable Canadian caviar from Acadian Sturgeon in New Brunswick, delightful with Norm Hardie’s Unoaked Chardonnay.
Then splash out on a local dessert – maybe some chocolate truffles from Soma, macarons and marshmallows from The Sweet Escape or a decadent cake from Dufflet. Finish off the evening with Ontario ice wine, my favourite right now is the Coldhearted Reisling Icewine from Megalomaniac, and get ready for the new year. Who knows what new producers might wow us in 2014?