Restaurant Candide

My Last Meal | Candide

In the short while that restaurant Candide has been open, I’ve been lucky enough to try a couple of Chef (and Owner) John Winter Russell’s changing, seasonal menus.  Always a $45 four course table d’hôte menu (with a choice between two main dishes) and using ingredients exclusively from Quebec, Ontario, and the Maritimes – his dishes are always creative and undoubtedly very fresh. In winter months, hearty feasts dominate the menu (think root vegetables, pickled cabbage and Guinea hen – for example) whereas in the summer months the local harvest shines (as you will see below).

Candide’s philosophy for traceability ebbs into their wine selection – establishing close relationships with winemakers and understanding what techniques they use. With a myriad of tasty and unique natural wines,  I strongly suggest opting for the $40 wine pairing.

A couple of weeks back, I parked myself at the chef’s table alongside Mel (from La Pique Assiette) and here is what Chef Winter Russell and Sommelier Emily Campeau had us try:

Candide - Fennel Soup
Fennel and cucumber gazpacho with whitefish caviar. Super refreshing!
Candide - Pearl Morissette
Pearl Morissette, “Cuvée Redfood”, Niagara VQA, 2014, Riesling. A personal favourite of Sommelier Emily Campeau (in-photo).
Candide - Charred broccoli salad
Charred broccoli salad on an arugula pesto with chanterelle mushrooms, dill and shaved Louis D’or Cheese. Yes, it was amazing!
Candide - Redondèl
Redondèl, “Assolto”, Italy, Teroldego Rosato.
Candide - Arctic surf clams
Arctic surf clams with cauliflower, smoked onions and oyster leaf.
Candide - Teutonic Wine Company
Teutonic Wine Company, “Maresh Vineyard”, Oregon, 2014, Pinot Gris.
Candide - Roasted Lamb
Roasted lamb with white turnips, carrots, pickled zucchini, mint and purslane. Hands down one of my favourite dishes I ate all summer. Light and fresh despite being a hearty piece of lamb.
Candide - Viña Maitia
Viña Maitia, Maitia, Chile, 2014, Cabernet. The structure of the wine paired really nicely with richness of the lamb.
Candide - Goat cheese and lettuce
Goat cheese coated between lettuce leaves and topped with camelina. This dish had me at layered cheese. YUM!
Candide - Clos Saragnat
Clos Saragnat, “Préambulle”, Quebec, 2014, Organic Cider. Probably the best Quebec cider I’ve ever had.
Candide - Black raspberry sorbet
Black raspberry sorbet with shortbread and nectarine. The perfect dessert on a hot summer night.
Candide - La Garagista
La Garagista, “Ci Confonde”, Vermont, 2014, White Pétillant Naturel. Wild flowers and natural payasage – just lovely.
Candide - Renardat Fache
Renardat Fache, “Le Cerdon”, Bugey, 2015, Rosé Petillant. The structure of a red, but playful like a white – a seriously drinkable rosé.

A perfect summer meal; satiating and fresh, without being heavy and overindulgent. Special shout out goes to front-of-house maven, Valerie Belisle, who answered Mel and mine’s 101 questions about food, wine and restaurant philosophy.

Located at 551 Rue Saint Martin, in Little Burgundy, Candide is open from Wednesday to Sunday starting at 5pm. Have a look on DINR to see if any last minute reservations have come up.