Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Sorrentino's South - 21st Annual Mushroom Harvest


After my visit to the new Buco Pizzeria in St Albert, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to attend another Sorrentino's event — the 21st Annual Mushroom Harvest. This is a month-long event (September) at all Sorrentino's locations in the city including sister restaurant Bistecca, though Bistecca's menu offerings are different and less extensive. Last week, I was invited to a media event at Sorrentino's South location that showcased almost all of their Mushroom Harvest menu items this year. In past years, I have tried a couple of Mushroom Harvest dishes at Bistecca and I was happy with them. But this year, I think Sorrentino's really outdid themselves. And remember, I generally dislike mushrooms (in fact, I hate them), so I'm especially impressed that Sorrentino's managed to get me to lick the plate clean with all these mushroom dishes.


Starters (right to left):
1) Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup
This is the only dish I did not particularly enjoy. I expected a smooth and creamy consistency, but the soup was a coarse mixture of mushroom bits and cream like the ingredients had just been dropped together into a blender. I also found it a bit too salty, which was further enhanced by the sherry infusion.
2) Mushroom Salad
The salad was pretty standard with a refreshing lemon vinaigrette. Mushrooms were well-seasoned and did not have any grassy taste.
3) Wild Mushroom Fritelle
My absolute favourite starter! The fritelle was basically a moist cake doughnut with specks of savoury mushroom inside. I would call this a dessert disguised as a starter. If I could only order one dish, it would be this one.
4) Stuffed Portobello
I was slightly apprehensive of this one since I never enjoyed the taste of portobello mushrooms. But the way this was prepared was quite nice, and honestly the goat cheese filling dominated the flavour, along with the crunchy pine nuts topping.


Before going into the entrees, I would like to mention some of the drink pairings we sampled. The first was La Marca Prosecco, a light and crisp sparkling wine with fresh citrus notes. For the month of September, this drink is available in mini individual bottles as pictured, so you don't need the whole table to participate in order to enjoy some bubbly. I don't have pictures of the other featured wines, but they are the Santa Cristina Le Maestrelle and Tenuta San Guido Le Difese, both red wines exclusively available at Sorrentino's. Apparently you can't find them anywhere else in Alberta.


Risotto and Ravioli
5) Risotto
Made with Carnaroli rice, this soft and creamy risotto is the perfect comfort food with a mild flavour that complements the grilled shrimp and lobster mushroom. Maybe it's partly due to the shrimp's flavour absorbing into the mushroom, but I think the lobster mushroom actually has a distinct seafood taste to it. No wonder Executive Chef Sonny Sung claims this is his favourite mushroom!
6) Wild Mushroom Ravioli
A well-executed pasta with a delightful savoury filling. The ravioli was al dente, which is actually pretty rare since most places make them soft.


Secondi
7) Veal and Mushrooms
For me, the highlight was the salted caramel sauce. It was delicate and savoury, and perfectly complemented the meat.
8) Catch of the Month
September's catch is the cobia, poached in San Benedetto mineral water (fancy!). Cobia has large flakes with a firm texture and mild flavour. I prefer tender and fatty fish, so this fillet wasn't for me. But just like the veal, the sauce really made this dish. The beautiful thyme lemon chardonnay reduction was light and refreshing.


Dessert:
9) Grand Marnier Rice Pudding
The rice pudding is similar in texture to the risotto, except it's not as creamy and a bit more sticky. I could definitely taste the Grand Marnier (kind of like how you can taste the rum in a rum cake). Not my cup of tea, but I really enjoyed the sweet candy cap mushrooms. (Yes, candy cap is a type of mushroom!) They have a rich and aromatic maple syrup flavour. Very unique indeed.


I was impressed with the Mushroom Harvest dishes at Bistecca, but now I am even more impressed. I need to remember to make a reservation at Sorrentino's before the Mushroom Harvest ends. Must-try dishes? The wild mushroom fritelle for sure, and either the risotto or ravioli (or both!). Sorrentino's will also be hosting a number of events throughout the month. Find out more on their website: Click here!

Sorrentino's South Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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