FiftyThree is at best a mid-tier european restaurant masquerading as modernist cuisine. The decor is a pleasant spartan rustic; the service is generally good, and the dishes are nicely plated. The failure however is in the taste of the food. One can’t help but feel that so much time was spent in planning on how to “wow” patrons visually, that the chef in the process neglected to “wow” gastronomically. Back when this place opened in 2008, there wasn’t much to compare against, but now with the likes of Novus and especially Restaurant André, there’s really a sense of fatigue to this former must-go destination for molecular gastronomy.
The last time we dined at the space that is now Brasserie Les Saveurs, it was still the trés upscale dinner buffet at the St. Regis. Now, this former all-you-can eat shrine for gastronomes has been reinvented as a classic French restaurant. While not the most exciting culinarily-wise, it’s a solid choice for a date night or a special occasion. This particular evening, it was S & L’s anniversary, and they invited a group of us along to help celebrate. Overall the food was not too bad, with the highlights being a made-to-order steak tartare, dessert, and the Michael Buble-esque lounge singer that kept us well-crooned all evening.
Every once in a while, it’s nice to be able to sit down to something that’s less science experiment and more… well, comfort food. Alton Brown’s curry chicken pot pie is one such dish. Back in the States, G and I would buy a Costco roast chicken just so that we could have breast meat to use for this recipe. Since there isn’t exactly a plethora of Costco’s or cheap (western) roast chicken, I haven’t had a chance to make pot pie until recently when I was “gifted” 4 kg of turkey breast. But that’s a story for another day.