Domenico and Lila enjoying a sorbet palate cleanser at Gourmet Emporium

Last night, Jillian and I invited our good friends Domenico and Lila out for dinner to Gourmet Emporium to sample their 2011 Winter Bites Culinary Week menu.


Their Winter Bites menu is unique as it offers 7 courses, three of which you can pick from different choices.

Amuse Bouche as the first course of the Winter Bites menu at Gourmet Emporium

The meal started off with an Amuse Bouche, goat cheese over a toasted crostini sprinkled with a raspberry reduction sauce.

French Onion soup at Gourmet Emporium

Next, we had a choice between a salad, which contained mixed greens, apple slices and goat cheese with a honey poppy seed vinaigrette, and a French onion soup topped with a crostini and aged white cheddar.

After the soup and salad, the Brown Butter Asparagus came out. The brown butter sauce had just the right touch of sweetness to it to not overpower the natural flavours of the asparagus. All four of us raved about this dish.

A Cheese Ravioli was our next dish, served with a dollop of pesto on top.

To help ease us into our main course, a sorbet palate cleanser (shown in the top photo) was handed out.

After Jillian, Lila and Domenico had all chosen the 5 oz. fillet for their main course, I had originally chosen the Pollo Pancetta. Peer pressure, however, forced me into making the same choice as the rest of the group. This is the only time peer pressure has ever worked out for the good.

A 5 oz. fillet at Gourmet Emporium as part of their Winter Bites Culinary Week menu

The fillet was served with a red wine reduction, which covered caramelized onions and pan seared button mushrooms.

The meal then ended with all of us sharing each dessert option offered: a whole baked apple served with ice cream and a slice of cheesecake.

I was quite impressed with the meal as it didn’t leave me overly stuffed nor wanting more. In what rarely happens with me, it was the perfect amount of food we needed.

If you’re interested in this meal, I encourage you to hurry as today is the last day of the 2011 Winter Bites Culinary Week.