Sunday, October 27, 2013

W&G - The Re-Launch

Food has always played a huge part in my life.  I started cooking at a very young age and my friends and I have always been lovers of going out to eat as often as we possibly can.  Even back in our high school days, my friends and I always went out for dinners, Wienstein and Gavino's was always on our list.  My fondest memory of eating at Wienstein's was one beautiful Friday night, at the end of the hockey season, eating on the front terrace with the Habs.  That's right, Saku Koivu, Mike Komisarek, Andrei Markov and all the rest of them - best night of my life!





Last week I received an email invitation from the Tracey Brooke PR firm, inviting me to the launch of Wienstein and Gavino's new menu by their new Italian Chef Giuseppe Sacchetti.  I immediately replied yes and couldn't wait to try what the new menu has to offer.  I never really loved Wienstein's food, except for their Caprina pizza, delicioso, but I was excited to see what their new menu would have to offer.  Oh and their Sangria isn't too bad either, I've spent many beautiful summer nights on their terrace enjoying pitchers of the delicious drink.  






As my best friend and I arrived that night, we were immediately greeted by the Tracey Brooke PR girls.  They showed us to the perfectly setup cocktail area where we were served glasses of white wine and grabbed a seat at one of the tables.  Charcuterie platters with delicious 18 month aged parmesan, garlic foccacias and marinated olives and veggie platters kept us at bay while we mingled with other invitees.  As we sat and chatted, I noticed how attentive the staff at Wienstein's was that night.  The staff kept asking us if we needed anything, kept re-filling our wine glasses and even came around offering us more munchies - my table was really impressed with how great the service was!  





While we sat and gabbed, a few waiters and waitresses passed around the cutest looking meatballs.  Served on a mini plate with a mini fork, the all beef meatballs were tender, lightly flavoured and delicious.  I thought the texture was slightly on the mushy side and disintegrated in your mouth.  I love soft meatballs, but I thought the texture was just a tad too soft - but absolutely delicious.   






After the mingling and snacks, we all made our way upstairs for the main event, tasting what the new menu has to offer.  A long large table rustically decorated, very fitting for the fall season, was filled with plate after plate of beautifully presented new dishes.  We went to grab a seat at one of the many empty tables, but a very rude and obnoxious waiter came right up and demanded we move immediately.  I thought that was totally uncalled for, especially since my dining partner has a severe knee injury and was walking with a cane - a very stylish pink cane I must add!  We walked to the next table where the waiter followed us and demanded we leave again.  I looked at him with my furious "I'm going to kill you stare," and asked him to explain why everyone else was sitting and we were not allowed.  He started mumbling that these tables were for paying clients.  I decided to completely ignore his demeaning and disgusting answer and went straight to the assistant manager who informed me that I was more than welcome to sit at any table.  I gave the rude waiter a very sarcastic smile and sat right down at the table of our choice.  


We settled in to our table and I immediately got up to get us some grub and more wine.  Chicken parmesan, mini pizzas, octopus salad dressed with a lemon vinaigrette, bruschetta, mini lasagnas and much more.  The mini dishes were all beautifully presented and displayed buffet style.  I grabbed a few dishes and two glasses of wine, for me and my friend, and sat down to eat.






The chicken parmesan was served in these very cute mini square plates with the cutest mini forks - clearly I loved this serving idea.  The chicken parmesan was one bite, but from that one bite I could tell that the chicken was crisp on the outside and tender on the inside.  The marinara sauce was very flavourful and tied the dish together very well.  I like this a lot and went back for a second bite.  





Next I made the mistake of serving my friend what I thought was chicken, oops, it was octopus - she will kill me after reading this.  The octopus was tender and not overly chewy.  The lemon vinaigrette complimented the octopus and made this dish delicious and refreshing. 





The bruschetta was served on what looked like toasted baguettes.  As I bit into the bruschetta, the bread completely fell apart.  I always serve my bruschetta on crispy pieces of baguette so it can withstand holding up all the juices from the tomatoes - that was not the case at Wienstein's.  Needless to say this would have been really good, but fell short because of the soggy mushy bread.  





The mini pizzas I tried were really good.  The thin crust was perfectly crisp and the topping were fresh and delicious.  The plain cheese pizza went over very well at our table too - but I preferred the ones with lots of toppings.  





Next came one of my favourtie dishes at any Italian restaurant - tortellini rose.  Served on little plastic spoons, the tortellini was actually a disappointment.  I don't know if the awful taste came from the tortellini or the plastic spoon, but it was completely unappetizing and almost inedible.  It really was a shame as I remember liking the rose at Wienstein and Gavion's.  





The best part of the evening was about to begin, Chef Giuseppe's pasta and pizza demonstrations.  We all gathered around a large table with a hot plate and all kinds of yummy ingredients to create one of his new pasta dishes on the menu.  A funghi pasta with a burnt butter and white wine sauce.  The demonstration was lively and a lot of fun; Chef Giuseppe is a real character and kept us all extremely entertained.  Once the pasta was done, he served us all a small tasting, I think he underestimated how many of us would have wanted to taste the dish.  The dish was full of flavour, but way too greasy - I expected that because all the spectators kept asking him to put more butter.  As we sat back down at our tables, full plates of the pasta was served to us.  We were four people at my table, only one of the dishes of pasta was edible (yes, the fourth and only edible plate, came out after the other three and was from a different batch).  The pasta properly prepared was absolutely delicious, my plate however tasted of a severe frozen mushroom taste - yuck!









Then it was time to make pizza, no joke we tossed the pizza dough, topped the pizzas and sent them back to the kitchen for um probably the garbage as most look atrocious - but it was so much fun!  We stood around another large table and Chef Giuseppe showed us how to properly stretch and toss a pizza dough - I mastered my skills and made a pretty darn good pizza!  Really was the highlight of the night.  







As we finished up, I noticed how many people seemed to have left already.  I thought this was bizarre as this was probably the most entertaining media event I had been to in such a long time.  As I walked back to my table, I grabbed us a bunch of pizzas to try.  Every piece of pizza was delicious.  the crust was thin, crisp and not greasy at all, just a really good pizza dough.  I asked the Chef a couple of his secrets to his dough, like if he uses sugar or honey (very important question), he responded that at the restaurant he uses sugar but when making special pizzas at home, he always uses a good quality honey - that was the answer I expected.  





After gobbling up all the pizza we could possibly manage, it was time to waddle our way home.  Our evening at Wienstein's reminded me of how much fun we used to have at this place, the food may not have been the greatest back then, but we always had a very fun night and their Caprina pizza never disappointed.  The front of the house at Wienstein's was exceptional at the event, re-filling our wine glasses without even being asked to, coming around and making sure we had everything we needed, just goes to show you how much they really care and how enthusiastic they are about their new menu and Chef.   
The gift bag: gluten free pasta, marinara sauce and spicy pasta chips


I told my sister how much fun I had that night, and she remembered how much fun she used to have going there with her friends and decided that she was going to have her birthday dinner there next week.   Cannot wait to try the Osso Bucco, Chef Giuseppe's favourite dish on his new menu.  


Wienstein & Gavino's on Urbanspoon














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