For me, this is a first. Intrigued as to how this event would play out, I had to go even though it falls well outside of my normal area of foodie travels.
Encore Catering is located just a tad south of Dufferin and Steeles, they have been in the catering business since 1979. With over 30 years of experience in the industry, I suppose this open house event isn’t primarily to help this business get on its feet. From talking with the staff at Encore, their open house was to introduce their name to food influencers who might not have heard about them and to showcase their talent and flair in the kitchen with excellently executed classic dishes and some more experimental ones.
I must be completely honest with you, I totally did not expect the level of service and class with this event.
We were greeted at the entrance of the parking lot with complimentary valet parking from Gatsby Valet. At first we didn’t believe that the valet parking was where we needed to go, so we drove right past it in search of the entrance of the building. The gentlemen at Gatsby were very courteous and very professional.
Then we walked through this lovely curtained hallway that looked like a scene from a highfalutin wedding reception. My eyes were aglow with the decor and florals.
With the event itself, they basically transformed their kitchen into an open display and serving area for their food. On the menu was an extensive list of items ( Over 25 actually) and all were basically being made fresh in front of our eyes. Not only was this event fully catered with the food, but it also featured a collaboration with Barchef from Queen West which features gastronomic alcoholic drinks.
I tried their Candied Orange Sour with gin, maraschino, campari, lemon, vanilla and egg white. Delicious!
All the staff there were extremely courteous, answering all of our questions about the food and they were very food blogger friendly in that they made sure that there was sufficient lighting for food photos.
I’ll have you know I tried my hardest to eat one of each item on this menu but I have to say that my stomach would not agree to that. I did get through about 90% of it so I’ll break down the things I’ve tried and what I liked about each of them.
Alright, first up is their mac and cheese stuffed chicken wing with pan fried caesar salad. I LOVE comfort food in general, but I love it even more when it’s presented in a fancy manner so it looks like I’m dining classy. Moist, rich and delicious, the combination is deep fried with breading and then served on a plate with the pan fried caesar salad. The concept of the pan-fried caesar salad is interesting, but the flavours weren’t spot on for caesar IMO.
Oh and filet mignon, they had steak for us too. Second up, they had a pan seared scallop on top of a parmesan petite filet mignon. Mmmm, so good. Oddly enough, my favourite part of the dish was actually the watercress spaetzle that they had the steak rest on. Delicate flavour but it was definitely present. Bravo, Encore, this one is definitely a keeper.
Now we move onto some of their appetizers (yes I started with tapas, I’m a rebel that way).
LOVE: Caviar Cannoli, Pecan and Parsley Macaron with foie gras, lobster clam chowder shooters and butter chicken paratha.
Aside from these dishes looking incredibly adorable, their appetizers are spot on with flavour and petite-ness. The Caviar Cannoli is actually a miniature crepe wrapped around a piece of smoked salmon with black and red caviar.
The parsley macarons were definitely interesting as I’ve never really tried a savoury macaron before other than that time I tried one from La Bamboche. The foie gras’ richness definitely balanced well with the slight sweetness of the macaron and fig.
And the lobster clam chowder shooters was so luscious and had great lobster flavour. And plus point, they came with miniature biscuits to go along with it (super cute).
I’ve actually never tried Yorkshire Pudding before this event but I got to try it at Encore with filet mignon with mushrooms. This dish was also quite impressive, classic flavour combinations that taste oh so good. This was the point of which I was getting pretty full in terms of eating mains so I only took a bite.
I also managed to squeeze a bite of their spring rolls that they were serving in their Asian Station. Honestly, coming from an Asian background, not impressed, but the ingredients were fresh.
Now to the desserts, probably one of the more extensive dessert menus I’ve ever seen.
Ergo a shortened list of the things I’ve tried and liked:
Oh and they ended off the event with giving us a monstrosity of a chocolate macadamia nut cookie, an Encore wine opener and a rose. For the sweet touch at the end, I definitely would say that Encore knows a thing or two about throwing a good party and making sure your guests are well fed.
Until we dine again,
-The Piquey Eater