My third stop of the Fried Chicken Challenge brought to an ol' favourite in the Cascade Room. Ever since my first visit many years ago, I had an eye on returning, but once again I was tempted by newer restaurants. To fit this visit into my busy schedule (was doing the Chinese Restaurant Awards at the same time), I had to bring the whole family since they were with me already. Not necessarily a place I would normally bring the kiddies, but they seemed comfortable nonetheless.
We kicked things off with 2 small egg appies including the Devilled Egg with house-made gravlax, smoked paprika and dill. No, the 80's didn't call wanting their devilled egg back because this was actually decent. It was creamy with a background tang from the mustard and a slight bitterness from the paprika. Next, we had the Scotch Egg served with HP sauce. Inside, the yolk was appealingly runny where the egg white was not rubbery. It was encased with meaty and lean sausage that was rather mild tasting. The whole thing was coated with breading that was fried up beautifully crisp.
Onto a dish that I enjoyed the last time I was here, we had the Polenta Fries with curry aioli. These were firmly crunchy due to the aggressive deep fry. I would've liked to see more of the soft polenta texture in the middle since these were pretty dried out (unlike last time). I found the aioli to be creamy with only the lightest hint of curry. We worked our way up to the larger appie in the Duck Confit Risotto with chanterelle mushrooms and pickled cherries garnished with rocket. Although devoid of moisture, the risotto was cheesy while sporting firm rice. The generous chunks of duck confit were tender and moist.
As for the dish I was originally here for, the Southern Fried Chicken was completely on point. This featured 2 large brined deboned chicken legs coated in a firmly crunchy well-seasoned batter. Succulent and bordering on salty, the chicken was excellent. Peppery and salty, the thick red-eye gravy went well with the soft almond buttermilk biscuits. To cut the heaviness, there was a mound of tangy braised purple cabbage and crunchy French beans.
As per usual, my son went for his standby being the Bacon Cheeseburger with Blue Goose Farms organic grass fed beef, house smoked thick cut bacon and aged cheddar. Prepared medium, the lean meat patty was in between dry and moist. The tomato chutney provided a freshness that was a nice departure from plain ketchup. What brought this all together was the well-toasted airy brioche bun that held up to the ingredients. Oh and the fresh-cut kennebec fries were solid too being crispy with enough potato texture left.
Mostly for my daughter, we got the Arctic Char with spaghetti squash, chanterelle mushroom, leeks, french beans, cauliflower puree and pine nut agrodolce. Exhibiting a crispy skin while the meat was moist and flaky, the char was mildly seasoned. However, the pine nut agrodolce added an aromatic sweetness (albeit greasy). Again, the beans on the plate were barely cooked with a lively crunch. Even though we were mainly here for the fried chicken, it was a good decision to try out a few more items because it didn't disappoint.
*2 dishes were complimentary*
- Solid eats
- Understated vibe
- Not expensive, but not cheap either