…and I didn’t even drink all of it. How embarrassing!
Last night, Dark and I tried a new restaurant. Originally, we had wanted to go to The Keg, except this one was called The Keg Mansion. It’s basically a restaurant situated inside a large house. Seems kind of awkward though, since diners have to climb up and down the stairs and navigate through rooms cramped with furniture. It did look quite impressive though, especially with the lighting. It definitely looks different from your usual restaurant.
We tried to make dinner reservations for 7 pm, but they said that they didn’t take reservations on Fridays or Saturdays because they were so busy. I had an exam to write anyway, so we figured we’d go later, after the usual dinnertime rush.
We arrived at around 8:45 pm, with the hostess telling us it would be a 1 hour and 30-45 minute wait. She gave us a card listed at 10:26 pm for the time we would be actively scouted for in order to be seated. Provided they could locate you. In the meantime, we were welcome to peruse the bar on the second floor, and if we could find a table, we could order some appetizers.
The atmosphere was much too loud and stuffy for me – I couldn’t stand the close quarters, and there was no designated waiting area for diners. After a while, I felt an impending headache so we decided to leave. After all, we called Pickle Barrel and they said they would be able to seat 2 within 10 minutes. Perhaps we will come back another night – preferably on a weekday and hopefully with fewer people.
On our way there, Dark thought of a restaurant that had opened recently near Eaton Centre, Joey. I’d forgotten to take a picture, but it was dark outside anyway. I didn’t know when we had arrived; I just found myself facing a quite impressive set of doors. So I honestly didn’t even know it was called Joey until I was seated and was going through the menu.
It was a 20-30 minute wait, which wasn’t too unreasonable considering it was a Saturday night. One of the hostesses gave us a sample of wine while we were waiting, which really helped warm me up. I’d finished it in a few minutes, which really wasn’t the smartest idea since I’m such a lightweight. I can’t hold my alcohol at all.
They had a special for the Double Slush Long Island, so we ordered one to share and yam fries to start:
Left to right:
- yam fries ($8.49): These were pretty good, but not exceptional. The portion was pretty small for an appetizer that you should be able to share. It was sprinkled with freshly grated parmesan and came with truffle lemon aioli for a dip. The dip was the best part, we finished it halfway through the fries and had to get another one. I thought it was just a garlic-y mayonnaise with lemon juice. Dark says it tasted like garlic sauce, found in shawarmas. Turns out we were both right, according to Google (aioli: a Provençal traditional sauce made of garlic, olive oil, and (typically) egg; which was the exact definition of garlic sauce. Seriously.) – they’re all one and the same.
- double slush long island ($8.99 regular, $6.99 special): long island mix, Coke, topped with citrus slush. I really liked this – it was sweet and fizzy, and I couldn’t taste the alcohol, nor did I know that there was Coke in it until just now. Dark didn’t like it so much, he thinks it didn’t really taste like iced tea and instead had a strong alcohol taste. Unluckily, neither of us realized that this had 2 oz of liquor. Whatever alcohol they usually use in there. I was noticeably wobbly on my way to the washroom and quite red in the face.
- hot water: Didn’t mean to capture this, but there you have it – it’s cold and I’d rather drink hot water than iced tap water.
[Top (satiny) from Abercrombie & Fitch.]
We had a booth next to the large windows at the front of the restaurant, which made it really cold because the windows let in a draft. But they had individual heaters on under each table in the booths which made it much more enjoyable! Good idea, but perhaps better insulation would’ve been more profitable in the long run. I guess there’s a limit to how insulated large glass windows can really be, though.
Sashimi tuna salad ($17.99): seared rare ahi, mixed greens, mango, peanuts, avocado & cilantro mint lime dressing. This was really yummy. The tuna was really good, as was the sauce. The mango and avocado gave it a nice twist of flavour and texture, different from a typical salad.
Peppercorn New York ($34.49): peppercorn, brandy & cream reduction with crispy mashed potatoes & vegetables. The steak was so good! The sauce gave it an extra kick – I honestly don’t know how to describe it. I have no idea what the orange-coloured vegetables are, but they tasted kind of like corn. And the long spring roll-like cylinders are the crispy mashed potatoes. They tasted like perogies, with a crispy outer casing instead of a floury wrap.
And of course, we had to try dessert!
Molten chocolate lava souffle ($7.99): with raspberry coulis & vanilla ice cream. This was good as well, but the inner chocolate that spilled out gradually made the dessert much too sweet for me. I liked just the cake part of the souffle coupled with a spoonful of ice cream.
Overall, I feel that the portions are slightly smaller than normal, which enabled Dark and I to still have room for dessert at the end of our mains. The size of the yam fries was the most disappointing, and the salad was smaller than Milestone’s appetizer sized California spring salad with added chicken (which I love! And would only have cost $11.48). For the portion sizes, it was pricey, although the dishes were unique and tasted really good. The atmosphere is more ideal for a group of friends wanting to socialize and are willing to spend the cash, not a couple wanting a romantic candlelit dinner.
By the end of dinner, the alcohol was really getting to me. I had drank more than my share of the long island iced tea, and was feeling quite dizzy. The walk home was fine, with the fresh air and wind on my face. I think what really did me in was the elevator. My stomach dropped every time it stopped and started, and I could only think of how slowly the passing floors blinked by on the display. It was all I could do to lurch down the hallway to the apartment and stumble through the dark to make my way to the washroom. Luckily, all I did was gag, as I managed to keep all the food and alcohol in my system. After a brief rest in a chair swaddled with blankets and a cup of tea, I was able to stand, albeit with alcohol still on my breath. Definitely too exhausted to strain my eyes on the computer.
I really can’t hold my alcohol.
(Image source: joeyrestaurants.com)