Review by Danielle Cherkas
Provision: A Match Made in Heaven
Every so often I come across a culinary experience that stays with me, and I can’t seem to shake my night of Provision at Compass Restaurant. From the moment I make my way to the end of the exquisite, long table, I can’t help but feel as though I’m wedding crashing. The guests are laughing, glasses are clinking, and the excitement in the air is palpable.
As executive chef Scott Bailey readies the first of five courses from his tasting menu, the marital metaphor grows stronger. We are served a tantalizing brioche toast, topped with confit tomatoes and a bone marrow and tarragon spread. I take a sip of the wine pairing and as with any great coupling, the subtle flavors of the brioche are heightened by the delicate Pinot Meunier from Niagara’s Vineland Estates. Dear friends and family, we are gathered here today, in the Bronte harbor, to celebrate the union of food and wine in holy matrimony.
Bailey and his team continue to send out plates of foods that are as hopelessly meant for each other as Romeo and Juliet. Let’s face it, watermelon and lobster are from different worlds, but they’re both really sweet. This fact doesn’t go unnoticed by the chef. In his second course, he compresses watermelon into small pucks and tops them with succulent pieces of lobster, drizzled in a watercress puree, creating a match that is anything but a Shakespearean tragedy.
The wine continues to flow as plate after plate of Chef Bailey’s deliciously imaginative creations grace the table with their presence. His smoked halibut with chanterelle mushrooms delights my savory senses. The dish is elevated to decadence with a dollop of bacon butter. Yes, you’ve read correctly. Bacon butter.
As the night winds down, and the last piece of beef falls tenderly off of its short rib into my mouth, the prospects of desert are looking daunting. Luckily, the chef has prepared something as deliciously light as the Late Harvest Vidal it has been paired with. I let the remains of the poached, white peaches linger on my pallet while taking one last deeply satisfied glance at the sun setting over the harbor.
Menu by Chef Scott Bailey
Wine pairings by Cameron West