It’s a warm Friday evening and we find ourselves on the patio of Elements with some good friends for dinner. The patio is lively, yet very comfortable with soft lighting and comfortable seating.
Elements is one of the few restaurants in town offering a tapas menu. Tapas are little dishes great for sharing and originate from Spain; perfect for a relaxing evening meal filled with conversation, great friends and good wine. In addition to their very popular Tapas, Elements also offers a traditional menu focusing on gourmet and complex menu choices. The waitress tells us about the specials and we decide to save the Tapas menu for another evening.
We begin the meal with a couple of soups and the strawberry salad. The cucumber and avocado gazpacho is fresh, creamy and full of summer, but I love citrus so I miss the hint of lemon that I was expecting. The hot carrot and ginger soup is flavourful and the hint of cumin is a good balance with the ginger. My husband has the strawberry salad, which offers a great balance between the sweetness of the berries and the tartness of the citrus dressing.
For our main dishes, we try a couple of the evening’s specials including the breast of chicken stuffed with cremini mushrooms, leeks, jasmine rice and duck confit crowned with an almond and blackberry reduction. Wow, what a mouthful! Delicious, although I’m not sure how the blackberries fit into the mix and I didn’t quite wrap my taste buds around the duck confit—maybe I missed something.
Never mind though, those ingredients are not missed at all and as far as I’m concerned, this is the best main course of the evening. We sample the fettuccini with shrimp, fresh asparagus tips, spring onion and white wine cream sauce. The fresh pasta is perfect, courtesy of The Pasta Shop in Peterborough, and although we prefer our sauce a little thicker, this one was not over-powering and the asparagus is cooked just right with a tiny bit of crunch and light taste of freshness.
Finally, we languish in the perfection that is the Tournado “Michael”—AAA beef tenderloin with Crossroads Farm chèvre baked in a puff pasty collar finished with Port and Fig sauce. This dish is lovely and rich without being heavy; and the cheese in the perfectly baked pastry ensures the steak remains succulent; pure delight for any meat lover.
Possibly the best dish of the evening is the brandy infused orange crème brûlée. This dessert is smooth and creamy without being heavy and is the most decadent night cap you will ever experience.
For a luxurious dining experience, treat yourself to a night out at Elements where dinner out is more that just a meal out—it is a true experience.
—reviewed by PtboCanada's food writer Tammy Simon