Prestons Event – Canadian Inspired Dishes

IMG_6263Prestons had an event to showcase Canadian-inspired dishes. Below is the menu they served, come along with me as I taste them all!

The West Coast:
Nanaimo Bar with Hazelnut Ganache
House Cured Blueberry Salmon on Rosemary Bannock
Fresh Oyster Action Station
BEER PAIRING: Granville Island Honey Lager

The Prairies:
Peace River Bison Carpaccio with Crisp Bannock
Pierogies with Creme Fraiche
BEER PAIRING: Rickards Dark English Style Porter Ale

La Belle Province:
Poutine with Granville Island Maple Cream gravy
House made Butter tarts
Montreal smoked meat on Bagel Chips with Dijon aioli
BEER PAIRING: New Castle Brown Ale

The Maritimes:
Lobster Rolls
Seafood Chowder
Blueberry Grunts
BEER PAIRING: Creemore Springs Pilsner

The West Coast:

IMG_6253 I love Oysters! This lovely gent served these, along with difference sauces to pair with them. I kept coming back to this station after I was finished the others, because these were fresh and light, the saltiness refreshing me after a couple brews. I had the Maple Cream ale instead of the honey, because it’s just a favorite of mine from Granville Island.IMG_6279

As a random anecdote, if anyone’s looking into the etiquette eating oysters, this is from “In Half a Shell“:

  1. DO use the cocktail fork or your finger to nudge the oyster loose from its shell before slurping
  2. DON’T puncture or otherwise ravage the oyster body with that fork
  3. DO chew the meat to release its sweetness, don’t just swallow the darn thing
  4. DON’T use heavy condiments such as cocktail sauce or heaps of horseradish to cover the taste
  5. DO drizzle just a little lemon, lime or mignonette if you must
  6. DO try at least one of each kind of oyster naked (no condiments) to really, truly appreciate its unique flavor
  7. DON’T eat an oyster if it looks, smells, or feels dead/fishy/bone dry
  8. DO ask your server to explain which oyster is what (and where they’re from)
  9. DO pay attention to the flavor and texture from beginning to end
  10. DO try to order at least two pieces of a kind to better judge how they generally taste

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Bannock was an amazing choice. Bannock is fantastic because it’s slightly soft and doughy, so it’s not too messy to eat for an hors d’oeuvre. The salmon was soft too, almost like a pate. The saltiness in the bannock cleaned the palate of salmon.

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Nanaimo Bars. To be honest, I never really liked Nanaimo Bars. The presentation is lovely and what made the bar tasty to me was putting one of those perfect raspberries ontop. I think from now on, I’d probably eat them with fruit.

The Prairies:

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Peace River Bison Carpaccio with Crisp Bannock. I found myself eating the bannock first, because I absolutely adore how the chef included it in the menu. The Bison was quite soft to eat, like a beef tatake.

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Pierogies with Creme Fraiche. I popped these with the Rickards Dark. I love Rickards Dark, because it’s sweet and smooth, even though being very heavy and thick.

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Hello poutine! I liked the fusion of sweet and salty, the onion adding a bit of a bite to eating this dish. The sauce didn’t make it too rich or creamy either. For poutine, it was surprisingly balanced in its taste.IMG_6259

Mm! I thought these were kind of plain in comparison to the poutine, but I guess when you have them together one should complement the other – which they did. The spice of the dijon would be mixed with the sweet and salty gravy of the poutine in my mouth and then this “plain” Montreal smoked meat on bagel chips became what cigarettes to coffee are. IMG_6271

Again… aha! I don’t usually like butter tarts, because I always find them ridiculously sweet. But this was not – it had more of a pie consistency and a sweet, little heart. I had two. Preston’s is doing something, that I’m eating desserts I normally turn my nose at.

The Maritimes

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Lobster Rolls – they kept running out! These were fantastic. They were light, refreshing, crunchy and again not too creamy. The bread was soft and hearty. Yum!

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Blueberry Grunts – I don’t know what this is. I thought it’d be like jam putting it in my mouth, so I had some aversion to it at first. When I took a tiny lick, it was like a thick puree of blueberries. I can’t say I finished this one completely, only because I wanted to possibly eat this with something. But the grunt’s quality and flavor was good. My mind just can’t get jam out of it.

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There was a lovely seafood chowder I came back to. It was more refreshing than heavy, and I nabbed the bannock from my Bison plate to pair with it.

Overall, this was fun event. I got to catch up with some old friends, chat about my times in Germany, learn about the chef and have some sweet eats! Thanks, Prestons!

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About Nathalie

Nathalie is a producer, photographer, videographer and writer based in Vancouver. Between travelling to Toronto and LA for film festivals, she enjoys cooking and dining around Vancouver's vibrant restaurant scene.

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