Monday, 16 December 2013

Supply and Demand

If you know Tony Leone, you know that going out to a restaurant means going to Swiss Chalet - Red Lobster on special occasions. If we're being really edgy, we might try Milestones (but that's usually to appease me when I have suggested somewhere more eclectic. But then THIS happens).

This is why I was dumbstruck when he started asking about Supply and Demand, a restaurant in Hintonburg.

According to my dad, Hintonburg is still a place to be wary of drug dealers and prostitutes and one should take caution if going for a walk alone. To be fair, he opened his business on Scott Street when this was absolutely true - the side entrance of the Elmdale Tavern labelled "Escorts Only" was not just a nod to the building's history.

Being Mediterranean, he loves seafood and had heard through good word-of-mouth about the resto - and he hadn't even seen the piece about it being named one of the top new restaurants in Canada.

So I jumped at this opportunity and made our reservations two weeks early for 3 people at 5 p.m.

On the historical day that the Leone's went somewhere outside their comfort zone, we looked through the window of Supply and Demand and it looked beautiful, but not look like the cozy and warm you would want after it has been -30 with the windchill for the past three days.

I was happily mistaken as we were greeted in the atrium by a burst of heat. We were sat and served by chipper waitress my dad affectionately nicknamed "marianina" - slang Sicilian for happy, bubbly, little girl. 

I take this moment to apologize for not having any photos of the great tiling they used, lovely accents, fabulous food, and the bartender who had the most phenomenal mustache I have ever seen to date. Dining with my parents is a strictly no-phones-out-activity. Unless you are my mother and need to look up when Easter is, take a picture of the wine,

(which she loved), or, probably, check her emails, texts, etc.

Supply an Demand is not your typical seafood restaurant. Everything is very different. The menus are pegged in file folders like I use at work. Possibly a little office "supplies" pun. 

Although my dad was disappointed that they didn't have his favourite appetizer, calamari, we shared the fingerling potatoes and polenta and mushrooms to start.

The mushrooms were HUGE and served over a bed of polenta in a sweet sauce. The potatoes had melted fruilano cheese on top, garnished with scallions and chilies served with a sort of mayo. Both very good, but my personal favourite thing that I put in my mouth before my main course was the bread. I have never, in my entire being, had such good bread. So soft, warm, with a good-textured crust (firm but not to the point you're tearing it away with your teeth). Oh my gawd it was so good.

My dad ordered the squid ink rigatoni (which, I think, was actually bucatini) and was served with meatballs (mini surf-and-turf balls - I think it was tuna and prosciutto). He liked it - I only get crazy about pasta when it's stuffed with cheese or covered in oil and topped with some sort of fruit. Maybe some nuts. That's what growing up on pasta with tomato sauce will do to you. But the pasta is made fresh daily and it is completely black from the squid ink which I thought was very cool.

My mom and I split the surf and turf - I ate the surf: BBQ octopus, she ate the turf: chicken thigh.

As one that doesn't eat ground animals, I can't speak for the chicken. My mom did say it was good. But the BBQ octopus was phenomenal. And it was served on rye berries (what even are those!? they were so good - similar to bulgar or barley) with a cream sauce. The octopus was done so well that even someone that gets grossed out by that-sort-of-thing would enjoy it. Perfect, perfect, perfect.

We weren't staying for dessert because I had cake at home but we took a look anyway. The menu was attached to a folded file folder  by a giant paper clip. My mom asked if anyone ever walked out with them, our server told us it had happened, but even worse is that the leather billfolds that the receipt comes in have been stolen. Which really are adorable, super soft leather, and with a little seahorse on them. But they count them now so don't get any ideas.

All the dressets are $8 - reasonably priced for how delicious they sounded. Whipped peanut butter and salted caramel?! And I should add that my mom felt the price of the coffee ($2.50) was very acceptable.

We left happy and full. And my dad liked it which is a big deal.

We sparsely had room for dessert back at my place, but we made it happen:

Chocolate mascarpone cake and espresso with Baileys.

Recipe from Fancy Food Fancy was very easy to follow. My only suggestion is to go with the longer suggested baking time and then take out then. I left mine in a bit too long because the middle didn't seem done and I wish the cake part had been more moist. The icing is generous in amount and dangerous if you start licking the spoon.

Happy birthday papa xo

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