Essentially Tasting Plates events are culinary roving tours that take place in different areas of the city featuring either a neighbourhood or specific type of cuisine. Since we've just moved to the Commercial Drive area, this was a great way to explore some restaurants in our new 'hood. For this event, there were 7 eateries participating. Essentially, you bring your ticket to a registration location where they give you a Tasting Plates Map Card which acts almost like a passport giving you access to a tasting plate experience at each participating eatery.
Choice of Iced Coffee, Iced Tea or Macchiato and a mini "Cookie with No Name".
This cookie is pretty legendary, especially since they were warm and fresh from the oven. Ooey gooey oatmeal, chocolate and marshmallow.
Siddhartha's Indian Kitchen
A plate with Aloo Tiki (crispy potato cakes served with a special blend of Delhi sauces) and Chicken Goliya (chicken meatballs sprinkled with sesame seeds served with mint chutney) and a shot of Chai tea.
Pasture to Plate
Soda Samples, Grilled Pork and Beef Sausages with Mustard, Bacon Plum Pizettas with Caramelized Onions, Herb crusted Beef Carpaccio Crostini with roasted Garlic Aioli, Porchetta on house foccacia with orange pine nut and basil aioli.
Ceviche, Beans, Guacamole
Via Tevere Pizzeria
One slice of Margherita Pizza and one slice of Capricciosa Pizza (prepared and cooked in their new food truck and a separate Tasting Plates dining area on their back patio.)
Five Elements Cafe
Choice of either
Menu A: Crispy Spring Roll, Green Papaya and Shrimp Salad, Shrimp on Sugar Cane, Creamy Pumpkin Coconut Soup.
Menu B: Crispy Spring Roll, Green Papaya and Tofu Salad, Coconut Curry, Tom Yum Thai Hot and Sour Soup.
Choice of Full sized Noodle Soup
*We shared Menu B and a bowl of the Pho Sate Peanut Sauce Rice Noodle Soup with Tofu.
Gelateria Doce Amore
Two scoops of two featured flavours (their selection); Hazelnut and Polenta Streusel.
*and for the sous chef since he's vegan, a scoop of Grapefruit Sorbetto and Blood Orange Sorbetto.
This was a fun experience ( I usually do have fun anytime I get to eat a lot and try new things!) I liked that it was a self-guided experience and you could go in any order that you wanted to. We walked and biked from eatery to eatery. Some eateries take different approaches to providing ticket holders a Tasting Plates experience. At some places, food was ready, you were given your food quickly and then you could either linger and explore the space or eat quickly and move on (Prado, Siddhartha's, Gelateria Dolce Amore, Pasture to Plate). At some places, they wanted guests to have a sit down experience and these venues had some wait times and line ups (Mezcaleria, Via Tevere, Five Elements). My favourites:
*The Prado cookie
*The lavender soda and the Herb crusted capaccio from Pasture to Plate. It was also great to peek into their neighbouring store, Daily Catch, and drool over some of their delicious looking seafood.
*La Mezcaleria- LOVE LOVE LOVE this place and can't wait to come back. The Ceviche was a stand out; the rest of their regular menu and cocktail list was mouthwatering. Overall a huge cool and fun factor; great decor, friendly service, ability to sit at the bar and watch the chefs in action, and best of all.... A MARIACHI BAND!
*I've had one dining experience at Via Tevere and loved it. The love continues. Great staff and beautiful, quality food. You can taste the love.