Disclaimer: All food was complimentary but opinions are my own
I attended my first Zomato meetup last month at Shaughnessy Restaurant in Van Duesen Gardens. Since it was almost time for the Festival of Lights, the restaurant was already decorated with lights and I felt a lot more festive already! I didn’t really know too much about Shaughnessy Restaurant nor had I ever thought about dining there before. In fact, I feel like it’s a bit hidden away. Also, for some reason… I had the impression that it was for older people?
For my drink, I went with the Shaughnessy Lemonade. Mostly because it had the word lemonade in it. It also had rosemary infused bourbon, chartreuse, and ginger beer.
The Scallop, Bacon and Endive Salad was one of the four appetizers we had. The scallops were a nicely seared and I enjoyed the maple vinaigrette and the touch of citrus with the oranges. Too bad I didn’t end up getting a piece of bacon though.
The Smoked Mediterranean Olives were served with a spiced artichoke dip and herbed crisps. Nothing too exciting here.
Next we had Mussels in a Coconut Curry Sauce.
This was the BIGGEST mussel I have ever seen! It was so plump with a tender chew to it and a hint of the sea. I didn’t end up tasting too much of the sauce though so I can’t comment on it.
The Salt and Pepper Squid was a hit with me! The squid was tender while retaining some chew and the chili-lime aioli kicked things up a notch but wasn’t really spicy.
I feel like I’ve been trying to eat more risotto lately so good thing this Butternut Squash and Mushroom Risotto came along. The creamy rice was cooked to my liking and there was a distinct mushroom flavour.
The Cioppino had fish, mussels, clams, scallops, and prawns in a spiced tomato and fennel broth. This is the first time I’ve had cioppino and it was basically seafood cooked in tomato sauce and I don’t think I was a huge fan. It just didn’t stand out compared to all the other tasty dishes I was trying!
The star of the night was the Duck Confit served with a parsnip puree, grilled orange salad, hazelnuts and citrus au jus. This was so soft it just fell off the bone in shreds and it was so good. I also really enjoyed the parsnip puree! Can’t really describe it but it was good.
The Maple and Bourbon Glazed Steelhead had a really crispy skin and you can taste the sweetness of the glaze! The tiny piece I tried wasn’t dry. The carmelized cauliflower was surprisingly good! Almost like deep fried cauliflower! I should learn how to make cauliflower like this so I can eat it all the time.
Time for dessert! The Flourless Chocolate Cake was served with pecan praline and vanilla ice cream. It was really thick and dense almost like a brownie. The vanilla ice cream was needed to offset all the chocolate. If you like chocolate, you’ll like this!
My favourite item of the night was this Lemon Shortbread Parfait! The bottom has lemon curd topped with shortbread crumble, lemon ice cream and torched meringue. The lemon curd was quite tart but also just sweet enough and it was nice and cold from the lemon ice cream. The fluffy texture of the torched meringue was a nice touch. Probably one of the best lemon desserts I’ve ever had!
I had a great time meeting other foodies and the food did not disappoint either! The decor inside was a little on the old fashioned side and there were actually a lot of older folks there (well there weren’t many people on a Tuesday night to begin with) but it would be a nice place to dine at before the Festival of Lights!