Adventures in Eating & Cooking
Had a nice little girls’ night out with my Columbia sweeties a few nights ago. We met up in the quaint Soho area by Thompson Street, home to rows of intimate upscale restaurants. We Quebec’ed it up with some French-Canadian seafood at Le Pescadeaux.
We split a Roasted Calamari with Picante Piri Piri sauce, which reeked of fine dining but was not very memorable. It was very delicious, buttery, and well complemented with tasty but unidentifiable vegetables. I just don’ t think I was well-versed enough in Quebec cuisine to say much about the dish… except that it tasted good!
The dinner bread they served us was poor; it was on the hard side with a decently chewable center. Not very pleasant, although the savory whipped butter spread helped mask the mediocrity of the bread.
We got 2 fish duets: one with Smoked Atlantic Salmon and Wild Striped Bass; the other with Herb Crusted Cod and Braised Octopus.
My favorite was the octopus because it was so well-crafted. Seasoned with saffron and other mild spices, the meat was coated with a light oil. The octopus legs were tender but elastic; there was an initial recoil when I first bit in that allowed me to ruminate on the soft meat.
Possibly tied with the octopus was the amazing smoked salmon. The meat was smoked so that the fish emanated with that rich loxy flavor we love to eat with cream cheese. However, instead of losing the soft salmon texture to a tougher, chewier meat characteristic of smoked salmon, this fish remained tender. Dipped in the savory caper butter and crispy phyllo crown, this fish was especially delish!
The cod was alright, accompanied with some roasted peppers. For some reason though, fish cooked with peppers makes me want to gag sometimes (it kind of reminds me of airplane food…) so I did not enjoy this dish as much.
The bass used was pretty high-quality meat although it wasn’t flavored sufficiently. We all agreed that it was bland.
For dessert, we snuck in fruit tarts from Ceci-Cela. Mine had a hard crunchy crust coated with a chocolate shell. The fruits were colorful and crispy, covered with a sweet gelatinous glaze that glistened like gems. The custard that cushioned these jewels was mildly sweet and pudding-esque. It was a pretty solid dessert, a lovely way to end such a fine French-flavored evening.