Despite my many times through the Exchange, I’ve never paid a visit to Peasant Cookery. Not only that, but when they participated in Taste of the Nation I somehow managed to overlook their booth as I made my way around the floor. Well, this week I finally corrected that.
Last Friday I was down in the Exchange to take in the opening of DomEsthetica a show by my friend Gabrielle Funk at the new Lantern Gallery. I got to know Gabrielle when she worked at Twist Cafe. Since then I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to watch her development as an artist. Her latest show deals with ideas around body image, self-identity, and taking control of one’s own person. The show is on at the Lantern for two more Fridays.
Usually I’m at these events not long after the doors open, but this time it was well in progress. So, by the time I made my way through and spend a few minutes visiting with some of the other former Twist staff I know, it was getting late-ish, and I still wanted supper.
Wandering the nearby streets, not much was open. I wasn’t in the mood for dim sum, so I kept wandering. I saw that Peasant Cookery was open, and ended up there. The first thing I noticed when I went in was the professionalism and courtesy with which I was greeted. I had a table in the corner, which gave me both a street view and a view of the rest of the restaurant. Peasant Cookery manages to do open and intimate, quite well with their layout.
Peasant Cookery Dining
For my first, as they refer to it on their menu, I went with the Butternut Squash Soup. This was absolutely delightful. The soup was rich, smooth and creamy. The curry was strong but not overly hot, while the granola on top add a nice savoury crunch.
For my main, I went with Half Chicken. Simply put this was the best chicken I have ever had. The breast meat was moist through and through. The leg and thigh meat was even more tender and moist. Served as deconstructed take on a classic Turkey Dinner, the bread pudding was terrific. One element of the traditional dinner that I don’t like is cranberry sauce, but Peasant Cookery did it such a way that the natural tartness of the cranberries still shone through.
My one disappointment with the meal was that there was no Milk Stout in stock. The Vanilla Porter was a nice substitute however. Still, this dinner would rank in my top five of meals.
The next time I went, I forgot one of my basic rules. As a single don’t go by yourself on special night. I went on the Wednesday night when the Buck a Shuck Oyster night was on and found myself crowded into the bar. This took an a fair bit of enjoyment out of the meal, as I’m not a big fan of loud, crowded spaces. Also, I ended up with many fewer pictures, meaning you’re stuck with my powers of description.
This time I went with half a dozen of the Oysters for my first. The Oysters were good, fresh, and cold. They came with a variety of seasonings to add to them. I ate most of mine with the red vinegary hot sauce that came in a little creamer container.
For my main I went with the Lamb Pie. This is essentially shepherd’s pie made with lamb, and with a curry flavoured potato topping. It was excellent.
They were still out of the Milk Stout, so I ordered a Leffe Blond to go with my meal. This add a nice bright touch that went well both with the Oysters, and the Lamb Pie.
This time I also ordered dessert. I went with the Creme de Chocolate. This was smooth, rich and had a dark chocolate flavour to it. It was also served with a fine biscotti. The biscotti was of the soft variety which complemented the texture of the Creme de Chocolate. I added an Americano to finish off the meal.
This was another excellent meal, but I don’t think it could have lived up to the previous meal even in the dining room. Much like in the dining room the service in the bar was top notch as well. Peasant Cookery is definitely a place I would want to take guests for a fantastic high end dining experience. It’s worth every penny.