High-end food is a rarity in Ottawa. Or at least good high-end food. Or at least good high-end food that doesn't cost an arm and a leg – I'm looking at you, Beckta.
last weekend we treated ourselves to a little top-chef-style cuisine at a local (and I use the term 'local' loosely) hidden gem: Mariposa Farm. It's a 300-acre duck and goose farm in Plantagenet that promotes local, organically grown products (both veggies and meat). So no sleeping in for us on Sunday; we had to be up with the lark to get out to Plantagenet – about 30 minutes drive past Orleans – for the 11am lunch sitting. Oh, the lengths we go to for good food…
But it was well worth it. The meal was pricey at $35 – but not unreasonable for the quality of both the ingredients (they either produce everything on-site or source it from local farms withing a small radius; something like 100 km, I think) and the food (some seriously tasty and inventive dishes). And this was a 3-course table d'hôte, so definitely a little more bang for the buck.
As for the dishes, they change every week, but we pretty much got to sample all three options available for each course. I was happy with all my own choices. The duo of duck and goose liver pâtés was a nice little starter, but the main course – grilled goose breast with pureed cauliflower, and a white currant sauce was to die for. The addition of a piece of rendered duck skin was welcome, offering a bit of texture in every mouthful. And it was served with fresh fiddleheads! Yum!
While I would usually pick the chocolate item for dessert – like Mel did – I was seduced by the offer of a cheese plate, featuring four locally made cheeses. Needless to say, I had my fair share of Mel's chocolate mousse too.
And what could be better? We ended the meal with a quick tour of the farm, guided by the owner. It was definitely a treat and, despite the distance, something we'll do again if ever we have foodie guests in town that don't mind a Sunday morning drive out to the country.