This evening was one of those evenings where everything fell into place, from the entertainment to the food to the company to the ambiance...one of those rare social events that make life special.
We had a wonderful time with friends at The Nest piano bar on Albert Street.
I admit we weren't expecting much so perhaps that is one of the reasons we so fully enjoyed ourselves, but....no....it really was a good time!
The four of us shared everything from burgers to salads to pastas to liver and onions to red wine with robust tannins to creme brulee desserts to baked German potatoes. Everything was perfectly sourced, prepared and presented.
My grilled chicken burger was properly cooked and under the lettuce and tomato were sweet blueberries and baked brie...to die for! My field greens salad was accompanied by a house made raspberry vinegrette that was not at all sweet, perfect with greens that were fresh, properly cleaned and not a brown spot anywhere! The freshness alone was enough to establish it as one of the best restaurant green salads in town. My friend gave me a good taste of her liver and onions and o wow...that is definitely what I am ordering next time we go there! AND there WILL be a next time. I have not been able to force myself to eat liver for quite some time after bad experiences in restaurants in recent years, but this was amazing....tender, rather than overcooked and dried out. The bacon slice on top of that liver was so thick it was sufficient source of protein for a dinner all by itself! It was also perfectly cooked-no goopy, chewy, barely cooked fat on it. My husband truly enjoyed his chicken fusilli as it had such good flavour and the pasta was ever so slightly el dente as it should be. My other friend's burger had so many delightful layers he had to eat it with a knife and fork as there was no way he could get his mouth around it.
The talented Chris Hamilton entertained us greatly with his piano and harmonica skills and his banter. We handed him request after request and he complied quite happily. He was a lot of fun to watch and listen to. Hopefully we can return some evening when he is there again.
After an extended dinner we came back to our home for tea and more visiting. These are very special friends that we don't get to see nearly often enough and that added to the sweetness of the event.
If we had not received that gift card to go to The Nest I doubt we would have gone. "Piano Bar" can mean many things as we have learned over the years and not all piano bars are very special. Some have been downright sleezy with dreadful food. The Nest though has some of the best food we have eaten since we moved here and it is most reasonably priced. There is something on the menu for every taste and wallet. There are at least two excellent red wines on the list...two more excellent red wines than most of the local restaurants carry. The beer prices are very reasonable!
It is possible that we have a new, "regular" date night hangout!