Sunday, November 25, 2018

Eating up the Hill: A Newfoundland shed party

Any Atlantic Canada-themed parties are always ones to circle on your Parliamentary reception circuit calendar, so the Newfoundland Shed Party got an early RSVP from me, and drew me up the street to SJAM on a chilly evening instead of retreating to the comfort of my couch.

I didn't stay too long and so I missed the Prime Minister proving his Newfoundland singing chops -- nearly 70 per cent of Telegram readers rated his performance as "Wicked, b'y" -- but I did dig into the food and drink for my faithful readers.

It was rather seafood-heavy, which I'm good with, and my first sampler platter was mini lobster rolls, and a skewer of scallops over some sort of dark grainy risotto.

I enjoyed the appetizer-sized lobster rolls, on proper buns compared to the non-traditional croissant my lobster roll in Halifax was served on. The scallops were fine, but I thought they could have been hotter. The risotto (was it really risotto?) was fine, though unnecesary.

Over to the other side of the room, and I procured a piece of yellow tail flounder and several scallops on toothpicks, in a lemon herb sauce.

These scallps were bigger, better seasoned, and as they were individually placed on the bottom of the heating tray, much hotter and more enjoyable than those on the other side of the room. The flounder was an understated fish, well cooked and, while it could have used a little more seasonng, quite enjoyable.

There was one non-seafood table in the room, from which I procured two rabbit empanadas (I was semi-reluctanly served a second empanada by special request) and a small cup of beef soup with a ravioli.Well, half a ravioli.

The soup and ravioli didnt strike me as anything extraordinary. Beef broth and a few scallions. The ravioli seemed a little undercooked.

The rabbit empanada, however, was delicious, thanks in part to the cream and jam. Mmmm. I could have eaten many more, but I felt I was pressing my luck asking for two the first time.

On the spirits side, gin from The Newfoundland Distillery was the highlighted offering. I'd not really had gin before and don't usualy drink hard liquour without mix, and sometimes you'll get a hard time for mixing. Still, in the spirit of Snoop Dogg, I figured I would ask about sipping on some gin and juice, laid back. They had no juice, but recomended mixing with the locally produced Third Place Tonic. Offered a choice of regular or Seaweed Gin, I decided to go all-out and go with the Seaweed.

I was prepared to not like it at all and abandon it after a sip, but it was surprisingly not bad and I finished it without complaint. It's not something I would order regularly, but gin and tonic can now be added to my list of cocktail possibilities.

And then I went home to my couch.

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