November 3, 2010

The Left Bank @ Buffalo

I confess: I am obsessed. Ever since my first experience at the Left Bank last Christmas, I've been dreaming about this place. A lot. Maybe a bit too much, but I can't help it. So on my way back from Chicago, I was crazy enough to take a two hour detour to Buffalo in order to eat here. Of course, the opportunity to shop a bit doesn't hurt either.
The place has a wonderfully charming ambiance. The exposed brick walls and candlelit tables evoke a great sense of rustic elegance. I also recall that they also had a glamorous Christmas tree for the holidays, but sadly, I idiotically left my camera at home that time. The restaurant itself is actually quite small, and can only accommodate a limited number of customers, so reservations are a must.
The first time I was here, we got seated at a table for two, so it was really tiny and barely had enough room for all our food, utensils and cutlery. This time, we lucked out and got a bigger table! Little things like that just make my dining experience even better!
First up, we have, as usual, some bread to start. It wasn't anything remarkable, perhaps even a little too cold for my liking, but the roasted red pepper oil for dipping was absolutely amazing! Flavourful and aromatic, the oil was a perfect complement to the plain bread. I had a lot of trouble stopping myself from eating all the bread because of it.
 Moving on the appetizer- fried oysters with tomato-corn and jalapeno salsa and creole remoulade. This was delectable! I love deep fried oyster, but this is definitely one of the best ones that I've had. I loved how that wasn't an overwhelming amount of batter, which made the oyster felt a lot lighter. The accompanying salsa was light and refreshing, and I loved the addition of the sweet corn, which nicely balanced out the heaviness of the fried oyster. And lastly, the creole remoulade was just to die for! Creamy and rich, it was so unbelievably scrumptious with the oyster that I had a strong urge to lick the plate clean...
...not that there was anything left to lick!
The Left Bank has a daily ravioli feature. Today's was filled with roasted pork tenderloin, banana peppers, and mixed cheeses, topped with a tomato cream sauce. What arrived was the biggest single piece of ravioli that I've ever seen in my life! The flavour of this was reminiscent of lasagna (which I love). I'm not a big fan of pork tenderloin in pasta, but there is something so comforting about a delicious, cheesy pasta that just warms my heart. It was so big that we only managed to eat one-third of it, and packed the rest home!
Similarly, the bruschetta also changes daily. I ordered it the first time I was here (featuring smoked salmon) and was so blown away that there was no question that I had to get it again. Today, ours was topped with a creole red pepper cheese spread, shrimp, chorizo, spinach, tomatoes, cheddar and montery jack cheese. More red pepper and cheese!? I'm already sold! The bread was perfectly toasted and the toppings were like a rich symphony of indescribably delicious flavours! I really want to find out what kind of cheese blend the Left Bank uses, because it's so sinfully tasty! I swear it's the best I've ever had! The bruschetta was also supposed to be an appetizer, but the portion was huge! We ate half of it and packed the rest home.
I think I just died and went to heaven.
Left Bank on Urbanspoon

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