A few years ago, Falconetti's participated in the Foodie Feast with their house-made sausages. And not too long after, they were featured on Triple-D's on the Food Network. Remember what I said about signature dishes? Well, they definitely exploited that fact. Now, there was one problem - the rest of their culinary offerings were dubious at best. So the reliance on a bunch of meat in tubes (some better than others) would not be the best strategy moving ahead. Fast forward to the present and they have hired a new Executive Chef who has decided to take Falconetti's in a different direction.
Enter their Parallel 49 Cask Dinner ($65.00 taxes and gratuity inclusive), which featured 3 courses and a beer pairing with each. I was invited by the manager to try it out with a guest (who happened to be Miss Y). We started with the Parallel 49 "Lord of the Hops" Glazed Smoked Duck Breast. This was paired with an Parallel 49 Custom Cask Beer which was much less rich than the colour would suggest. It went down smooth and easy. The duck itself was smoky and sufficiently tender. The skin needed to be rendered and more crispy. It was served with a frisee and arugula salad with lemon & brown butter vinaigrette topped with a poached free range egg. The egg could've been slightly more runny, but the salad was good nonetheless.
Next up was a House Spiced Confit Pork Loin served with a crispy potato cake and Parallel 49 "From East Van with Love" bacon mushroom ragout topped with crispy onions. For a thick pork loin, it was decently moist and actually juicy in the middle. We liked how there were developed flavours without being salty. The star of the plate was the ragout which exhibited a rich saltiness along with the Earthy mushrooms. The potato cake was indeed crispy and nicely browned.
Lastly, we were served a hot Apple Turnover with cinnamon-spiced cream cheese and smoked maple Jameson caramel. It was curiously served in a bowl, but it was explained that the changeover in culinary direction wasn't complete. Therefore, the kitchen only consisted of a grill and there was a serious lack of plates. Serving vessel notwithstanding, the turnover was really good. The pastry was flaky and crisp on the outside, while the apples maintained a bite with a good balance of sweet and tartness. This was a pleasant end to a surprisingly decent meal at Flaconetti's. If they could get a real kitchen in there, I'm curious what Chef Jamie Birtwistle & Chef Shaun Snelling are capable of.
*Note: This was an invited dinner where all food was comped*
- Lots of strong booze
- Food is pretty decent considering the venue
- Upstairs space is comfortable
- The limitations of the kitchen does prevent more creative endevours (for now)
- $65.00 is not bad considering what is included, but it can be a touch lower