Little Fin

I am slowly discovering my new neighbourhood at work: there are trips to St. Lawrence Market to gawk at cheese and meat, wanderings down to the lake to soak up some sun and getting lost on side streets that you otherwise wouldn’t notice unless you pass them ever day.

A few weeks ago I wandered down a side street, Temperance Street, which is just south of Richmond. This little street is being obscured by construction but is the location of Little Fin. Little Fin is a restaurant that I have been eyeing on Instagram since it opened in October 2014 and have been drooling over and wondering when I would get to try ever since.

The restaurant is small, with a nautical/East-Coast vibe to it including marlins on the wall and fresh lobsters walking around in their sea water tank. You order at the counter and then wait in anticipation for your number to be called. On a Friday afternoon the wait was about 20 minutes which isn’t crazy but in the future it might be better to order ahead.

I ordered the Lobster Roll.

IMG_5859

Yes, I contemplated ordering the fried chicken BLT but I thought rationally that the first time trying something at a seafood restaurant, I should probably order the seafood.

The sandwich is $16.00 which seems a little pricey but is fairly standard for a lobster roll: the lobster roll at Buster’s Sea Cove in St. Lawrence Market is $15.00. For your $16.00 you get your choice of sides and I chose the garlic potato wedges and the house salad.
This sandwich looks beautiful but unfortunately, did not have enough lobster for my liking. Half of the sandwich was filled with lettuce, to give the illusion that it is filled with lobster when really it is not. The lobster salad itself it good: large chunks of lobster, fresh dill, small pieces of celery to give the right crunch to the softness of the sandwich and topped with fresh green onion giving a hint of heat and freshness to the sandwich. I would like this sandwich more if it was all lobster, with little to no lettuce but that would probably cost me $40.00.

The garlic potato wedges were amazing. I am not a huge fan of potatoes (much to GC’s chagrin). I hate home fries and baked potatoes, would much rather have rice than mashed potato, scalloped potatoes are eaten as a vehicle for cheese and French fries are often left to grow cold and limp on my plate or at the bottom of my take-out bag. But these wedges. These could convert me to being a potato person. The wedges are sweet and garlicky, with the right amount of kick from the garlic but not the amount that would give you the breath to ward off vampires and attract Italian Nonnas. The outside is crispy and tough with the skin still being on the potato but the inside is fluffy and starchy. These are a definite must as a side to anything ordered from Little Fin.

The house salad is a safe bet – nothing remarkable but solid and fresh. The next time I visit I will be trying the seaweed salad.

Little Fin is a cute spot that is quick and convenient for me to indulge in seafood during my lunch hour. As an indulgence it will be saved for pay days and definitely not once a month. I will likely not be having the lobster roll again but I wouldn’t say no to trying the crispy haddock sandwich or fried chicken BLT. Oh, and they do breakfast and have a chicken-waffle sandwich. So yes, I think it is safe to say I would be trying a few more items off this menu. Eventually.

Happy munching!

Soup: Round Up III

As we enter April the weather is slowly warming up which means that our soup days are numbered. This summer I vow to try chilled soups but until then, here is a few warm soups I made in March.

IMG_55611. Steak and Potato Soup – January 26 – this soup is a thick, luscious stew. The vegetables are roasted and sweet, coated in caramelization. It takes your typical beef stew to another level with sophsticated and different vegetables: sweet potatoes and parsnips. The steak is moist and falls apart in the stew. This will definitely make a regular appearance in our house next winter.

2. Cream of Asparagus Soup – March 2 – this soup tastes like pure spring. Asparagus is one of my favourite vegetables and I wait all year for it. It is so fresh, tender and moist. The soup is creamy, light and fresh. It needs to be puréed a lot to remove all the natural stringiness that asparagus has. Add a dollop of sour cream and fresh chives to add even more freshness and you are kicking off spring!

3. Moroccan Lamb Meatball and Couscous Soup – March 22 – I was so excited for this soup. The picture in the cookbook was so appealing: spicy meatballs, a red broth, pearls of couscous dotting the soup and pieces of mint floating on the surface. However, mine did not turn out like this. It turned into a congealed blob of couscous with meatballs stuck in it. I used Moroccan couscous because I couldn’t find Israeli and this made a huge difference. Moroccan couscous is smaller and is sucked up so much broth. i couldn’t find ground lamb so I used ground chicken. This recipe was a mismatch of substitution. GC didn’t mind it though and I guess if at least one person enjoyed and ate all the soup then it couldn’t have been that bad.

Recipes are below the cut – happy munching!

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Potato Rosemary Soup

Another day, another soup.

IMG_4800The other day I made Potato Rosemary soup (November 10th in the Williams-Sonoma cookbook). This soup is simple and delicious. It is surprisingly thick from the potatoes and has a lot of deepth of flavour. It is the perfect side for a sandwich. And bonus, (if you care) it’s vegan!

Recipe is below the cut! Happy munching!

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Home of the Brave

Life has been busy lately with wedding plans and running around. I used to think people were flustered by wedding plans because they were incompetent. I apologize to all past brides that I judged harshly. Planning a wedding is fairly all encompassing and time consuming to an extent you wouldn’t believe. In all of the flurry, order I have been eating but not writing about it. Get ready to be inundated with posts from where I’ve been eating the past two months.

La Carnita, cialis one of my favorite Mexican joints in the city, advice opened an American comfort-food restaurant back in the summer and Cynthia and I were able to check it out a few months back. Aptly named Home of the Brave, the food is focused on American comfort-foods with new and interesting twists. The vibe is very similar to La Carnita –  a combination of grunge and rock, mixed with hipsters and vintage antiques. Be sure to wear your skinny jeans and your plastic rimmed glasses if you want to fit in.

The bar menu is on a seasonal rotation bringing in fresh flavours to compliment the season. They also have house made root beer on tap! Unfortunately, Cynthia and I did not try the root beer. All that means is I will have to go back to slurp down a root beer float.

We both started with the Tater Tots.

IMG_9481Crispy potatoes, cheese, gravy, and herbs.
Image credit:  Food Junkie Chronicles

These were delicious: creamy, cheesy, and salty – all in a perfect little bites. You can definitely taste the cheese and herbs, they work in tandem with the crispy potatoes but the gravy is almost nonexistent. I am ok with this as I HATE gravy (unless it is in the form of poutine), but other people may be less than thrilled about this. This is my idea of comfort food. I loved the presentation of this dish. The mini cast iron skillet immediately makes me think of pioneers and the American frontier.

Cynthia ordered the Johnny Cake with Smoked Trout.

Johnny CakeCornmeal griddle cake with savoury cream, smoked trout, maple syrup, and chives
Image credit: Toronto Life

This is one of the most unique menu items I have ever seen but apparently it’s incredibly common.  Johnny cakes were common during the early pioneer days and are now still seen throughout the eastern seaboard of the United States. Not being a huge cornmeal fan, I did not love the cake itself but it did serve as a substantial base to all the maple syrup that basically drowned the cake. The maple syrup should be asked for on the side to make sure your cakes stay nice and crispy. The trout was flaky and the perfect amount of salt and fish taste. The syrup and fish work in an interesting contrast that is not seen in a lot of dishes – it takes sweet and savoury to a new level. The cream was thick and decadent, making this dish almost seem like a brunch item rather than dinner item.

I ordered the Smoked Pork Belly Sandwich.

IMG_9472Smoked pork belly, smoked pork shoulder, ranch cabbage coleslaw, and lemon zest
Image credit: Food Junkie Chronicles

As far as a pulled pork sandwich goes – this is pretty standard. I love that the amount of pork belly is almost overwhelmingly large and adds a whole layer of crunch and salty, brininess to this sandwich. The pulled pork is good – juicy and it falls apart delicately with every bite. The ranch cabbage coleslaw is sweet with the perfect amount of tang that perfectly highlights the natural sweetness of cabbage. I would love to eat a bowl of this slaw on its own. The lemon brings together the whole sandwich and slightly cuts the fat so you don’t feel like a stereotypical fat American while eating this.

If you are in search of greasy comfort food – this is your spot. I am intrigued by the Kentucky Fried Handshake Sandwich which showcases a fried chicken foot and will likely be back to give it a try.  Although I want to give it another shot, I prefer La Carnita – there’s just not match to it.

Happy munching!

Meals in Minutes – Tomato Soup

Meals in Minutes: Tomato Soup. Image from the cookbook.

1. This soup is everything a tomato soup should be: warm, roasted, with hints of basil and completely rustic. The tomatoes taste as if they were freshly picked off the vine by Nonna. It is hearty, healthy and full of vegetables.

2. We paired this soup with grilled cheese made using caramelized onion cheddar. It was delicate, creamy and with perfect hints of onion. I opt for using flavoured cheeses when making the basic grilled cheese in lieu of adding other ingredients (have a mentioned that April is apparently grilled cheese month? More on that later).

3. Add a dollop of creme fraiche or sour cream if you don’t want to be quite as decadent. Any soup that I can add sour cream for I am totally game for.

4. I also recent made Potato Leek soup using the recipe found here. It turned out extremely green on account of using too much of the leafy bit of the leek. It was ok, but not great.  Next time I will have to bust out  my Julie Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking for the first time and try her version of it. It uses heavy cream so of course it’s going to be infinitely better.

Recipe is below the cut and happy munching!

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