Lunch at Home Tasting Room

It was one of those days where my colleague/buddy has requested to meet for lunch and she didn’t specify where to go.  I wanted to try a new restaurant that was also close to work and Home Tasting Room came to mind, so a reservation was made on OpenTable.  I know OpenTable is kind of evil for restaurateurs, but I love the convenience of making instant reservations that way and able to see what times are available, and cancelling is just as easy! Anyways, my buddy was happy that I took care of it all and had high hopes as we walked into a beautifully decorated, modern restaurant.  The restaurant is very open concept and spacious.

Here’s what we shared today:

HTR - Roasted Red Beets

Roasted Red Beets – $13
Sylvanstar Gouda, Toasted Walnuts, Apple Cider Vinaigrette

S and I were looking to share a starter, but we were interested in different items on the tasting plates menu and since we couldn’t come to an agreement, we settled on the beet salad.  I have to say, I’m seeing arugula everywhere nowadays… is it the next favorite green? I love beets and the natural sweetness was perfectly complemented by the acidic vinaigrette.  We especially loved the crunchy bits of toasted walnuts which provided different textures with each bite.  The peppery taste of the arugula was definitely toned down with the sweet beets.

HTR - Lamb Burger

Ewe-Nique Farms Lamb Burger – $16
Sour Cherry Relish, Wild Arugula

I’ve been craving for a lamb burger since having the one at River Cafe last week during Big Taste, so I had to try the one here.  Each of the lunch plates came with your choice of a starter salad or soup and I chose the special of the day, tomato bisque.  The tomato bisque was very tomato-y.  It wasn’t as creamy as I hoped, but it tasted very healthy.  I had very high hopes of the lamb burger but it fell short of my expectations.  It was very lean, not gamey, but it didn’t have that awesome juiciness from the one that I had at River Cafe.  It was still a good burger, but I think I was just spoiled :p The sour cherry relish was a bit sweet and tart – great accompaniment to the lean meat patty.

HTR - Mac and Cheese

HOME Mac & Cheese – $17
Alberta Duck, Shallot Cream, Aged Gruyere, Red Beet Dijon

This was S’s order and it was love at first sight, but she had trouble finishing it so I helped myself to a few bites and boy… this definitely fits the definition of gourmet mac and cheese.  There were layers of cheese, onions and duck all baked into this wonderful dish and although it was super cheesy, for some reason it wasn’t very heavy.  I wish I had ordered this instead but I already had my eyes set on the lamb burger.  I never thought of eating mac and cheese with dijon, but the red beet dijon added a nice kick to the dish – I think it also help cuts down the cheesiness.

HTR - Warm Cinnamon Cake

Warm Cinnamon Cake, Cream Cheese Sorbet, Honey Crisp – $9

S and I decided to share a dessert just to end things with a sweet note.  Warm, sweet cake with a hint of cinnamon paired with the most interesting flavor of sorbet I have ever tasted.  Note to self: must make cream cheese sorbet this summer! I liked how the cake wasn’t overly sweet – the caramel sauce added an extra bit of sweetness overall but then it was toned down by the slightly sour sorbet.  The combination of all three different flavors was just so interesting but also tasty – I would so order this again!

I feel that we had a great meal today.  Although the lamb burger did not satisfy my craving, I know it’s just b/c I’m being picky :p Service was decent overall and I wouldn’t mind returning to try their tasting plates! Prices seem to be on par with restaurants on Stephen Ave.

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