Apr 9, 2009

Festival of Chefs 2009: Mildred’s Temple Kitchen

Tucked away in one of the industrial-looking buildings in Liberty Village lies Donna Dooher’s latest venture, Mildred’s Temple Kitchen, which was the next stop on O-reagano and Breemer’s voyage of Festival of Chef restaurants.

We were immediately struck by the open ambiance. The dining area is very spacious with funky long hanging lights (some of which looked a little like elongated metallic glowing ET fingers), large floor-to-ceiling windows ran the entire length of the restaurant and accents of pretty white flowers in long, thin white glass vases were scattered throughout. Parallel to the wall of windows sat an open kitchen unit stationed where patrons can observe the chefs working away.

Open kitchen and gloriously plump heirloom tomatoes

A friendly server informed us about an appetizer special which sounded just too good to pass up. Our favourite: buffalo mozzarella! Accompanying the cheese were tomatoes, basil and (a novelty for us) chunks of bread all drizzled in oil and balsamic. Every bite tasted just like summer! Good, flavourful tomatoes really do make all the difference and can take a dish like this from good to great.

Caprese Salad screamed Summer!

For the main, O-reagano ordered the grilled steak piadini, which came with stracchino, oven dried cherry tomato and truffled rocket salad. This dish looked so good our neighbours nearly got whiplash when they eagerly turned their heads to take a look at her plate. One look at this picture and you’ll see why.

Steak Piadini looking so good you could frame it

Breemer decided on the croque monsieur. Breaking away from the traditional ham, this sandwich came with chicken, scallions and oodles of Quebec cheddar. On the side was a spring vegetable salad with an herb vinaigrette and a little cuppa tomato relish/salsa which added a nice edge to the soft and comfort-food-like sandwich.

When you're this yummy, they call you Monsier

Then came dessert. How do we even begin? Well, for starters, when the dishes arrived at our table, and after we picked our jaws up from said table, large Cheshire-like grins spread across our faces. The first one we gobbled up was Mildred’s classic profiteroles with Lindt chocolate ice cream sitting in puddles of caramel and chocolate sauces. Every spoonful made our mouths happy.

Three bellissimo balls drenched with chocolate decadence

We then veered our spoons over to the coconut chocolate pot de crème with macadamia nut chocolate cookies. The pot de crème could be described in a similar fashion to a shampoo commercial: soft, silky and smooth. In between spoonfuls of this we nibbled at the cookies. As O-reagano said, “there are cookies, and then there are really, really good cookies.” These ones, with their chewiness and chunks of white chocolate, fell into the latter category.

These treats tasted as delicate as the petals that adorned them

With a lunch like that there was little hope for dinner to come even close to satisfying the palette! It was truly an epicurean adventure that our taste buds are only too eager to repeat.

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