Happy Birthday GC!!!!

Happy, happy birthday to my best friend in the world, GC! Ok, so his birthday was July 3rd and that is when we did celebrate, I am just slightly delayed on the internet celebrations.

My struggle with birthday dinners as someone who loves food is picking a place out of the ordinary, but still with the food and style that I like and with a price tag that shows whoever I am taking out that I love them. Yes, money buys love especially when it is buying fancy food. This year’s restaurant that satisfied all of these requirements: Farmer’s Daughter.

Farmer’s Daughter is latest addition to the Farmhouse Tavern family. As the name suggests, it is more modern, focusing on seafood and is less Ontario-centric. The menus are still seasonal and fresh, but not geographically limited. I absolutely love Farmhouse Tavern (I credit it to having my favourite brunch in the city) so I was eager to try it and so was GC!

We were first seated on the patio but as this summer has been unseasonably cold we moved inside to stay nice and toasty as we enjoyed our meal. The inside is sleek, modern and very simple. My favourite touches: the neon “Fried Shrimp & Friendship” sign, the various food related books on each table and the white board-style bar menu.

Throughout the course of our meal, we each tried two cocktails. I ordered the Tell Tale Heart and the Bruce Banner. GC ordered the Old Cuban and the Summer Sangria.

CocktailsTop left, clockwise: the Tell Tale Heart, the Old Cuban, the Summer Sangria and the Bruce Banner.

The highlight for me was the Tell Tale Heart. This cocktail was an Old Fashion made with beef heart fat-infused bourbon. My palate is not refined enough (yet) to be able to tell if this was a successful infusing. The cocktail was smoky, thick and delicious. I found the cocktail to be smoother and less harsh than other Old Fashions I have had. If this is the result of infusing with beef heart fat then it was perfect.

We ordered two starters: the Fried Shrimp and the Heart ‘n’ Soul.

IMG_0863 IMG_0865Heart ‘n’ Soul – beef heart tartare with salsa verde cradled in a beef bone and topped with pickled Cincinnati radishes and bone marrow pebbles.

These were both amazing! The shrimp was crispy, spicy and tender. My only complaint: I wanted more which is never a bad complaint. The serving is slightly small, especially for sharing but is fairly priced for fresh and delicious seafood.

As much as I loved the shrimp, I loved the tartare even more. Can we talk about how bad ass it is to eat something’s heart? It was our first tastes of heart and it was yummy! It has a very similar texture and taste to beef but it richer and slightly denser. It was savoury and sweet, salty with that perfect pickle tanginess. The croutons were soft and buttery, the perfect light and fluffy base for so much richness. I love quail egg and wish I could buy quail eggs instead of chicken eggs daily. They are more creamy, thick and luscious. Sorry chickens.

This is a must eat again and I am currently drooling all over my keyboard.

GC ordered the Burger. Yes, it is generically referred to as “The Burger” on the menu.

IMG_0866The Burger with a beef patty, deep-fried haddock, red cabbage slaw and pickles on a pretzel bun. Served with Yukon frites and house made ketchup.

GC loved this burger. It was over-the-top, intense, and ridiculous – the perfect meal to celebrate a birthday with! The burger was juicy and moist, the haddock was crispy and flaky and the condiments were fresh and crisp. A perfectly balanced burger.

I ordered the Octopus.IMG_0868 IMG_0869The Octopus with squid ink vinaigrette and piled high with bouquet garni-poached octopus, mussels, sunchoke puree, sunchoke chips, red dandelion and finished with marjoram.

O. MY. GOD. Literally, the best octopus I have ever had. It was tender, sweety, juicy and meaty. I loved that it was topped with mussels, adding another layer of seafood richness. The sunchoke puree was earthy and grounded the plate. The sunchoke chips were crispy, tender and earthy. My new favourite thing after eating this meal: sunchoke – who knew! The schmear of squid ink was sweet, salty and the perfect hint of seafood. I want to eat this again and again.

Although we were stuffed, we couldn’t resist ordering dessert. We ordered two desserts: The Strawberry Elderflower Twinkie and the Chocolate Ice Cream Sandwich.

IMG_0873IMG_0874French dark chocolate ice cream between two wild ginger–spiked shortbread cookies.

We both preferred the ice cream sandwich. The Twinkie was cute, but slightly gimmicky. I have never had a real Twinkie but this one was gummy and barely stuffed which I assume is true to form. The ice cream sandwich more than made up for the Twinkie. The cookie was crumbly and buttery and the chocolate was rich and decadent. Yummmmms.

This was an amazing meal that was completely worthy of celebrating my absolute favourite person of all time. And it gets better: they have brunch. Clearly another celebration is in order, this time with fried frog legs and waffles.

Happy munching!

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