Union part 2
Over the past 6 weeks I have been living through a renovation of our condo in Toronto. Well this week we finally got to the last few tasks before my contractor took a week off to go skiing in the Alps. With the appliances beinghooked up on the last day, I could finally have food in the fridge instead of eating out for ever meal. I was surprised that I had actually become weary of going to a different restaurant every night.
My husband returned to Moscow on Sunday and I was excited to have the first friend “sleep over” for a couple of days. My good friend Ann was in town to facilitate meetings for the Pan Am Games but found that there were no available hotel rooms due to a mining convention with 28,000 delegates. As in the past, she found space at the Hotel Gilbert. Ann is a sustainability expert so I though I would take her to Union 72.
We were lucky to get the chef’s table where all the action is. As we sat down, we were greeted by the Oyster Expert Anthony Wing. Anthony turned out to be one of the most fascinating people I have met in a long time. Anthony appeared to be a man driven by the passion for the oyster. Although we didn’t order oysters, we ended up each consuming a half dozen of a variety of Canada’s best.
Throughout the night Anthony revealed his eclectic life. Anthony revealed that he was raised in a musical family where he ended up becoming a pianist. Like most musical people he also developed a passion for chess. He said he would travel for hours to meet international renown Grand Masters. He discovered that we had a French Grand Master acquaintance in common. Because he had a passion for food, he decided to take chef training which is where he found his passion for the oyster. He spent a couple of years working for The Oyster Boy before heading to Calgary where he spent 2 years developing the oyster culture at Catch.
Anthony told us that he worked as a speech writer and a medical blogger off and on as well as spending a couple of days working in restaurants with oysters. He makes his own mignonettes and sauces which we were encouraged to sample. The two mignonettes we tasted were so different from each other. The first was made from a quince cider that had a full body roundness with a hint of fennel while the second was a bit more acidic with shallots and a subtle lemony infusion. He also had a vodka infused with peppers that gave a great punch. Anthony had made a beautiful Quince butter that paired well with the amuse bouche foie gras the chef Theo offered us. I probably could have been happy with the oysters and the foie but I guessed we needed to buy something that night. I orderedsquab and escargot on a bed of lentils dressed with a yummy sauce. It was like I had been transported back to Paris. The squab was cooked to perfection and the escargot were earthy and garlicky which was the perfect compliment to the lentils. another delightful surprise was that Mondays are half price wine nights.
I must find out more about this intriguing Oyster mannamed Anthony.
Another fabulous evening!
Union part 2
Tuesday, March 6, 2012