Thursday, October 18, 2012

A First Look at the Menu From New Leopold Chef

Leopold Executive Chef Michael Dean Reynolds. (Photos: Leopold)

By the time the smoked rabbit leg arrived to the table we were completely stuffed. We had already consumed 11 courses—and there were seven more to come!—but we couldn't resist this glistening piece of meat that was drizzled in rabbit reduction and sat atop rich layers of lentils, dandelion greens and mission figs.

For me it was the standout dish of the special media tasting from Michael Dean Reynolds, Leopold's new executive chef. It represented the type of hearty fare he cranked out when he was chef de cuisine at The Gage for five years.

And while The Gage is more formal with a downtown price tag, the Belgian-inspired Leopold is very neighborhood friendly with entrees not exceeding $23. Reynolds has also scaled down the menu from some of the heavier items (though he left the poutine and pierogi) and integrated his lighter style and approach to seasonal cuisine.

One of the biggest additions is the plats du jour, where he'll do daily specials such as braised short ribs on Wednesdays, a white bean cassoulet with duck confit and sausage on Thursdays, and a $30 three-course, prix-fixe mussels dinner on Sundays. Also, look for a Belgian-influenced brunch to start on Nov. 11.

Here are some of the highlights of the new fall menu:

Smoked rabbit leg drizzled in rabbit reduction and set atop rich layers of lentils, dandelion greens and mission figs

Seared Diver sea scallops with pears, roasted butternut squash and white bean-bacon puree

Skirt steak pot au feu with bacon, endive, pearl onions, mushrooms, Fingerling potatoes and consomme

Veal sweetbreads with arugula, apples, roasted hazelnuts, red onions, Dante's cheese and warm bacon vinaigrete

Shellfish Waterzooi of mussels, scallop, prawn, smoked trout and root vegetables in a coconut-celery broth


Michelle said...

I too was here on that evening...the dishes were fantastic! The atmosphere cozy--the service, impecable...and Dining Diva--your hair was fabulous!

312 Dining Diva said...

Thank you, Michelle! It was time to change it up a little! :D