Friday, August 11, 2006

Salt Spring Island trip-2


Studying the restaurant possibilites of Salt Spring online, I came accross House Piccolo. Originally of Finnish origin, with some Scandinavian dishes on the menu, at least it sounded different. I had a meeting to go to at 630 so wanted to get the earliest meal I could. When Piccolo opened at 5, I was one of many who'd booked reservations, waiting to get in. The chillled scalop ceviche said "please allow for sufficient curing time" and when I asked the server, he said that would be about 15 minutes. Not a long wait, particularly as he promptly brought a small salad and some very good bread. I was considering the prawn and scallop brochette but I usualy avoid having the entree the same as the appetiser. I ordered prawns newburg as my main course and didnt want to OD on prawns, if that is at all possible. I consider ordering salmon chowder Finlandia, in keeping with Piccolo's roots, but decide to go with the scallop ceviche. I assumed a micro-bottle of "Orange Widow" would complement it well. The wine list has "piccolo" next to it and several other wines. I wondered if this meant they were house wines. No, it refers to being served in small bottles, from the Italiann word for small. I didnt know they spoke Italian in Finland. I 'm told that Piccolo is the chef's nickname.
The tiny salad comes with two dressing, one balsamic-based and the other a creamy dill, both very refreshing, happily complementing the lettuce as it bathed in champagne. What I had assumed was a cherry tomato turns out to be a scoop of watermelon. Could I be any more refreshed? I have a competition to see which dressing is better but they're equally good. The vinagrette tastes of pineapple, a wonderful addition to a salad. Bombs of newly cleared space for goodness on your tongue.
My first bite of the ceviche seems very spicy. Oh that's right, this colourful stuff is chili oil! As soon as I neglect the pretty oil, the heat goes way down. Then the cilantro began to serenade my mouth. Then the lime kicks in. Now I can understand and appreciate the time the scallops took to marinade in the lime juice and cilantro.
Cold, the champagne goes great with the salad and the ceviche, but it's become room temperature by the time the strongly flavoured newburg meal arrives. Actually the champagne has more flavour at room temperature and makes a pleasing complement to the prawns. My server reccommends a Sauvignon Blanc and it does its job admirably. I am offered a sip of the wine before committing to ordering a glass. I don't recall that ever having happened before. It is an interesting step up in flavour from the Orange Widow. The newburg sauce is strong and delicious over all the ingredients. Green beans, red pepper, zuchini, and what I finally discoverer is pureed rutabaga. A continual parade in my mouth. The rice reminds me of some flavoured rice (from a package) I had as a kid. So many memories of tastes from distant decades assail me these days- this may be because I'm thinking about the past more, as my parents are increasinlgy unable to live consciously in the present. The wine cleanses the pallette so I can experiment anew with combinations of ingredients, soaking this one and then that one in the puree and newburg sauce. I feel like one very happy infant, playing with my food. The sudden appearance of dill slices through all the other flavours like Alexander through opposing armies. Muchly satisfied, I make my way a few blocks over to the legion hall to hear the perfectly named Helen Goodland from Vancouver's Sustainable Building Centre inspire the community into even more green buildings.

2 Comments:

At 7:04 PM, Anonymous Dexter Fong said...

You can serve me Seviche,
Scallops give me a wallop,
I'll fawn for prawns,
But I've no tyme for time

DEX

 
At 3:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very good posts. Good writing. Keep it up. Weight Loss

 

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