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Location: 51 St. Nicholas St., southwest of Bloor and Yonge, south of St. Mary's St.

Thanks to a lovely talk on representations of the heavens in Medieval Rus, my department treated a few of us to dinner with the guest speaker tonight at a nearby French restaurant I'd never noticed before, Matignon. The building had the comfortable amience of a converted house, bland decor eclipsed by full linens and candlelight. Our waiter thoughtfully found an out-of-the-way place for our academic luggage, backpacks and briefcases, always an issue at after-talk dinners.

Three of us began with the Soupe de Poisson, a pleasant, very smooth blend of fish with a tomato base. The waiter served us dollops of mayonnaise with saffron into the soup. Saffron might've gone quite nicely with the soup, but I wasn't sure I could taste it in the mayonnaise. The croutons and cheese (of some sort) were well worth having, though. The rest of the group opted for bruschetta, served with goat's cheese, tomato, and garlic - none of them mentioned how they were, so I can't tell you.

My julienned striploin of lamb was a daily special, marinated and underflavored, but cooked perfectly. The tenderness was lovely, but the flavor lacked. The crême brûlée with which I finished was slightly beyond caramelized: it was somewhat burnt. I found the citrus lumps in the custard rather odd.

All the food was competent, but not very interesting. For those who prefer their food underflavored, this would be a lovely restaurant. As for me, I would willingly go back, but I certainly wouldn't seek it out.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 24th, 2005 03:56 am (UTC)
One thing about working nights now--everybody's posts are on a predictable schedule. *These* posts always turn up when I'm keeping company with quarter dogs and tea from stolen hot water ... actually it's pretty comforting. I can always imagine I'm eating something else :) ...
Feb. 24th, 2005 03:59 am (UTC)
When I woke up today, I thought today would be one of the few days this week when I would have nothing food-related to post about. Little did I know...

One of the really nice things about having a guest speaker who's a medievalist about my age (I'm the only student medievalist in my department) is that it naturally leads everyone else to ask me about my dissertation. That was rather fun. The other students who went along work on ancient astronomy.
Feb. 24th, 2005 04:02 am (UTC)
That sounds like fun to me. Obviously, I'm not the only person in my department--but I am the only 15th-century person. It is always nice to have someone to talk to about it. Of course, sadly enough, I grandstand about Lydgate regardless ...
Feb. 25th, 2005 03:14 pm (UTC)
I visited Matignon for lunch during Winterlicious and had rather the opposite experience; the Beef Bourgignon was a bit too salty and my bags were sneered at by the waiter, then shoved on to the seat between me and my dining partner. Mind you, for $10, it was just fine otherwise.

It probably goes without saying that I found your journal via the quarter-dog-eating night owl who has commented above - hope you don't mind!
Feb. 25th, 2005 06:11 pm (UTC)
The entire point of Winterlicious is that restaurants are offering it voluntarily, and it should seduce customers into coming back and paying full price for the meal. Matignon did a lousy job fulfilling that goal with you. I found the food somewhat dull, but decent. I think it's just as well that neither of us paid what we could have for our meals. Did you go anywhere else for Winterlicious?

I don't mind at all that you stopped by! If I didn't want people I don't know to stop by, I wouldn't make public posts.
Feb. 25th, 2005 08:13 pm (UTC)
I didn't try any other restaurants this year, but went to Canoe and Pangaea last year. Both were fantastic!
Feb. 28th, 2005 04:34 pm (UTC)
I tried Pangaea for Winterlicious this year and had a very nice meal there too. I've not tried Canoe.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )