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Friday, January 12, 2007

Beckta, sans Vardy

We were a bit apprehensive about returning to Beckta after we heard that chef Stephen Vardy was no longer manning the kitchen. Was it going to be as good?

Well, the new chef, Michael Moffatt, is really up to the task and delivered a great experience for both May and I.

May had the Mushroom Broth Sunchoke Duchesse (with “Freshly-Cooked” Beef, Honey Mushrooms and Mushroom Broth)($15). The beef was served raw and Mr. Beckta himself came to pour the broth over it. The hot liquid cooks the meat which stays tender and very tasty. Really excellent, says May.

Now, for me to get excited about a salad, it has to be darn amazing. Just ask May. (I refer to lettuce as rabbit food). The Beautiful Organic Greens“Les Jardain de Chefs” ($11) Greens with Fresh Figs, Vanilla-Lime Vinaigrette, Goat Cheese & Crispy Shallots was simply incredible. Greens so fresh, you'd swear they were picked on the front lawn (in January... very unlikely). Actually, this is quite possibly the best salad I have ever had in my life, on par with the one prepared by my aunt Bernadette at her house in St-DiĆ© (in the French Vosges). To put that in context, the latter's ingredients had just been picked in the garden and fresh wild mushrooms picked in the mountains behind her house. A restaurant that can get that level of freshness and flavour for its greens is nothing short of amazing.

Next was May's Organic “Berkshire Black” Pork Duo Roast Loin Served Medium Rare, with Mustard Coated Bitter Greens, Black-Eyed Peas, Rosemary- Smoked Confit of Belly & Horseradish Sauce ($35). May says that this dish is not for the faint of heart as it is laced with fat (nam!). This enhances the flavour and was well complemented with the bitterness of the greens.

My lamb was very nice and cooked just right.

We were happy to find that Beckta has not skipped a beat and, as far as we are concerned, is still the best table in Ottawa. We will be returning as soon as we are done paying our current Master Card bill!

Beckta Dining and Wine
226 Nepean
http://www.beckta.com/

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