Monday, June 13, 2011

Team Dinner at Relish Gastropub

My soccer team recently got together for our annual season ending dinner. After trying to make a reso for a large group (22 peeps) at a few places, our coach remembered that the team had a season ending dinner at Relish a few years ago. The service in booking this reso was awesome. The manager who took my phone call for the reservation asked a lot of questions to make sure everything would work out and followed up twice with me. The last time the team had a dinner at Relish, it was a restaurant/lounge and it's now a smaller, cozy gastropub. We were seated at a wrap-around L shaped booth in the corner of the pub. We had one server and she was great. Right off the bat, she let me know that everything on the menu was made in-house with a focus on using local ingredients in all of their menu items. Often, when dining with large parties, I've had pretty questionable service, but she was awesome- glasses were constantly re-filled, she was friendly, and most importantly...everyone's food came out right.
It was a large group and I tried to keep on top of what everyone was ordering and get feedback.
On the table: 

Lamb Mini Burgers "Slambers"(Braised Lamb, Mint, Goat Cheese on a Choux bun) $11
*This was 5 mini burgers and they looked delightfully delicious, especially the light pastry buns
*The team mate that ordered this, ordered it with a poutine as a meal. She said that since it was lamb, instead of beef, it was too rich to eat all 5- but said they were tasty.

Poutine (Natural Veal Gravy, Local Curds, Homemade Fries) $11
*ordered with the "Slambers" and she commented that it was basic but yummy

Spicy Broccolini (Seared in Chili Flakes and Garlic) $8
*ordered as a appy to share, and was also a side to many of the dishes 
*this was a bonified hit and got positive feedback all around
*team mates really dug the aasian inspired taste and felt like the sauce tasted like a soy/miso gravy with a buttery flavour and a slight spicy kick. This veg dish was well cooked- a bit firm, not too mushy.

Another appy was the Roasted Sundried Tomato Baked Goat Cheese Dip ($8- i think)
*another hit, it was rich and delicious with a good level of creamy saltiness without being overly heavy
*team mate Nicole thought the crostini toasts were possibly a bit stale (can toast be stale?)

Another appy was the Shrimp Cocktail ($10) which looked like a mini shrimp salad. I tried a bit of the dip/dressing and loved the spicy tomato flavour.

I ordered The Vito (Spicy Italian Sausage served on a whole wheat hoagie with caramelized onion, pepper rings, and spicy Dijon mustard) $13. I ordered extra hot sauce and extra spicy dijon.
*Apparantly, this was named after one of their bartenders. He must be quite the guy!
*I really liked this dish. The sausage was rich and actually had a nice subtle spice. It was juicy but not greasy with a nice exterior crisp with every bite. It came with a side salad which was OUTSTANDING. *It was your basic mixed greens with roast pears, goat cheese and lemon cider vinagrette. The roast pears were a unique touch and a amazing flavour burst and combined so well with the flavours of the goat cheese.

Grilled Chicken Salad (with house salad) $13
*The team mate that ordered this gave it a shrug and a "meh." She thought it was good, but too light for a meal- noting that it needed a crunch or something hearty in there....croutons, a side of bread or crostini, or a roasted nut.

Pesto Macaroni & Cheese (Mix Cheese, Pesto, Parmesan Crust, Broccolini) $17
*A few team mates ordered this and liked it, noting it had a nice crisp on the top with a good level of cheesiness, but that the pesto flavour was a bit weaker that they would've liked.

Prime Rib (with Roasted Fingerling Potatoes, Broccolini, Gravy, Biscuit) $20
*My coach is a Prime Rib enthusiast and he ordered this and gave it a 9 out of it must've been good. It was a tasty looking plate.

Grilled Cheese (Sourdough, Caramalized Onion, Roasted Garlic, Brie) $14
*The team mates that ordered this- LOVED IT! The buttery sourdough with ooey, gooey brie and soft caramelized onions were an amazing blend of rich flavours and soft textures. The side of tomato soup was apparantly good- but not the best ever.

Spicy Chicken Sandwich (Spice Crusted Chicken, Garlic Mayonnaise, Lettuce, Tomato, White Cheddar) $15
*This was another popular choice and people seemed to all like it and the garlic mayo sauce, but no one thought it was spicy.

Beef Dip (Shaved Prime Rib, Swiss, Caramelized Onion, Horseradish, served on baguette) $15
Apparantly this was a good sandwich with all the right tasty elements, but the au jus was a let down. The texture was thick like a gravy, but the taste was unfortunately kind of bland.

I liked this place- my meal was good and service was great. Plus, they have a different $3 pint featured every night and apparantly a really fun pub trivia night every Tuesday.

Relish Gastropub on Urbanspoon

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