February 23, 2013

Winterlicious @ Starfish

This year, I only managed to make it to one Winterlicious meal- a $35 dinner at Starfish. And sadly the experience was a disappointing one.
Two of my friends had the winter vegetable and fish chowder to start. It tasted like canned tomato soup to me, but my friend enjoyed it.

I had the house smoked haddock fishcakes with roasted chioggia beets, pickled haricot beans, and sweet onion jam. I definitely liked the fishcakes a lot more than the soup, but the portion was pretty small. That said, they were very flavourful.
Timmy had a filet of salmon (was supposed to be seabream but they ran out) served atop a winter squash and brown butter puree, roasted brussels sprouts, house smoked bacon, and toasted pumpkinseeds. I thought this was the best entrée out of the three choices. Although the fish was slightly overcooked, the accompaniments were tasty, especially the brussel sprouts! I was a little jealous.
The other salmon course was served with roasted fingerling potatoes, baby turnips, and cippollini onions, and a beet and shallot soubise. I didn't try any of this plate, but the friend who had it was not full at all.
I had steamed P.E.I. mussels in a Provencal style tomato, fennel, and herb broth, served with house cut frites. I had actually forgotten to take a picture of my mussels (my apologies!), but to be honest the mussels were not impressive at all. It tasted like something I could've gotten at any half-decent buffet. I also didn't finish my huge bowl of fries, but certainly that was the only thing on the table that filled us up. All the other dishes had rather small portions.
For dessert, most of the table opted for Starfish's famous sticky toffee pudding. I'm a fan of sticky toffee pudding, and this was easily the best thing I had for my meal. Timmy found it a little too sweet for his liking.
One friend ordered the citrus and pistachio blondie square with a stewed cranberry compote, and white chocolate bark. His only comment was that the blondie was extremely hard, almost like a stale cookie. It did not look appetizing at all. On the whole, I was pretty dissatisfied with my dinner at Starfish. I had heard some good things before I came, but the food did not live up to my expectations. Most disappointing of all was my mussels, and although the sticky toffee pudding was good, it didn't compensate for the other flaws. I'm not a big eater, but even I found the portions to be a little too small! The end result was really disappointing, which is really too bad because the menu sounded really promising on paper.
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