The Summer Taste of Burlington has arrived, and I was delighted to be a part of it this year. Held at the Burlington Performing Arts Centre, the best of the best restaurants came out to strut their culinary skills for us, as we savored the many amuse bouches being prepared. As I watch the many patrons sampling different creations, I am always curious to see people’s expression when something delicious hit their taste buds. From the aromatic scents that have been created from all over the room, I did not know where to begin first.
Alloro at the Holiday Inn
Chef Kalvin Keigher knew what he was doing this evening, when he prepared a Jalapeno infused mouth-watering bacon-wrapped huge scallop over coconut rice with lemon aioli and mango grilled pineapple chutney. All these unique flavors in one bite had me on an island with a pool boy fanning me with a giant banana leaf. It was absolutely pleasurable.
GreenHouse Cafe/Royal Botanical Gardens
Known for the exotic plants, this creative Chef Stephanie Brewster made a goat cheese Panna Cotta with Hibiscus gelee,passion fruit, and pomegranate seeds. A most ingenious way to represent not only her culinary skills but the Royal Botanical Gardens as well. Panna Cotta can be a tricky dessert to make, but with these ingredients, this dessert was silky, smooth, delectable and refreshing to see something completely different. Even the presentation was uniquely distinctive.
With live music playing, and the talks of culinary English all around me, I figured it was time to try some spirits. Wines and Cameron’s Brewing Company kept my glass full with Captain’s Log Lager and Amber Red Ale. I’m not a lager drinker but it was good. The white wine complimented many of the dishes I was enjoying. The Bodhi Bar kept me healthy with their freshly pressed organic juices. Which gave me the power to move on to my next restaurant.
The Purple Heather
This restaurant was serving up large portions of porchetta sandwiches. Porchetta Bahn Mi Sandwich was tenderly sliced porchetta with knappa cabbage, iceberg lettuce, pickled daikon, carrots, cucumber, cilantro, crisp jalapeno, mayo, and served on a fresh french baguette then drizzled with house made satay sauce. Just saying this was a mouthful, but tasting this magnificent gourmet hoagie was the true integrity of The Purple Heather.
Rayhoon Persian Eatery
I love trying unrestrained flavors together, and Rayhoon Persian Eatery put together a Persian flat bread bruschetta with pineapple, feta, mint, red onion salsa, with a splash of Balsamic glaze. It was lovely to have all those summer ingredients splashing around in my mouth. Sweet pineapple, the salty feta, and the savory red onion salsa. The Prince of Persia would have bowed down to this dish.
Although I did visit every delicious booth at The Taste of Burlington. I had already picked out my winners in the dishes I tried. What can I say, I know what I like, I have a keen eye and a wicked palate for these things. Some restaurants I was very impressed with and some I think could have tried just a little bit harder. Never the less it was a stupendous evening. To bring establishments and patrons together to share a delightful evening of different fares is quite an achievement. The Taste of Burlington did it, and each year it’s only going to get bigger and better.
It was fantastic to see everyone. To all the spectacular restaurants you all did a beautiful job in the preparation of all your dishes, and the staff was very entertaining. Even though there had to be a winner, you are all winners just for being a part of The Taste of Burlington Summer Launch.
Best Taste & People’s Choice Award Chef Kalvin Keigher Alloro Holiday Inn
For his jalapeno infused bacon wrapped scallop served over coconut rice with a lemon aloli and mango grilled pineapple chutney. (My favorite of the evening)
Not far behind by a shave of a point with the Best Taste Awards were Green House Cafe/ Royal Botanical Gardens, Water St. Cooker and Stone House Restaurant. Some other restaurants that were in attendee.
Barrafion Tapas & Barrel
Downtown Bistro & Grill
Ivy Bar & Kitchen
Pepperwood Bistro Brewery & Catering
The Purple Heather Pub
Stone House Restaurant
The Water St. Cooker
West Plains Bistro
Lakeshore Coffee House