It was a cold and stormy night...
No really, it was last Monday, wasn't it? After work we had to stop by the Annex Animal Hospital to buy some more special cat food. That's more than you needed to know, but since we were in the hood we thought we'd try out a new restaurant.
To be honest, because it was rainy, we walked into the first place that looked open and warm. And thus, we found ourselves in The Butler's Pantry.
Open since 1985, the Butler's Pantry offers "comfort food for the health conscious customer." And now that we're on a crunch to get fit before 2012, we are now under that category. The restaurant has a warm and inviting atmosphere. It's actually quite big in the inside, but it still felt cozy. The walls are covered with original water colour art (there's a story about that at the end), and there were small groups of customers scattered in different booths, enjoying their meals.
Man, were we hungry.
We started off with some hummus drizzled with olive oil.
Matt had the Beef Burgundy Casserole - a savoury beef stew slow cooked with carrot, sweet pepper, onion and a hint of red wine. Then topped with a layer of onions and mushrooms, then covered with creamed potatoes.
If that doesn't say "raining day dinner," I don't know what does!
I went with something a bit more exotic - the Chicken Bastilla Pie, which is one of the Pantry's more popular dishes. This famous Moroccan dish is a chicken pie with onions, mushrooms, eggs and cinnamon-scented almonds, wrapped in many layers of buttery filo pastry.
The service was friendly and prompt and our meals were delicious! Definitely would recommend for dates and small group outtings. Or, in our case, a safe haven from the crappy weather outside.
Ok, so about those paintings. They are beautiful, that should be stated first and foremost. But the one above our table had a slight creep factor and I happened to say it out loud when our server came by our table with the cheque. She asked what was creepy about it and I pointed out that while I liked the top portion with the animals, at the bottom of the canvas were two naked women with, what appeared to be, blood steaming from their bodies. I'm not a painter, what do I know?
Well, I defintely didn't know that I was telling the painter herself that I thought it was creepy. The moment the words came out of my mouth, Matt gave me that "look" that said "Yup, you said it" and then I looked at our server and asked "Please, don't tell me you're the artist."
Luckily, she laughed and said she appreciated honest feedback.
Also, lucky for us that I opened my big mouth AFTER our meals arrived.
The Butler's Pantry is located at 591 Markham St.