Being 3500 km from my kitchen, in a hotel room on the ninth floor with no kitchen of its own, I have a foolproof excuse to eat out. Also, my friend Dana McCauley, for whom I once made a chocolate Yule Log covered in pistachios that was eaten by squirrels, who then left chocolatey footprints all over my front porch, invited me to her husband’s fabulous restaurant, Pangaea. To not go would just be rude.
So my early first dinner, or threesies, which I might also label breakfast since by 3pm I had only had a latte and a half, was:
Mahogany glazed salmon, done to perfection (there is a misconception that salmon – or indeed any other fish – should flake with a fork when it’s done, when really this is an indication that it’s overdone) with wilted bok choy (got my greens in), water chestnuts, shiitake mushrooms, and, wait for it… lime caramel sauce. This may sound weird; believe me, it was beautiful.
Pangaea is one of the very best restaurants in Canada (I’m not just saying this because Dana will probably read it tomorrow – she already knows how good it is!) and it did not disappoint. Even the wedge of crusty bread was fantastic, served with sweet butter. Of course I had to order dessert for research purposes: apparently their blueberry tart was listed in Toronto Life as one of the things you should eat before you die. Might as well cross that off my list while I’m here. You know, one less thing.
Sadly, blueberries are out of season, but bananas, coconut and cream aren’t. So pastry chef Joanne Yolles’ famed banana coconut cream tart with caramelized bananas (do I detect a theme of the week?) with coconut sherbet filled the void nicely.
Dinner number two is hardly worth mentioning, except that it involved sitting on the white-linened down-filled bed in my hotel room in stretchy pants with Emily Richards. Since she had her 7 month old baby, Adriana, in tow, we ordered room service. Big disappointment. Even the cheese plate was too funky and the perfectly frosted little bundle of the teeniest champagne grapes we were so excited to see turned out to be frozen, not just frosty, and had dissolved into little withered puddles by the time we got around to eating them. But that’s OK, but it was great to see Emily. Having dinner isn’t only about the food.