Eating-up Stratford
Bite by Byte

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Down the Street: A Delicious Stratford Sneak-Peek

Ten years ago this month, my wife Lisa – a glam fashion model at the time – showed-up in Stratford with me, her new, rag-tag writer boyfriend. The very first dinner date we ever had together was at her favourite restaurant, Down the Street. I still remember it vividly. I couldn’t take my eyes off her… but somehow I’m able to recall exactly what we ate that night: we both had a velvety goat’s cheese lasagna followed by my first taste of a dessert my one-day-bride-to-be told me was called ‘crème brûlée’. I remember gazing across the table at her during this sumptuous meal and thinking:
How the hell did I get so lucky?!?’
We told the story of our first date to our friend Susan Dunfield, [pictured above at left, Lisa at right] the owner of Down the Street both then and now, when we returned Friday night to celebrate the tenth anniversary of that fateful evening. She wasn’t surprised in the least, “That’s what this place is. It’s about meeting and romance.” Apparently, we aren’t the only couple whose early passions were fanned by the comfortable, hip atmosphere that continues to characterize Stratford’s most seminal bistro/bar.

This spring, throughout the months of May and June, it will be easier than ever for the locals, theatre folk, and tourists who congregate at Down the Street to experience its amazing menu and ambience. Delicious Stratford showcases the tastes of spring on offer at fifteen of Stratford’s best restaurants, where for the next two months three-course set menus for lunch and dinner will be on offer at incredible values starting at $20 for lunch and $35 for dinner. Last night, Lisa and I got a delicious sneak-peek at the fresh, local, springtime fare Down the Street will be sharing with diners who choose to take advantage of this outstanding prix fixe opportunity over the next couple of months...

Susan started with a marvellous wine recommendation that was seconded by our server, Abby (who also happens to be Susan’s daughter!). We sipped a bottle of Malivoire ‘Guilty Men’, a deliciously blended Niagara VQA, as we sampled a series of stunning apps: a brash blood orange, beet and arugula salad with local feta from Monforte Diary; savoury local shitake mushrooms surrounding fresh greens from nearby Soiled Reputation farm; and an indulgent poutine made with Monforte cheddar and porcini jus.
For our mains, Lisa had an asparagus and tomato linguine served with a creative mint pesto (Susan told us this dish is only going to get better as the local asparagus arrives this weekend!). I had the pan-fried Lake Huron Whitefish [see pic above] served in a vadouvan-scented tomato broth over turmeric potatoes – strong flavour profiles that worked together for me in a big way.

And for dessert, what else? Crème brûlée! 

Like Lisa, Down the Street just seems to get better and better as time goes by. As I looked over the table at her last night while enjoying this incredible preview of the dishes that’ll be offered for the Delicious Stratford menu, I once again found myself asking:
How the hell did I get so lucky?!?
PS: Sign-up soon for the Delicious Stratford Debut stroll on Sunday, May 2nd and request the Local-Come-Lately as your tour guide - there are only 20 participants for each guide, and my spots are being snapped up fast!

1 comment:

  1. Ahhhh....such a lovely write up.
    Food sounds delicious.....need to go to Down the Street soon!!!!