Thursday, September 20

A Fancy Evening

The other day, Saturday to be exact, Nick and I threw caution (caution as in maybe we should save money instead of spending it in this extravagant fashion...) to the wind and participated in our new favorite culinary event of the year -- "Passion for Pork Week".
 These are of us on the train, zooming faster then light towards the restaurant. ;)
15 different local establishments in our city were hosting a special pork themed meal designed to celebrate the deliciousness that is pig. We were really excited so we read through all the menues, said to hell with costs, and decided to go to Zinc at the AGA. We had seen the restaurant many times when we visited the Edmonton Art Gallery but we had never been for the food. We were greeted very warmly by our hostess who was chatty but not in an annoying way, more in a sincere you seem like good people way. Our waitress had a European accent (high class people), and the food, oh the food.

We were first treated to an amuse-bouche (a bite sized hors d'oeuvre the likes of which we had heard about on the food network but never seen for ourselves) of pork tenderloin, and some freshly baked herb focaccia with three different flavors of dips including a cherry balsamic, olive oil, and CHOCOLATE balsamic. We may have obliterated that one.

Our first course was Grilled Pork Belly, Scallop, Brandy BBQ Mash Potatoes, Calvados Reduction, and Green Leaves. This was my first scallop ever. As well as my first taste of grilled pork belly. Let me tell you I was a fan.

Second course was Braised Pork Cheek, German Bread Dumplings, Carrots, and a Lavender Jus. The waitress warned us repeatedly that the pork cheek was a fatty cut of meat but that the fat would be lovingly rendered to melt in your mouth butteryness. She was right on both accounts. I admit I was at first turned off by the sight of what appeared to be a tongue (close enough anatomy wise...) but it was truly delicious despite its fatty richness.

Our last course was a real treat, a Bacon Beignet, Maple Syrup Mousse, Coffee Anglaise, and Crunchy Pork Rinds. The pork rinds were my favorite, but Nick loved the beignet. (He keeps asking if they're difficult to make at home...)

See the pictures of the courses here, on the Passion For Pork website. 

Truly a night of firsts and fun, we went home sated and full and much much poorer. We obviously won't be able to afford going to Zinc on a regular basis but once a year it will be an amazing treat! Nick told me that after he made the reservations he received an email asking if he would like flowers to be delivered to our table while we ate! Isn't that a sweet idea for a romantic dinner? Unfortunately we reserved our table just the night before, and you need to do it two days in advance to get the flowers service. ;) 
Now, as far as dressing for the occasion I knew the restaurant was considered a "casual find dining experience" so we didn't worry too much about being all black tie. I did wear a beautiful new dress from Shop Ruche that just came in the mail. I paired it with an H&M pink tweed jacket, some red tights, and my Express booties.

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