A couple of nights ago we took our friend Kim for dinner for her belated birthday. Jane and Kim were coming back to my place for a glass of wine and some nibbles after we all finished a panel at our part time gig as sensory panelists for a major grocery chain. We thought we would just converge at my place before going out and then just walk up to Bloor Street for dinner.
We decided on a new restaurant on Bloor called Sparrow. I had heard good reviews and none of us had been there before. I am always excited to try a new place in the “hood” as for the longest time we didn’t have any good restaurants – now we have several to choose from.
The inside renovations look great – it used to be a family style restaurant (Dr. Generosity’s) for years and before that it was the Rebel Chop House and before that, some of you may remember it as Mad Apples. They have done a complete overhaul and I thought it looked really nice.
Many of the staff are from the previous generation of restaurant and know the biz well and were fabulous. The service was excellent as were the suggestions. The room however was quite dim and the menu had teenie tiny type all in caps so very hard to read without glasses. Once we figured out what we were having, we ordered our meals along with a nice white Bertiolo Italian Pinot Grigio wine (we were all having a seafood dish). The wine was delicious!
Here is what we ordered:
Atlantic Salmon Riletters (Cucumber/Dill/Preserved Lemon/Red Onion/Chives/Crostini) – This was really tasty. We shared this as a starter along with warm marinated olives that were just wonderful!
I ordered the PEI Mussels and both Kim and Jane ordered the Lobster Salad.
The mussels were listed as being prepared in a Junction Beer Broth with Bacon Butter, Garlic/Summer Herbs and served with Grilled Bread. While I really liked the broth I have to say I found the mussels just okay (a few of the shells were empty) and more than half of them were gritty. I don’t think I would order them again.
The Lobster Salad was made up of the following: Poached East Coast Lobster with Quinoa, Radish, Snap Peas, Horseradish and Mint. Sounds great and it tasted great, it was just the plating that had us mystified. See the picture below and you may be able to tell why….When the plate arrive all three of us wondered where the missing food was as the salad was served along one side of a large dish (I am sure working with the unique design of the plate) with a huge bare section. While the plate had a lovely design to it – it looked empty! A small green salad would have just made the plate but alas it was bare. We all thought it could have used the greenery on the plate to fill it out. Unfortunately the emptiness of the plate overshadowed the artistic arrangement of the food.
All in all, the wine list was great, the service wonderful, the appetizers yummy but perhaps we really didn’t order well. A plate of lamb chops went by that looks delicious for $18. Perhaps we should have stuck to meat dishes as opposed to the seafood…..
PS – I am apologizing for the quality of the images as the lighting was quite dim and even with a flash the images were rather dark.