Duck confit on a bun for this funky French brunch!!!

Now, I don’t really celebrate Easter — I pretty much eat Peeps 24/7, bro!!! — but I’ll take any excuse to go for brunch that I can get. So, we’re hanging out at Le Paradis, this funky French bistro that’s kinda in the middle of nowhere, on Bedford north of Davenport. This place has got everything on their brunch menu from steak tartare to eggs benny to a raclette cheeseburger — although I see they’ve omitted the beer-braised lamb, which makes me a sad lambda. But we’re still eatin’ good in this neighbourhood!!!

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We’re starting off with moules a la marinière, these PEI mussels steamed with white wine, garlic and onions. Dude, who needs muscles from Brussels when you can have mussels from Charlottetown???

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But you know that was just a light snack in Flavourtown, so now we’re moving on to the main event — a duck confit sammy on a ciabatta with a fried egg on top! It’s like if Italy was facing off against France in the kitchen, and they both laid an egg — which sounds kinda like a soccer game, eh? The duck is nice and tender, you’ve got the crunchiness of the ciabatta, and then that egg oozing all over the place… Man, I’d actually sit through a soccer game if you fed me a few of these!!!

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Now, here’s where we kick brunch up a notch with a pint of Averbode Abbey Ale, this Belgian brew from the 14th century. Well, OK, I don’t think this one was actually brewed in the 1300’s — that would be some pretty skunky beer, bro! But I gotta say, it was a nice, fruity, brunchy beer with a deceptively strong 7.5% kick. I’m not drunk or anything, but I might have led the resto in a round of “Frère Jacques” — sonnez les matines, son!!!

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Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the fandango???

Now, I’m not normally one for fine dining, but if you name your restaurant after a line from my favourite Queen song, then you KNOW I’ll be there with a crown on, bro! So we’re hanging out at Scaramouche, this funky joint at the bottom of a condo, a few blocks away from Av & Dav. It’s a little off the beaten path, but dude, if I lived in that building, I’d eat here every day! (Did I mention they’ve got a pasta bar upstairs???)

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So, we’re starting off with an appy that eats like a meal — the Gnocchi Parisienne, with shredded duck confit. Dude, I loves me some duck confit…and this is body by gnocchi, so you know it’s gotta be good! Plus, you’ve got some nice sauteed mushrooms, a duck foie gras jus and winter greens–but it’s the crunchy Parmesan crumbs that makes it!!!

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Now, so many of the main courses here looked super-cala-fragilistic extra delicious, but you know my tiebreaker is always gonna be bacon, so I just had to go with the bacon-wrapped venison. This gamey deer steak was cooked to perfection, a nice medium rare, with all sorts of stuff on the side, including some big ‘ol shrooms and a nice, spicy mustard. You could put that on a flip-flop, and it would still taste good! Now, the Parmesan fries were extra, but you KNOW we’re paying extra for some cheesy potaters, son!!!

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And of course, even after all this grub… I still had room for dessert!!!

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Say hello to my little friend Milk Chocolate Nougat Bar. This three-piece Oh Henry comes with salted peanut brittle and a side swipe of caramel sauce. Dude, I would swipe right on that sauce–right down my piehole, bro!!!

SUMMERLICIOUS 2018: French menage a trois @ Cafe La Gaffe

So, we’re hanging out at Cafe La Gaffe, this funky little French bistro in Baldwin Village. This is another place with tons of Summerlicious options, but I decided to stick with a trio of French classics here–and I definitely wasn’t disappointed!

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So, we’re starting off with some escargot, bro! These slippery little snails are swimming in garlic butter and going whee, whee, whee all the way down my piehole!!!

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Now, I’m definitely no stranger to roasted duck legs, but this has gotta be one of the top five duck confits I’ve ever had! The meat is super-tender, fall-off-the-bone, and that brandy cream sauce is outta bounds, bro! Man, I could probably eat six or seven of these…or however many legs that ducks actually have.

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But you know the drill, we’ve still got room for dessert, dude! This creme brulee was crackly on top, creamy on the bottom, with a couple nice bites of blueberries and a cherry on top! Who needs whipped cream when you’ve got burnt cream, mon cheri???

SUMMERLICIOUS 2018: Why settle for hen one way when you can have it two ways?

So, we’re hanging out at The Living Room, this cozy, upscale, British-style pub inside the Windsor Arms hotel. Can’t say I’ve ever been here before, but when I heard they had duck confit spring rolls, I knew I was gonna shake, waddle and roll my ass up to Yorkville, bro!

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Y’know, my least favourite part of spring rolls is all the veggies they put inside…but you ain’t gotta worry ‘bout that here, cuz it’s pretty much all meat. You’ve got tender, shredded duck inside a wonton wrapper, with a ginger garlic glaze? Shut the quack door!

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But you know that ain’t the only bird that’s flying down my piehole this evening. Dude, this funky joint is serving up hen not one way, but two ways—stuffed AND deep-fried! Don’t get me wrong, I liked the thyme and apricot stuffed thigh on the right…but the buttermilk fried breast is what makes it!

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Of course, you know the drill. When it comes to Summerlicious, you gotta save room for dessert—cuz it’s included in the price, bro! This here’s a Turtle Brownie Cake with salted caramel ice cream. Ain’t nothing wrong with that at all!!!!

FLAVOURTOWN OLYMPICS: This French duck breast is only second best!

Oh man, was that was one helluva ice dance last night, or what? Virtue and Moir, the greatest ice dancers of all time, had to make an epic comeback after the French team of Papadakis and Cizeron came out and set a new world record. Papadakis had a major wardrobe malfunction in the free skate, but it still looked like they were gonna win gold…until Tessa and Scott came through in the clutch and set an even newer world record. Boom goes the ice-dance-amite!!!!

Man, it’s gotta suck knowing that you’re one of the greatest, but someone else is just a bit better than you. That’s kinda like being the duck breast in this delicious duck double down, bro!

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Don’t get me wrong, I love duck breast just as much as the next broseph, but for me, duck confit is where it’s at. So, when I heard that Le Batifole, this friendly neighbourhood French joint on Gerrard, was combining them both into one iconic French duo, I was so into that like a Macron handshake, mec! But even though the breast was succulent and juicy, I still had to give it to the confit on this one. It scored higher marks in technical execution, son!

READ MORE: We’ve got both kinds of duck here: confit AND breastern!

My oh my, duck confit pizza pie!!!!

Now, I’m definitely no stranger to duck confit. I’ve had it on a burger, put it on poutine, and even served it up jerk style with red beans and rice! But I’ve never done a duck confit pizza before…until last night.

This culinary creation comes courtesy of Pizzeria Libretto, a funky fresh homestyle joint just a couple blocks from the opera house–no, not that Opera House, we’re talking COC, and I don’t mean Pepper Keenan, bro! Dude, this dish is like a duet between Pavarotti and Brigitte Bardot. Let’s break it down:

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Now, they’re serving it up Straight Outta Napoli style, so this pie comes out of the oven after just a couple minutes, which gives you a nice, chewy crust. The duck is nice ‘n tender, the mozza melts in my mouth…and then they kick it up a notch with some pear slices, son! Man, I think the last time I ate pear is when I fell face-first into a fruit salad at the buffet in Caucasian Barrel. (I musta slipped on a banana cream pie or something!) But while I’m not normally a fan of fruit on pizza…they totally do it up right!

The thing is, this crust is so thin and flop-a-lopa-gussy that I gotta fold it up NYC style to shovel it down my piehole. No sleep till Brooklyn, bro!!!!

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Duck confit jerk style at a funky Queen St. snackbar, bro!

So, we’re hanging out at Cadillac Jenkins, this funky new Queen West joint that’s kind of a culinary cross between Fergie Jenkins and Cadillac Williams. And let me tell ya, they were bringing the high heat last night, hombre! Winterlicious might officially be over, but this place was serving up a one-off, four-course meal fulla stuff that isn’t even on the menu, son! They were combining Carribean and European all night long like Lionel Richie gone dubstep, starting off with this funkalicious flavour favourite—oxtail ravioli in a ramen broth:

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Man, this dish is so outta bounds, it ran over the cameraman! You’ve got the rich ‘n meaty beef from the oxtail in a pillowy soft pasta cushion, and a nice, light spicy broth, with just a bit of a kick. Man, I’m pretty sure I could slam seven or eight of these, with Guy Fieri’s Real-Deal Marinara Sauce on top!

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Now, this dish is Straight Outta Stomach, son! You’ve got some freshly cooked calf pancreas with a nice apple slaw, a celery puree and a side of crispy duck skin! Now, I’m no specialist when it comes to pancreas, but this kinda tastes a little like Japanese chicken karaage—hold the waffles though, bro!!!

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But now this, right here, is the main event. We’ve got a jerk-spiced duck confit on a red-bean cassoulet, sorta like Bob Marley be jammin’ with that topless broseph from Soggy. The duck skin is nice ‘n crispy, the meat just falls off the bone and melts in your mouth like el primo pulled pork. The beans are nice ‘n all, but I couldda used a little more spice—I definitely expected this dish to be a bit hotter. Still, this was one of the top five duck confits I’ve ever had. If they bring it back, you know I’ll be back, John Connor!

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But of course, you know we still had room for dessert! Where do I even begin with this cornucopia of Flavourtown righteousness? You’ve got two kinds of madeleines, some little chunks of candied squash, a toasted marshmallow ice cream and a chocolate-milk foam, son! I wasn’t sure what combination worked best with what, so I just made sure to shovel as much straight down my piehole as fast as humanly possible. But I gotta say, man, that chocolate-milk foam is downright taste-tastic! I dunno how they make that stuff bro, but I would totally eat it off a flip-flop!!!!