Small Plate Dining (The Alex Restaurant)

The Alex’s Restaurant brings a new concept to the wining and dining experience in Burlington, ON by offering ‘small plates’. It is an ingenious creation because it has succeeded in setting itself apart from tapas, both in terms of serving size and continental influence. The chef has the freedom to create a menu which ranges from fois gras to mac ‘n cheese, or from flatbread to poached lobster.

Almost every item on the menu seemed enticing and the three of us randomly ordered what we thought would be interesting. When it came to serving, the waiter started by bringing us the salad and the flatbread, and they were followed by the chicken wings stuffed with fennal sausage, pan roasted basa with mash, and  mac ‘n cheese. The richer dishes, like the osso bucco and short ribs, came last.  They had quite appropriately helped us create the sequence of a tasting menu from our choices. We rounded off our dinner with a cheese board.

Each dish was nicely crafted both in taste and in presentation. The fine dining twist was impressive. There was lobster and shrimp morsels in the mac ‘n cheese. The basa fillet sat on mash potatoes infused with truffle oil. Then the surprise factor claimed victory when the modest bubble and squeak found its way into the menu as a side to the stuffed chicken wing. My favorite was the pork osso bucco with the meat coming off easily off the bone of the pig’s hock, and both skin and meat simply melted in my mouth. Taste and texture was all for indulgence.

When it came to service, we belonged to an early dinner crowd and found the tempo well paced and attentive. As the evening went on, we noticed patrons waiting for a long time before their food arrived, and the waiters looked rushed. This quibble aside, the ambiance was good for a gathering with friends or for a dinner date. With a good glass of wine, it  would be easy to carry on the conversation while the food arrived.

I still have many dishes I want to sample from the menu, and I will return to The Alex.

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The Alex Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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