Sunday, April 13, 2008

St John's - Seventh Night

On our own tonight, which was very pleasant indeed!

After a some fairly extensive internet restaurant research, we decided to go with a recommendation of the Potter's, and have dinner at Bianca's. Unsure how busy things were in downtown St John's on a Saturday night, we called ahead to book a table for seven o'clock.

When we arrived, there was one other couple there.

That was no reflection on either the food, the wine or the service, however. Bianca's was our most delightful dining experience to date. There were a number of local and seasonal items on the menu, and the wine list was extensive - and life-sized! No written wine list for Bianca's - instead custom shelving lines one of the restaurant's walls, displaying the current inventory of wine, sorted by region and grape. Fantastic display - but I think it took us longer to decide than if we had been reading a wine list. You get so distracted by the visuals...

This is what we went with, and it was delish:

We'd heard that the scallops and the halibut are particularly good right now, so whenever we've seen these items on the menu, we've leaped at them. My Man's appetizer was a delicious concoction of caramelized scallops on a fennel puree - it was gorgeous!

My own appetizer was a less spectacular but very tasty salad of cucumber, tomato, roasted pepper and eggplant, topped with a squidgy mound of soft Bulgarian feta. We've been terrible about eating vegetables here - I really needed the salad. I felt healthier after three bites.

Choosing our main course was a challenge. Everything sounded so good - and there were a number of specials that were very tempting. In the end, my Man went with the duck breast and I chose the panko-crusted salmon topped with a snow crab ravioli.

The duck was rare and juicy - and the salmon was the most perfectly cooked piece of fish I have ever eaten. The service was friendly and knowledgeable, and allowed us ample time to linger over our wine after the plates were cleared.

After dinner we went for a stroll downtown, wandering along George Street - the party street - where it was too early for much to be going on yet. (It was only 9pm.) Back on Water Street we decided on one last glass of wine at the Gypsy Tea Room before heading home.

This picture is of a poster on the door of an office on Water Street, where they promote and distribute a line of clothing from Iceland. I can't imagine what made them think that this image would inspire people to buy their clothing - this is the scariest family I have ever seen!

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