So last Wednesday I decided it was time for a haircut, it had been about 2 months, which is 2-3 weeks past my usual schedule. K and I get our hair cut at Fernando Cellini on Sussex, which lucky for me, is 3 doors down from Play Food and Wine (@playfoodandwine) one of our favourite restaurants.
For the first year and a half, K and I made the trip for dinner at Play at least once a month. We were there so often that Grayson (their Wine Director) got us in contact with some of the winemakers he knows in Niagara to visit for our honeymoon! We have since slowed down on frequency in which we visit Play, so we can afford a vacation eventually! It had been since the Stratus Dinner in December (December! Like that was such a long wait, jeeze. -K) that we had been, and I was getting impatient to go again, as K can attest too.
I decided to take advantage of the fact that I would be in the area and went for lunch for the first time last Wednesday. It was weird being there during the day, as I didn't recognize the servers or the bartender. I decided to sit at the bar, and had a good chat with the bartender. He asked me how often I had been at the restaurant, to which I responded quite frequently, and I am positive he thought I was lying to him. However, my truth-i-ness was proved, however, when Stephen Beckta, the owner of Play, came out from the back and sat next to me and chatted for a few minutes. I love that the owner, as well as the staff, are so friendly with their customers, as I think that is important to a restaurant's long-term success.
I had a hard time deciding what to eat, as everything is always great, but I ultimately chose the Pork Belly and Steak Frites, the latter of which I have had on every single trip to Play. I was also lucky enough to go on the day that Michael Moffat (Executive Chef) and Katie Brown (Chef de Cuisine) were working the line. This was the first time Michael was in the kitchen while I was eating at Play. The plating was amazing and everything was cooked to perfection.
The Pork Belly dish was totally different from the last time I had it. This time it was a very big piece of Pork Belly, perfectly grilled, with Parsnip Puree, Cranberries, Grilled Apples, and Sage. The tart cranberries were balanced perfectly by the apples, and the puree helped to cut the richness of the Pork Belly.
The Steak Frites are always necessary. For some reason, I just have to order this dish when I go. When K and I go for dinner, we always get laughed at because our "dessert" ticket always has an actual dessert for K, and a Steak Frites for me. Since opening, the Steak Frites has been changed, however (I think) it is the only item that has been on the menu since the beginning. I love the miso marinade on the hangar steak, and the Frites are always perfectly cooked and have just the right amount of sea salt on them. The garlic aioli is a great dip for the Frites and sometimes the Steak.
As much as I love going for dinner at Play, lunch is a fantastic alternative. They have a lunch special of 2 plates for $20! That is an amazing deal for lunch in the Market and I will for sure be back for another lunch visit soon! Maybe K can join me next time?!