My first vivid food memory is eating at Mise. Many years ago, in their old location in Osborne Village, my boyfriend took me there for Valentine’s Day. I had a steak (cooked blue rare, I still love it that way) with a rich red wine sauce poured over it and blue cheese sprinkled on top. The flavours were amazing! I’d never had blue cheese before and that new combination of tastes was something I never forgot.
All these years later, Terry and Sue Gereta are still serving up romantic food memories at 842 Corydon Avenue. This Valentine’s Day, they’re doing a fixed four course menu with an optional wine pairing which I would highly recommend.
Good meals go best with good drinks and at Mise they make their syrups, flavoured sugared and salts all in house, creating a drink list worth exploration. Champagne cocktails are one of my weaknesses and they have five to choose from. The Ginger Pear martini is one of my go-to drinks, but I have a soft spot for anything with ginger. A solid wine by the glass selection means that any meal could be paired very well.
You might be surprised to learn that Mise has a bar that ideally suits a casual night out or a quick bite while watching the game. I actually watched this year’s Super Bowl at Mise. Go Seahawks! Of course the dining room on the right side of the restaurant handily accommodates a more romantic evening, if that’s more your style.
If you’re a reluctant salad eater, Mise has the salad that will change your mind. The warm Buche Riblaire cheese that sits like a crown on greens is only made better by the poached figs and candied pecans. It’s like a dessert with bits of lettuce.
Calvin Strong is a new chef in the kitchen and since Terry has shifted to Executive Chef, Calvin has brought some of his signature dishes to Mise. His seared Pork Belly with Korean style slaw had the perfect amount of spice. The lean belly and the crunch of the cabbage was one of my favourite dishes.
Fittingly, the dish that really blew my mind was the steak. Black Angus with garlic rosemary smashed potatoes is a satisfying hearty dish made decadent by the foie butter that lies on the top. Prepared with Bourbon and pickling salt, it’s my new favourite steak topper.
Another great reason to stop in at Mise is their weekend brunch. Sue’s pastry skills really shine on their breakfast service. Open from 10am to 2pm Saturday and Sunday, it is a great alternative to the ordinary weekend fare.
Say what you will about Valentine’s Day being a Hallmark invention, but any excuse to show your love should be celebrated. In that respect, Mise is the perfect cupid.
All photos by Leif Norman