This past Friday I decided to take some friends out to a nice dinner for a little taste of luxury in downtown Kitchener at The Ren@41. It is an interesting looking little building with a cool modern city design. As we arrived, the hostess took our coats and brought us to our table. I liked the lengthy layout of the restaurant because although there were quite a few tables, it felt like a cozy little bistro. Shortly after we were sat, our waiter came to get us something to drink. I was pleasantly surprised with the drink menu, there were quite a few original and innovative cocktails to choose from which made my decision rather difficult. I decided to try the coconut mango margarita and could not have been happier. It was tangy, sweet, and refreshing - a great way to start my meal. The four of us decided to share two appetizers and we chose the fried risotto balls and the pistachio crusted brie. What I enjoyed most about the appetizers was how well everything on the plate mingled together. The risotto balls had a rich, creamy, smoky flavour and was well balanced with some peppery arugula and a bright tomato sauce with just a little kick. The brie was also a good choice, it was warm and gooey just like it should be and the port soaked cherries added a lovely sweet element to the dish. I enjoyed the classic combinations - crisp and creamy, salty and sweet. Overall the appetizers were wonderful and perfect for sharing,
Next was the main course, I was happy to see Cornish hen on the menu as it is slightly less common. The display of the dish on a long plate provided an elegant effect to the presentation. The use of symmetry on the plate kept the dish looking tidy and organized. The flavour of the Cornish hen was lovely, especially paired with a glass of Chardonnay. The hen was well seasoned, instead of covering up the natural flavour of the hen they accented the flavour and let the hen speak for itself. It was served on a bed of beet relish, which accompanied the hen quite nicely. The legs, stuffed with bacon, leeks and goats cheese, was delicious however the meat was just slightly rubbery - not under cooked but the texture was just not quite right. The flavours of the hen mixed well with the herb mashed potatoes, while they had a unique flavour they did not overpower the dish.
Lastly was the dessert, although the server forgot to ask about coffee or tea when we asked about dessert our server brought us a plate with the a display of the desserts available, I chose to get the raspberry panna cotta and was pleasantly surprised. The presentation was nothing special but it tasted delicious, it was light, airy and not too sweet. It was a nice way to end the meal because it was not too heavy
Overall, the restaurant was a lovely experience, I really enjoyed the flavours and they mingled well together creating a real composition. The only complaint was that the dark meat was just slightly rubbery, however I would absolutely go back for another night out!