When the opera’s on at 4:30, it makes for some intriguing possibilities, such as dinner after the show.
When the dinner is chez Edward Levesque’s Kitchen the meal may be as operatic as what came before. While the food may not sing, my tastebuds certainly did.
We interrupt this review to observe, in passing, that Edward Levesque’s sign is the same colour, more or less, as the political party currently getting all the attention right now. Is THAT why I stopped the car, to go inside ? no of course not. I turned north from Eastern Avenue, hoping I could get in without a reservation: and got lucky. The colour’s just one more thing they got right.
I didn’t eat excessively, just as much as I needed. I peered into the abyss of over-indulgence and came away happily sated. Is that the restaurant’s doing or my own will-power? i don’t know, but i believe the restaurant deserves credit, considering that i was highly stimulated yet able to eat in healthy moderation. I feel that this is a place that not only stirs the pleasure centres but keeps the intellect engaged. We did not have to imitate Thelma or Louise in our ecstasy; oh no, our brakes work and we stopped at the brink, even if we did have a good look at the view.
As the menu bemused us, we had little brioches with hummus and chives, which served to appetize us mightily. As the menu continued to play with our brains, we knew we’d enjoy starting with our respective beverages and grilled calimari accompanied by crispy cabbage, coconut/lime sauce, cashews and organic pea shoots; I was pondering the charms of the Montevina Barbera, a complex California red.
On the conservative side of the table: an unassuming dish, called “chicken pot pie”. What the name doesn’t include is that tarragon haze hanging over the table, the rosemary crust, the quality of the chicken. Levesque’s meats and produce are not to be confused with what one finds elsewhere. Everything you find here is very healthy and very sustainable. Or, as the menu puts it: “Menu changed often, all food as local as can be, and all summer long – from the farm/no trans fats.”
On my side of the table, something a bit more offbeat. They brought roasted green asparagus, nicely plumbing the depths of the barbera with the accompanying gorgonzola, truffle oil, garlic crumbs and lemon. And alongside, the “big green salad,” not precisely what your average linebacker might order yet big enough for one. The subtleties of the greens, roasted sweet peppers, toasted walnuts, cider/basil vinaigrette and those little clumps of chevre were a nice counterpoint to the brash green spears to their left.
We resisted the desserts even though we were tempted. I felt positively virtuous, my mouth aglow with the chef’s theatrics, finishing with a coffee.
I think i need to go to this restaurant more often. So far every time has been special.
Edward Levesque’s Kitchen, 1290 Queen St E., just east of Leslie St.