Thursday, March 22, 2012

Eating light at Elements

A few weeks ago, my one of my bf's best pals was in town from NL.  After a few nights of partying, we were quite content to spend a low-key, relaxing night out for a late dinner.  When you live in my hood, there are several dining options, but in this case, we were dying for some rosemary brioche cooked in a tin can - so Elements resto it was!

After being seated we ordered a bottle of Grand Pre's L'Acadie Reserve - our usual pick here since NS wines are priced at just cost + $5.  After pointing out our favorite dishes to our pal, I decided to try a few new-to-me dishes, and order the Micro Greens Salad ($7) and the Roasted Squash Soup ($8) - two of the  lighter menu options.  

The salad was delicious; with farmer's market vegetables and a lovely pear and ginger vinaigrette, it was a fresh choice that provided great crunch.  I ordered the dressing on the side - always cautious of dressing overload - but my friend's salad was expertly dressed, so I'll likely order the dressing 'on' the next time around.  Mitch chose the Indian Point Mussels ($10) as he often does.  The mussels are steamed in L'Acadie Blanc with garlic and herbs - which made our wine a very good choice - and they're served with a nice, sweet potato roll.

Micro Greens Salad

The soup is also fantastic, with the presentation being just as good as the soup itself.  Our server placed a bowl in front of me with a dollop of goat's cheese, several small cubes of squash and some crispy fried sage leaves.  Then, as his colleague poured my warm, thick soup from a lovely kettle, I could smell the squash's sweet aroma.  I'll have to go back again before the weather heats up - this is just the thing for a chilly night.

Roasted Squash Soup

Always a fan of the gnocchi ($21), Mitch ordered Element's latest version with braised lamb, sauteed mushrooms, Brussels sprout leaves tossed in a warm lamb jus.  On top of the tender gnocchi was a sage millet crumble.  This was pretty tasty, but the contrast in textures was a bit to abrupt for me, so next time I'd order that crumble on the side. 

This is a fairly heavy meal - but wonderfully warm and rich and the lamb jus lends just a hint of mystery to the dish. I love when Mitch orders mussels & gnocchi as he can never finish the pasta and my fork swoops in to save the day and clear away the last few delectable morsels!

Braised Lamb Gnocchi

Unfortunately, our pal doesn't live here, so we can't go to dinner with her all the time, but it was nice to be able to spend such a lovely, relaxed evening for her last night in Halifax.  And, lucky us: at the end of the meal, we were given some envelopes with an unknown perk. We'll have to visit Elements again to redeem it, but since our pal went home to NL, we left with three.  Weeeeee!

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