This was my first time going to a Swallow Tail event and wow! What a unique/fun experience. This specific one was hosted at a church hall to celebrate food, music, and wine (a great combination ^^).
We were first escorted to the top of the hall that overlooked the dining area and sat enjoying some well-known string pieces and wine from the bar. People sat chatting while others shuffled in later to join the fun. Finally when anticipation levels were at their highest, we took our seats at the 4 long tables.
Chef Robin Kort had created a 4 course dinner with a wine pairing to go perfectly with each course. (I only tried the first wine since my body seems to reject reds and in turn..makes me really red.)
First to arrive on the table was the salad, paired with the Vivace Pinot Grigio 2011 by La Stella. Vivace is definitely the right word to describe this salad: lively, animated, and bursting with the essence of summer.
As the violin duo played the first piece, I took the time to munch on the salad’s different elements: the warm fiddlehead, wild ramps, cheese, tart apple atop some mushrooms, pickled leeks, and begonia petals. The crunchy pickled leeks and tart begonia petals were incredible.
The conversation drifted from pop up restaurants, to the Amazon, to everything you could possibly do with bacon before course #2 arrived: caramelized beet and tarragon soup with BC pepper goat cheese, served with a cast iron kamut loaf and dandelion butter.
Automatically this soup made me think of my mother’s cooking. I’ve grown up eating beets in soups and found this soup just the perfect amount of spicy. The goat cheese added a creaminess and slight tang. My only wish was that the bread would melt into the soup when dipped (but then I guess we wouldn’t have a need for the butter!).
For the main, we had cedar smoked steak braciole, roasted red pepper gremolata on arugula (my favourite leafy green) and spring potatoes. The sauce was made from the Fortissimo 2009 by La Stella to add some woodsy aromas to tie the wine in with the main. I must say, this is one of the largest portions of meat I’ve had in a while (not complaining one bit!) and was unexpected.
So at this point, my stomach is happily content but of course, I’m stoked for dessert: Kaffir lime leaf ice cream with smoked coconut, lime, and sage crisp.
Ok, WHAT?! This was so incredible. The explosion of flavors and aromas in your mouth easily mingle with one another and it all comes together with the crispy sweet cone. At the bottom of the cup are a type of Asian mint if I remember correctly. It has a stronger scent and a slight bitterness in the aftertaste. Funny enough, the only time I’ve eaten this mint was with balut eggs.
All in all, if you’ve never been to a pop-up resto, I suggest booking Swallow Tail because you can be assured that you’ll be in for some surprises, excellent food, and good company.