Le Baccara – What a treat!

Hey guys,

Hope you’re having a great week! Can you believe that it’s December already! I don’t know about you but I’m ready and excited for the last month of the year. Along with December, comes Christmas and Christmas outings. The following is just one of many.

Last weekend, we had the pleasure of joining our friends, George and Chels for dinner at Le Baccara, a 5 diamond restaurant located in the Casino Lac-Leamy and what an experience it was. I had been to the Casino several times before but it had been at least 10 years and I definitely didn’t experience it like this. 

As soon as we pulled up, I was in awe at how beautifully decorated the hotel and lobby were for the Christmas season. The grandeur of all of the decorations and trees was breathtaking.

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We started our evening at the Bacchus bar equipped with fabulous glass tables, large leather seats and an impressive, to say the least, fireplace. It was the perfect spot to sit and catch up over a cocktail. We sipped on a bottle of Champagne and caught up on our weeks. Not a bad way to end a busy week and kick start the evening right ;).

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Next stop was dinner at Le Baccara. We walked though the casino and past this beautiful tree.

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Isn’t it breathtaking? WOW. 

The experience was fabulous from the start. As soon as we arrived, we were promptly escorted to our tables and within a matter of minutes, we were served champagne. We spent the next 45 mins sipping on it, in large comfy chairs knowing that we had a delicious meal ahead of us.

As for the meal, we enjoyed a six course meal. Each course was beautifully presented and paired with the perfect glass of wine. The service was fabulous and our sommelier, Danielle Dupont, was impeccable. She was able to describe our wines beautifully and was extremely knowledgeable which was great for Julien and George who love to ask plenty of questions about what they’re eating and drinking ;).

Our first course was by far my favourite. It was a beef carpaccio that was to die for. It was like no other. As you can see, it offered many elements, including sliced truffles. #yum

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Our second dish was a lobster tail, with tete fromagee (my apologies for the missing accents. I need to figure out how to use them on my new Chromebook).

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What I love about these dinning experiences, is that I get try foods I wouldn’t necessarily try or cook myself. Although I am not a picky eater, I enjoyed the lobster tail but I wasn’t the biggest fan of the tete fromagee (made with pigs feet). Maybe it’s an acquired taste ;)? Although it wasn’t my favourite part of the meal, I have to say that it was beautifully presented and very flavourful.

Next was a foie gras poele. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of the actual foie gras lol but it’s because I was so blown away by its presentation as it arrived at the table :).

It was served with a glass of Sauterne. As you can see, Chels and I approved ;).

Next on the menu was a seared scallop with octopus. This scallop was cooked to perfection and delicious!!! Although I love scallops, I haven’t been brave enough to cook them myself. I find that there’s a fine line when cooking them. If you sear them too long, they’re chewy but if you don’t cook them enough they’re slimy. As for the octopus, it looked beautiful but I wasn’t a fan. Perhaps it too will grow on me ;).

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Second to last was pheasant with a potato puree and a baked apple stuffed with raisins. This dish was my second favourite. I had never had pheasant before and it was delicious. I highly recommend it for those who haven’t yet tried it. The veggies and potato puree were lovely but the stuffed apple offered a unique touch. It was sweet, almost like a dessert, and paired beautifully with the pheasant. Original and super tasty.

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Last, but not least, was dessert. By then, we were full and I forgot to take a picture. Yep, I’m totally regretting having not taken a picture but I’ve learned from my mistake πŸ˜‰ and won’t forget next time we’re out. It was a baked apple served on top of a homemade cookie. 

Overall, this evening was spectacular from start until finish. Le Baccara is definitely worth the 5 starts that it’s earned and I highly recommend it for anyone looking to celebrate an important milestone such as a birthday or anniversary. On top of all of this, they were very understanding of my gluten allergy and ensured that each of my dishes were GF. Merci Le Baccara!

For those who have been to Le Baccara, what did you think of this restaurant and what was your favourite dish? 

That’s all for now! Hope you have a fabulous weekend.

Talk soon xo

Dinner at Napolis

Super exciting!!! Last Saturday, my parents watched the kids overnight allowing Julien and I to go out for dinner with our friends AND sleep in Sunday morning. Sleeping in and not having to rush out of bed as soon as your eyes open is such a luxury nowadays. It’s like winning the lottery lol Since our daughter was born we’ve had three overnights to ourselves and I swear I am giddy about it each and every time. Of course, I miss the kids like crazy but it’s so nice being able to wake up, lay in bed for 45 mins, drink a hot coffee quietly and start the day slowly.

This time we were invited with friends to go to dinner at Napolis cafe in Stittsville. I hadn’t been in about six years and didn’t know what to expect but I knew that it would be good. Before leaving for the restaurant, we opened an awesome bottle of Graham Beck bubbly with our friends George and Chelsea, at our place, and enjoyed it out back in the sun. I know we didn’t have the greatest weather this summer but the weather this fall is exceptional! After finishing our bubbly, we left for the restaurant.

Once we entered Napolis, the Manager, Basil, welcomed us and brought us to our table for the evening. He set us up beautifully outdoors on his patio. We had a beautiful long table, with a firepit, and were surrounded by vines with grapes and tomatoes plants. As we walked towards our table, I noticed that he already had a bottle of Veuve Cliquot champagne chilling. AMAZING. Once we sat down, he poured us a perfectly chilled glass of champagne. Enjoying that first glass was the BEST way to kick-start our evening. For those of you who have read all of my posts, you know that my favourite drinks are champagne and bubbly. There’s nothing better…Ok, I also enjoy a good rum and coke with LOTS of lime but we are getting off topic here lol πŸ˜‰

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While drinking our first glass, our friends Nika and Quinton arrived and the six of us caught up over a variety of appetizers. We ordered their garlic and cheese bread, beef carpaccio, mussels and escargots. I eat pretty much everything except for yogurt, mussels and escargots so I, unfortunately, cannot provide you with comments on them (although the group seemed to love them) but the garlic bread and carpaccio were insane!

Following our appetizers we had our mains. Anyone that is looking to enjoy rich home cooked style Italian food you have to eat here. These dishes were incredible and the portions were huge. I ordered the Pollo Penne and OMG it was delicious!!! It was a pasta dish with chicken breast in a rosemary sauce with white wine, sundried tomatoes, spinach, and mushrooms.

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Some of the other meals ordered were veal parmesan, chicken parmesan, lamb, fettucini etc. Below are a few pictures of some of the dishes that we enjoyed.

Of course, our main courses were enjoyed with a couple bottles of fabulous red wine. The first was an Amarone and the second a Borolo from their cellars list of fabulous wines. #yum!!!

Overall, this was yet another successful night out spent with our fabulous friends over good food, champagne and wines. We enjoyed the entire evening outside and met the chef (who happened to be Basil’s brother) at the end of the night. Turns out the restaurant is a family affair and the owner’s daughters work there as well. The setting, food and drinks were all delicious and I have to say that this meal satisfied my craving for some good old rich Italian food. If you’re looking to satisfy a similar craving, I definitely recommend the food atΒ Napolis. Finally, the owner, chef and staff were fabulous and made the evening exceptional so a big shoutout to them!

What’s your favourite Italian restaurant? Have you been to Napolis? If so, what are your favourite dishes?

Talk soon.

Ciao,

Ash

Date night!

Earlier this week, mom asked us if we would be interested in leaving the kids overnight with her for the first time since her ovarian cancer diagnosis in January of this year. Unfortunately, she hasn’t been able to watch the kids or keep them overnight since she underwent her debulking surgery in February, and then chemo. The great news is that she finished her last session of chemo three weeks ago and, as of last week, is starting to feel more and more like herself. Yahoo!!! As you can imagine, we were SO excited that she asked. Mom used to watch our son twice a month before our daughter was born, and we were extremely grateful for the alone time. More importantly, her offer was an amazing sign that she was starting to finally feel better. Mom loves nothing more than to spend time with her kids and grandkids, so I knew that keeping the kids overnight would bring her more joy than I could ever express.

When mom asked, our immediate response was hell yeahhhh!!! Watching a three and a half-year-old and an 11-month-old is a lot more work than just watching the one but she and my dad (also known as Papa G) did great. I knew they would. According to them, everything went “perfectly.”

We dropped the kids off Friday night at 6pm, ran home like giddy kids and got ready for our date night. I don’t know about you but I’ve always loved getting ready before heading out for the night. Whether it be with my girlfriends or husband it’s always fun. Julien and I started the evening with a glass of bubbly, of course ;), and listened to music. Once we were all dolled up, we left for dinner at Roberto pizza on Preston. Have you been? If not, it’s a must. It’s a quaint pizza shop, in the heart of Little Italy. They offer THE BEST wood oven baked pizza. Trust me. Pizza is my FAVOURITE food and they do it right. They make wonderful thin crust pizzas which range between $14-$19. We ordered the Pirlo (my absolute fav from this restaurant) and the Enzo. As for their drinks, they serve their wines in adorable glass cups. Love it!!! We had a glass of their Rose and their house red, both of which were great and went down nicely.

 

We ate our meal on their patio. It’s small and can only fit about 8 people comfortably but it’s so quaint and great for people watching. If you can, we recommend eating outside. As you can tell from the pics, it was a rainy evening which also made for a nice atmosphere. Lucky for me, I have a lovely husband who ran back to the car to grab us some umbrella’s for our walk back. I was grateful that he did because it really started pouring on our way back.

IMG_20170714_211042We finished the night off with a cocktail at Andaz rooftop bar. As you already know, we started our last date night off at this spot and really enjoyed it so we decided to end the night there. The view is like no other and they make delicious cocktails.

Overall, it was a lovely date night. Being a mom of two little ones, I love being able to get dressed up and enjoy some one-on-one time with Julien. Holding hands while walking and really just focusing on one another.

We “slept in” and called mom around 9am to see how their night went with the kids. Turns out that they were on their best behavior. Both slept through the night and, although the kids are busy, they thoroughly enjoyed their time alone with the kids. Later that morning, we met them at the local splash pad/park and enjoyed the outdoors and beautiful day.

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I am very grateful for mom and Papa G taking the kids overnight but more importantly SO thankful for the fact that I finally feel like I have my mom back. She is slowly regaining her strength and is doing such an amazing job recovering from chemo. I am so proud of her and the amazing progress she’s made this year. She is such a fighter and inspiration.

A BIG shout out to all of those fighting a battle against cancer. My heart goes out to you and your families and I send you my love and strength. Remember the cancer is only one part of your family’s story. Try to focus mainly on all of the lovely things your family and life have to offer. Cherish them and enjoy every day to the fullest.

Ciao for now,

Ash xo