The night started off with an address, some directions and a vegan theme… I had no idea what to expect from my first Secret Pickle adventure but by the end of the night I was very impressed and my taste buds were satisfied. It was an amazing experience – the venue was perfect, the food exceeded my expectations, the company was warm and the room was full of friendly chatter.
As my boyfriend and I pulled up to an almost empty lot at 11 Carlaw around 7 pm Saturday evening, we both wondered if this was the right place. We didn’t see anyone else around and there weren’t many cars parked either. We got out of the car and began to look at the different unmarked industrial type buildings and businesses and finally found it, our vegan pickle location, Brian Pieters Photography Studio.
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We were greeted by the Secret Pickle herself, Alexa Clarke and given a tasty welcome Caipirissima cocktail full of mint and ginger. While sipping on our cocktails we could watch as our chef Matt Kantor prepared the amuse bouche in the very small kitchen space, a play on peas and carrots – cute!
After our little cocktail social we were all seated at two long tables and the Chateau Des Charmes wine began to flow. There was a choice between a 2008 VQA Riesling and a 2007 VQA Pinot Noir, both vines are vegan – how great is that!?
Our first course came out, it was a Beet and Cherry gazpacho – the flavour of this was mind blowing!
Then we had Raw Shiitake, Roasted Morel, Asparagus, Gunpowder Tea Sauce, Blueberry Compote, and Lovage Leaves
Next dish was Romain Jelly, Quinoa, Fennel, Lemon Ash Oil, and Nasturtium Blossoms – flavour was great but the texture of the Romain Jelly really turned me off.
We dined on a hot and cold dish – Frozen Coconut Parfait, Coffee Falafel, Radish Kimchi, Thai Garnis. This was interesting and actually really good – the radish kimchi was yum yum tasty!!
This dish was the ‘edgetarian’ dish of the night – Traditional Beefsteak “Tartare” with Pickled Cucumber, Yellow Tomato Egg Yolk, and Toast. This was one of my faves of the night, the yellow tomato actually looked like a real egg yolk – super neat!
The last two courses I enjoyed so much! One was Corn Nuts and Wild Mushroom Farotto, India Pale Ale, Garlic Scapes. The other was dessert – Olive Oil Cocoa Cake, Avocado Puree, Peanuts, Olive, and Rum. Both dishes were substantial and delicious, great texture with the crunchy corn nuts and amazing flavour with the avocado puree – I ate it all right up!
Im soo looking forward to my next Secret Pickle and experiencing a whole new different theme and location! Wanna join in on the fun? Get invited through their mailing list – hope to see you there!