Friday, July 23, 2010

The Stone Cellar - Restaurant Review

The Stone Cellar
71 Gore Street East
Perth ON K7H 1H8

Last summer, as per the usual, the majority of my family went to my grandparents' cottage in the 1,000 Islands for a few weeks. This was the first year Dave had gone up, and, despite his sever allergies, we had a lot of fun. We also discovered the masterpiece that is the Stone Cellar restaurant.

Really, my mother, aunt and grandmother had discovered it the year before, but this was the first time our whole family went together. Located in Perth, Ontario, it looks exactly as the name suggests - a converted wine cellar. It is fairly small and has been full but quiet both times I have been there. It would be an ideal place for a wedding rehearsal dinner or other small, businesslike functions.

This year it was a must that we go back before Dave and I left, so we went on Thursday evening. The food was just as stunning as ever, the only blemish being a change in the menu (discussed below).

For an appetizer, Dave and I shared the baked brie with apple butter. It was very simple - an entire 6" round of brie sliced lengthwise and cut in six wedges, baked until the edges were toasted and melted, topped with a sweet apple butter and accompanied with toasted slices of baguette. It was heavenly. Dave normally doesn't like cheese on its own but he made an exception for this - the entire plate was clean in about ten minutes, with minimal help from our neighbors at the table. My grandmother ordered the bruschetta which I tried - very good, but nothing truly spectacular.

Now, the entree that most of us ordered (and which was one of the main reasons we drove an hour to this restaurant) was the Torpedo Chicken. It is truly one of the most amazing things I've ever eaten. It consists of a chicken breast pounded flat, stuffed with apple, dried cranberries and pine nuts, wrapped in prosciutto and doused in a white wine and mustard sauce. Sooo good. Unfortunately, this was also the aforementioned menu change.

Still called the Torpedo Chicken, what we received was chicken stuffed with mozarella cheese and basil pesto. Good, yes, but not terribly memorable. The reason for the change may have been a purely seasonal one, as our last visit had been much later in the summer, but it was still a disappointment. My cousin was one of the nonconformists and got the 6 oz AAA fillet, and was smart for doing so. The beef practically melts in the mouth and was utterly delicious, and this coming from someone who doesn't normally eat red meat.

Dessert was a communal affair - the lemon cake is dense, sweet and fiercely lemony with a very tart icing, and the Bailey's creme brulee was fantastic. Flamed to perfection, the top was crisp and the creme not too rich, and the Bailey's left a nice aftertaste but was not overpowering.

All in all, a very good meal, and we sat there for about three hours talking and were left in relative peace, so it is a definite recommendation. My only complaint is the menu change, which will hopefully change back again. I am very glad at my foresight however, as I had asked last year for the recipe for the Torpedo Chicken, found below. I have not yet gotten a chance to try this recipe, so I haven't figured out any measurements. This is just what the waitress told me.

Original Torpedo Chicken recipe

Take one chicken breast, pounded flat with a mallet. Top the chicken with chopped apple, dried cranberries and roasted pine nuts. Roll the chicken breast lengthwise, then wrap in a layer of prosciutto. Wrap in tinfoil, making sure there are no openings. Boil for 17 minutes (she was very precise about that one). Serve with a white wine and mustard sauce.

If anyone has any good recipes for a sauce, or tries this and has any comments or tips, please let me know. I am looking forward to trying this recipe at some point.

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