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AquaTerra – We LOVE regional ingredients!!

AquaTerra…how you have evaded our patronage, I will never know. This is by far one of the better restaurants in Kingston, in all categories of comparison (service, food quality, worth), and for some ridiculously strange reason C and I had never been there together. C is an AquaTerra regular due to her affiliation with TORF and has had several items on the menu before. I, on the other hand, am an ¬†AquaTerra virgin…NO MORE! And spoiler alert to the evaluation at the end, it won’t be the last time I go either haha.

atmosphere

AquaTerra is just inside the main lobby of the Radisson on Ontario St. and I guess for the past few years C has been trying to find a faster way into the hotel other than the main entrance but has yet to find one. So, we entered through the main entrance like normal people. Upon entering the restaurant you’ll get an almost lounge-y feel to to it, which isn’t a bad thing…I really felt like the atmosphere would’ve been more suited to a nighttime event rather than our casual lunch.

Also upon arrival the excellent service begins. The hostess and our server were almost borderline impossibly kind, which made our dining experience all the more enjoyable. You could tell our server’s passion was in serving fine food, which was so cool to see.

During the week AquaTerra offers a prix fixe menu for $15. This includes a soup or salad, a main, and a dessert with coffee or tea. For the quality of the food and the portion sizing, I would say that the $15 for a lunch is well worth it. On Sundays they offer a brunch buffet but I’ve heard mixed reviews about it. C and I had the prix fixe.

what we had

C ordered one of their refresher mock-tails, she found it a little too heavy on the spritzer with the mango flavour being dulled and the pineapple flavour being too much. Well, I liked it and I guess that’s why I drank most of it. $4.

This was their complimentary rosemary, chive, and red pepper butter to go with the bread basket. I’m not really sure if it’s a staple at AquaTerra or if they change these butters every week, but regardless it was tasty. The red pepper flavour comes through the most but it was definitely an upgrade over your standard butter. We LOVED that they used Pan Chancho bread.

We both got the soup of the day as our first course. This was a cauliflower based soup with chorizo blended in. The soup itself was seasoned wonderfully, although we wished that the chorizo flavour would’ve came out just a tad more. It was thick, creamy, and definitely an awesome starter.I highly recommend it if they ever serve it as a soup of the day again.

This was my curried chicken wrap (grilled chicken, sauteed peppers, onions, sweet curry mayo). It reminded me a lot of a chicken wrap that I had when C and I visited Mackenzie King Estates in Gatineau Park, except the chicken in the Aquaterra version was more juicy and tender. The curry flavour came out beautifully in this wrap and the fries were fresh and absolutely delicious. I wish there were more fries on the plate haha. The only thing that I would add to this plate would be some kind of aioli to go with the fries. Really solid dish though.

C got the AquaTerra burger (Kenview farms black angus burger, sauteed onions, maple dijon mustard). C added cheese for an extra dollar and other than that you would think that it’s your everyday kind of burger. But not all your everyday kind of burgers can taste like a smorgasbord of flavours in your mouth like this one was. The burger was juicy and chock full of flavour, cooked to absolute perfection (right at that point where the meat is cooked through, but there is this massive moisture retention going on).

Okay so by this point we’re actually surprisingly full. Almost to the point of satiation. But we must persist! Dessert awaits!

I got their warm chocolate bread pudding (served with caramel creme anglaise and pralines). I’ve had bad experiences with yucky bread pudding in the past so I’m not sure why I ordered this. I thought I would be way too full to eat anything more, let alone something that had the word bread in it,and the chocolate aspect of it sounded way too rich for me (for those of you that know me, you know that I really don’t like chocolate). I was pleasantly surprised with this dish. The bread pudding was warm and light, and by light I mean as light as a bread pudding can be. The chocolate flavour was relatively subtle contrary to its appearances (I mean look at that picture…it looks like it was left soaking in a chocolate fountain for twenty minutes). I didn’t end up finishing it because I was way too full, but it was definitely a good way to end of a meal.

C was even more full than I was so she got the ice cream. Their ice cream comes from a regional creamery called Slickers near Picton, ON. This particular day’s ice cream was made from local Concorde grapes. Our taste palettes were definitely not prepared for this one. When you usually think of grape you think of a clear, crisp flavour in some kind of juice medium. This was a very vivid grape flavour in a cream medium, so the creaminess really threw us off. It was really tasty and we really liked that they use regional ice cream. C and I will definitely be taking a trip to Prince Edward County to try more of Slickers ice cream. Oh, one more thing. Look at that portion sizing. THREE SCOOPS?! Too much for us, man.

overall

4.5 (out of 5) for food

4 (out of 5) for atmosphere

Eating at AquaTerra for their prix fixe was such a nice treat for C and I. We loved our server and the regional ingredients that were used. The presentation of the food was tasteful and the food itself was tasty (see what I did there? haha). Will we be back? Definitely. We need to go there at night and try their dinnertime menu and atmosphere. I wish we could have scored them higher for atmosphere but it was just too odd during the day time.

One more story. Our lovely server forgot to charge us for C’s refresher mocktail and instead of running back to the computer to print out a new receipt with the correct charge on it (which we would have been more than happy to pay), she waived it off and said it was her mistake so that was on her. Classy move. In exchange for a $4 dollar mocktail the restaurant will get our probable undying support and loyalty through our eating adventures.

Go check out AquaTerra near Ontario and Johnson (1 Johnson St.) inside the Radisson.

K

Aqua Terra on Urbanspoon

 

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