Thursday 17 April 2014

Blogger Night at Carens Wine and Cheese Bar

Tonight Teena and I were invited to share an evening with other bloggers at Carens Wine and Cheese Bar. I love cheese and love wine so was really looking forward to this night.

Yorkville's hidden gem; Carens wine and cheese is a quaint, rustic French restaurant specializing in a vast selection of wine and cheese from all over the world. Serving lunch and dinner every day of the week and classic brunch on weekends, Carens boasts a unique dining experience and a delightful summer patio unlike any other.

Located in a quaint old house, Carens, which is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, it has seating on the first and second floor. During the night, there was a good-sized crowd that came in to eat and have a glass or two of wine.

We sat at a long table upstairs. There were about ten of us. A glass of wine, goat cheese, bread almonds and dried apricots were set out to greet us. It was all very good. I had never had dried apricots before and they were delicious! It was matched with a Pascal Jolivet Sancerre 2012, which I quite enjoyed.


The first course, which turned out to be my favorite of the night, was a Tuna Rothschild. It was a one bite amuse-bouche which I loved. Teena is not a fish fan so I had hers too. One was left and Derek at our table wanted to know if someone would like it or would split it with him. As I already had two, I felt compelled to say no. Damn!


Next up was a homemade French Onion soup. I have one every once in awhile and this was fabulous down to the last drop. It was matched with a Renommee Bourgogne, which again I enjoyed.

I love Mac and Cheese and was excited to see three different kinds come out. There was a spicy prosciutto, lobster and a truffle. The truffle was my favorite, whereas Teena's favorite was the spicy prosciutto. The bowls went back to the kitchen empty.

My favorite, the truffle mac and cheese!

From left to right, the lobster, the truffle and the spicy prosciutto. These were paired with a Camelot Chardonnay from California. I usually don't like chardonnays but this matched very well and cut through the heaviness of the cheese. It just shows how important wine and food pairings can be that this one allowed me to enjoy a chardonnay!

Two cheese fondues came out next. One was a classic Swiss and Gruyere and the other a blue cheese. I don't like blue cheese so avoided it and really didn't enjoy the other. As much as I love cheese, I don't like cheese fondues. It meant more for everyone else who were glad to have my portion. The fondue pots went back to the kitchen near empty. It was paired with a Alsatian Gewurztraminer from Zinck. Teena and I both love Gewurztraminer and this was a nice one!

The final course was of course dessert. We had homemade raspberry ice cream and a panna cotta. As good as the ice cream was, I could have had many more glasses of the panna cotta. It was so light, delicious and refreshing. Our final wine was a sparkling Vitteaut Alberti Brut. What a great way to finish an evening!


Matt was our server and looked after us very well and was happy to answer any and all of our questions. We met many fun people tonight, all of whom are bloggers too.

Thanks so much to the people at Carens for inviting us and showing us such great hospitality. I'm anxious to come back in the summer to try the patio.

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