Earlier this summer, Chef de Cuisine Robin Bowen invited foodiePrints to a “behind-the-scene” look as he prepared to launch all-new menus at Spin Kitchen & Bar. We’ve introduced you to a new restaurant, to Chef Bowen himself, and highlighted some of the dishes. We hope that you have enjoyed following our series and, more particularly, that you have had a chance to enjoy some of the creations coming out of Chef Bowen’s kitchen.
Through words and photographs, we hope we have taken you on a culinary adventure as we explored the Bar Eats menu, the lunch and dinner menus, and Chef Bowen’s take on hotel staples and chicken & fish dishes. You can also check out our photos on Spin.
Of course, what is a meal without dessert?
It was, I assure you, a complete fluke that I was alone for the dessert tasting at Spin; I did not plan it that way, I promise (but I certainly took full advantage of it!).
There are four items on the Spin Summer Desserts menu and I was given a taste of each (poor me). I did not pair any wines with these desserts, but the restaurant does have a number of sweet and sparkling wines which you could choose from. Chef Bowen and his Sous-Chef, Martin Lévesque, worked on the dessert menu together with Martin in charge of designing the plating and the execution of the desserts.
Coconut Crème Brulée
I am a fan of crème brulée and Chef Bowen’s coconut version is accompanied by a lovely, light banana ice cream from Preston Street’s Pasticceria Gelateria Italiana.
Chef Bowen’s twist on the classic strawberry shortcake is cracked peppercorns strawberries on a home-made shortcake biscuit, served with 12 year old balsamic vinegar ice cream (also from the Pasticceria Gelateria) on a basil syrup. The spicy black pepper contrasted with the sweet strawberries and the balsamic vinegar was both tangy and sweet at the same time. There is enough of the classic in this dessert to satisfy the conservative dessert fan but with a bit of the Bowen spin.
Although conceived as a dish with crumbled brownies, the Art-Is-In Bakery brownie Chef Bowen chose, a chewy brownie with a semi-sweet fudge topping, was so delicious that it was decided to serve it whole. If you are a chocolate lover, this is the dessert for you. Large enough to serve two, it is a decadent creation of chocolate brownie, Pasticceria Gelateria banana ice cream, topped with a salted caramel sauce and “chocolate dirt” and a liberal dollop of whipped cream.
Meyer Lemon Meringue Pie
My personal favourite was the Meyer lemon meringue pie; I have been known to order it every Tuesday when I am there with The Boys. Served in a small bowl lined with a crushed buttery pie crust, this tangy lemon curd is topped with a sweet Italian meringue, (Italian meringue is made by beating boiling sugar syrup into egg whites, leading to a soft meringue that holds up well and can be used in desserts such as baked Alaska). I love the contrast between the silky meringue/lemon curd and the crunchy pie crust. Crushing the pie crust in the bottom of the bowl ensures an easy bite of all three layers with each spoonsful: sweet, tangy, silky and crunchy. For this dessert, I do have a wine pairing suggestion: the Huff First Frost is a light, sweet dessert wine that works beautifully with the tart lemon, an truly outstanding match!
If you haven’t already done so, try a summer dessert before the season is over. Having tried all four of Spin’s current desserts, I am looking forward to the Fall/Winter ones.