Monday, August 1, 2011

Red Canoe Bistro

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year...”

Nope, I’m not talking about Christmas. I’m talking about Taste of Burlington – otherwise known as restaurant week. I mean, what could be better than several top notch restaurants offering 3 course dinners for only $30-40 apiece?! It’s like Christmas morning for a foodie!

To celebrate the arrival of my mom’s long-time friend, the four of us (my mom and dad, me, and Kathy) went out to dinner at Red Canoe, a fairly new bistro that has received great reviews. It’s known for its “modern Canadian cuisine” and use of locally sourced ingredients.

My parents didn’t like the decor – I thought it was cute, but I agree that it didn’t really complement the restaurant’s image. It made it look like a cafe, rather than an upscale restaurant.

To drink we split a bottle of NK'mip Cellars 2007 merlot from the Okanogan Valley in BC. I don't normally order merlot, but I really liked this wine!

When it came to ordering the food, we all decided to venture off the tasting menu. I started with:

Ontario heirloom and artisan cheese salad, heirloom greens, toasted pumpkin seeds, shallot and cold pressed soya oil vinaigrette

This was fantastic! The tomatoes were so flavourful and I loved the blue cheese on top.

For my entree I decided to try a locally caught pickerel since I’d never tried this fish before.

Pan seared Manitoulin pickerel, roast local Beauregard yams, local cherry and wild leek chutney

I wasn’t really impressed with this dish. It wasn’t bad, but the fish was a tad overcooked and not very flavourful. The vegetables weren’t anything exciting either.

For such an expensive restaurant, I was also a bit surprised by its service. The waitstaff seemed disorganized and amateurish – it took more than 30 minutes for them to even take our drink orders! And they were out of the first 2 beers my dad tried to order, so he had to settle for his third choice.

My parents were really irritated by this, which I understand because when you’re paying good money for food, you expect good service. However, I don’t think you should let bad service ruin your night. Even if the food and service are subpar, at least you can enjoy the company.

What do you do when you have a bad dining experience at a restaurant?

What's your favourite fish to order at a restaurant?

PS. I caved and finally got Twitter! Follow me!

Red Canoe Bistro on Urbanspoon


  1. I love to order new kinds of fish (ones I have never heard of/tried)Sorry you wernt that impressed with the food! I hate that...I actually complain sometimes!

  2. What a shame that the service at the restaurant was so bad. Having waited tables at a few different restaurants, I find it so disappointing (and almost embarrassing) to have poor service. It can really make or break whether you go back to a restaurant. Oh well.

  3. I go out to eat so rarely, that I've never really had the chance to experience bad service... I'm not usually one to complain unless it's REALLY bad, so I'd probably try to make the most of it while I was there... but I definitely wouldn't be going back. And as for the fish... I've never been a big fish eater... the smell kind of turns me off.

  4. I usuallydon't freak out about bad service. I know that restaurants have bad nights from time to time!

  5. Yesss twitter is the best!

    anyway, I missed restaurant week here last week! I was pretty bummed. It stinks that you didn't get good service and your meal wasn't great -- especially at nice restaurants like that! I'm the type of person that will never go back to a restaurant if I have a bad experience the first time, so restaurants better watch out!

  6. Bad service can be such a buzz kill at restaurants, especially when you're paying good money! Part of the money, I believe, is going towards the overall experience and service is definitely a part of that! That being said, I try not to let 1 bad evening ruin my whole impression of the restaurant- we all have our bad days!

  7. That's too bad you weren't impressed with the food or service. It's always a disappointment to spend money when something like that happens.

  8. A bad night can happen to anyone, I don't let it get to me unless I'm really excited to try out a new place. We can't let it ruin our evening though! :)

  9. You're totally right - I don't let the bad service ruin the night, I just enjoy the company! Sometimes you can laugh it off, but other times it can be just plain rude. As for fish - I ate at a Jamie's Italian the other day, and their special catch was ling, which I had never heard of, baked in a bag with cracked wheat. Both things I had never had before, but they were both delicious!

  10. haha I just got twitter a couple days ago too! But I haven't tweeted anything - just following still! MMm I want to try to go to Taste of Burlington! This place looks delish...except for service :(

  11. I completely agree. A rude waiter/waitress, a cold meal, or lack of variety (As in OUT of something), can really put a damper on the night. When food is the main focus, it's hard to let your humourous conversations overpower the disappointment? I found that particularly tough when I struggled with my eating disorder. Bit by bit, I am trying to realize that as long as is it fills my belly and tastes a-ok then my happiness shouldn't be ruined by poor service!

    What did you get for dessert?

  12. Lol, I am the one ordering my fish extra well ;) I hate squishy fish!! I love ordering salmon at restaurants if I feel in that mood ;)

    Your eats look amazing!! I'm glad it was a nice time out!