I’m on the road, working. It’s nice to have the chance to experience different places and sample the local gourmand fare, but dining out alone has its drawbacks. Lack of conversation is one of them, which is why I am posting this “live”, as it happens. Beats staring out the window all night 🙂
There is a little alley in Nelson, BC called Hall street that houses not one but two funky little wine bar/ bistro type restaurants. It was tough to decide as both Bibo and All Seasons Cafe looked enticing – both even have charming patios nestled into the hill with lovely twinkle lights – but a peek at the All Seasons menu posted outside revealed duck on the menu a few ways and that drew me in. The cozy room with funky art and assorted antique chairs matched to equally eclectic wood tables made me stay. I sat into an old chair with a pre-formed leather seat (very comfy) and decided it was going to be a good night.
Being a food geek I can’t just have one dish on a night out so I sampled the Scallop Gyoza to start with my glass of Quails’ Gate Chardonnay. Nice to see it was Ocean Wise seafood, as I do like the feeling of supporting sustainability. I toasted my day’s work and settled in to enjoy.
The scallops were chopped fine as a filling so there was less texture than I expected but the taste was pleasant, with a bit of spice – was that from the jicama and carrot slaw? The menu did say it was spicy. The Dungeness and lemon aioli was delightful as well. I couldn’t eat all 5 or I won’t have room for the duck, though. I hope the chef won’t be insulted…
OMG! (I would never write that on my computer but on my phone it seems okay as a sentiment). I hope my wonderful husband forgives me for having this meal without him – duck is his favourite thing and cherry smoked, it’s out of this world! The truffle scented beets and fingerling potatoes aren’t too shabby either. Even the radish sprouts piled on top are inspired. And if I do say so myself, the pairing with the Chardonnay is divine. Thanks to Mr Grant Stanley (the winemaker for this vintage – no longer there, as a side note) for such a beautiful example of the varietal in the Burgundy style!
Another limitation of dining alone is that you lose the opportunity to share things. As much as I would have loved to have dessert, I now have no room. It’s a good thing I didn’t have more than a nibble of the focaccia the server kindly brought “for dunking in the sauce” . It was nicely charred on the grill but my deft work with the cutlery and potatoes enabled me to consume almost all of the sauce anyway. I’m not sure my Lab, Ella, could have licked the plate cleaner, quite frankly 🙂
I should point out that I raise my glass to the Chef at All Seasons not only for great food but also for great judgement on proportions of sauce to the dish. In both the appy and main course the Chef offered up enough sauce to enjoy a taste with every bite, allowing for the chance that I might actually eat the whole dish. Kudos! I am not one of those people who likes 3 dots of sauce on my plate – that might look artful but it doesn’t give me a real chance to taste the flavours. It makes me happy when I can enjoy the same flavours throughout the dish.
I’m satiated. I’m delighted. As a customer you have exceeded my expectations, All Seasons Cafe. I shall record my kudos on Trip Advisor as well, as after all that is where I found you (and your compatriot down the road). It’s nice to know when others enjoy an experience but it’s even nicer to come to my own decision. Maybe I’ll have a chance to bring my husband back here sometime – hopefully the duck will still be on the menu, and if I play my cards right I’ll even get to share a dessert 🙂