Langdon Hall Dining Room Restaurant 1-519-740-2100 www.langdonhall.ca/dining.htm Mon-Sun 5:30pm-11:30pm
This was my second time at Langdon Hall. It had once been in my top ten list for the best restaurants in the world. I was shocked to discover how different things had become. Was this really still a Relais & Chateaux property? Definitely not deserving of a 5 diamond award. Where shall I start? Well lets begin with my amuse-bouche being flopped onto my table by my waiter muttering ” amuse… is salmon…mignonette”. I caught his arm as he turned to leave and politely asked him to repeat himself “Ya, uh, its smoked salmon, cucumber mignonette atop a fennel puree on crostini”. I sighed as I place the little wonder in my mouth. Hallelujah! My bouche was pleasantly amused with sweet creamy salmon swimming in a lively mignonette, dancing in my mouth. So simple, but so sophisticated. Okay, now I’m getting excited. Maybe my server was just a little nervous, it happens to everyone. Crisp Delft Blue sweetbreads appease me alongside vibrant lambs-quarters(an annual flowering plant) ravioli, topped with a barley grass jus. Spring has sprung in the colours of this dish and it lifts my spirits. Grassy green ravioli so innocent and delicate plays with the devilishly savory sweetbreads to unify provocatively; I drifting peacefully away to a meadow of freshly cut grass. Unfortunately, thirty minutes later my “PEC” (Prince Edward County) lamb entree arrives. The waiter again plopped my dish down, and turned quickly to leave. Oh Monsieur! Once again I asked him if he could describe the dish he presented to me. Looking annoyed he furrowed his brow and mumbled “crisp lamb breast, grilled lamb neck, roasted lamb loin and golden beets in a mustard greens sauce, Navarin. I found it quite odd that the chef would call this dish Navarin as it is an old french recipe for a lamb stew which must include turnips. Not a turnip in sight over here. The lamb neck and most of the bespattered dish was lukewarm, so I motioned for my waiter. Reaching for my plate he stated that he could “heat it up for me”, and an image of him putting the lamb into the microwave appeared my mind. He then suggested making a fresh one and I quickly nodded. Once everything came together it was quite nice, rich in earthy sweet flavours. The Norfolk Country rib eye cooked in hemp was another boring story. A conglomeration of meat, oyster mushroom and chestnut stew, with parsley root in a Langdon maple vinaigrette au Jus. The rib eye was unseasoned and overcooked with a texture similar to that of a dried out filet mignon.
On the bright side they have a cozy bar with a wood burning fireplace called Wilks’ Bar. The walls are adorned with period photos of the Langdon Halls original founding family. A very comfortable atmosphere where you can also enjoy a bar menu filled with delightful treats. Bloody Caesars are garnished with sliced cucumber, how refreshing for my eyes and my mouth. Sommelier, Kathleen Moore, was quite eager to help me choose a luscious wine to accompany my dishes. She selected Chateau Marjosse Grand Vin Du Bordeaux, Pierre Lurton 2005; a sexy wine dark ruby in colour, sweet plum and cherry flavours follow and balance. An equilibrium is achieved.
Overall I’m very disappointed is my dining experience. I felt as though my server had no interest in being there, was rushing around the whole night and seemed annoyed when I requested his attention. I think the dining room staff has become very complacent. The kitchen staff isn’t any better either. They don’t seem to care about the quality of their artistry. This is a 4 star diamond restaurant at best. Seems like the chef has lost his passion for his passion.