June 4, 2012

Dinner @ Bier Markt (Shops at Don Mills)

The last time I was at Bier Markt, I enjoyed their fondue festival. For the month of May, they featured the Shellfish festival, so we came here for dinner one day to check out that menu.
Of course, it was hard to resist ordering beer from their vast collection. I stuck to one that I love- Sombersby apple cider ($7.08). Sandy tried a Bavarian Margarita ($6.64) and was less than impressed, commenting that it tasted like rice water. After trying a few sips, I regrettably agreed with her verdict. 
We ordered a Markt poutine ($13) to share, featuring house smoked chicken, Quebec cheese curds, Markt frites and Leffe brune peppercorn gravy. I wasn't too enthusiastic about ordering a poutine, as I remembered having one at the King West location a couple years ago and it was really bland. But our server assured us that the chicken is smoked in-house, so we decided to give it another try. Luckily, this poutine was a lot better than I expected. The chicken was moist and had a great, smokey flavour. The overall combination was delicious and we couldn't stop eating it!
I wasn't too hungry to order an entire entrée, so I opted for Brasserie burger bites ($14)- char-grilled prime rib, Gruyère cheese and smoked bacon burgers, candied Granny smith apple, mini grilled buns and ramoulade. The sliders were quite ordinary, but what stood out for me was the candied apple slices. I absolutely loved that sweet, fruity addition to the mini burgers (probably for the same reason why I like pears on my pizza). Delish!

I also added a side of pretzels, which were sprinkled with coarse sea salt and served with mustard ($5). While I adored that soft, pillowy interior, the salt was overwhelming. I enjoyed the pretzel a lot more after I brushed off all the salt.

Mona was the only one that actually ordered off of the Shellfish Festival Menu. She chose the lobster and watermelon salad ($24) with Canadian lobster, seedless sweet watermelon, pickled red onion, shaved daikon radish, arugula, fresh mint, and cider vinaigrette. This would be the perfect dish for a hot, summer day, as it was very light and refreshing. Unfortunately for us, we dined on a rather chilly day. Nevertheless, Mona still enjoyed her salad a lot and left her plate spotless.
Sandy opted for Markt schnitzel ($25)- panko crusted veal cutlets, grilled asparagus, Yukon mash, tomato jam, lemon caper emulsion and veal reduction. I didn't try enough of the schnitzel to really comment on it, but Sandy liked her dish. The portion was pretty generous and Sandy only managed to finish one of the two cutlets.
Finally, Jeremy had the smoked meat flammekueche ($14)- house-smoked beef brisket, sweet & smokey mustard, shaved cider slaw, roast garlic and Emmental cheese. I remembered that the smoked chicken flatbread that I tried 3 years ago was really disappointing, so I was pleasantly surprised that this one was quite tasty. The smoked meat, was too salty on its own, but the veggies and toppings provided a good balance. As well, I liked that the flatbread was very thin and crispy.
In the end, we ordered too much so some of it had to be packed home. All in all, it was a pretty satisfying meal. I've had several underwhelming experiences with the food at Bier Markt in the past, and I thought this meal was a lot better than what I had. Notably, the poutine and flatbread were much-improved (but I'm not sure if this is specific to the Don Mills location, since my previous experiences were mostly at the downtown locations). The prices are a little high for my liking, but I would definitely come back once in awhile to enjoy their vast collection of beer.
Bier Markt - Shops at Don Mills on Urbanspoon



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