A fresh catch still needs a fine chef's charm - Metro US

A fresh catch still needs a fine chef’s charm

Pelican Grill
1500 Bank St.

Rating: ** 1/2
Signature Drink: Wine and Beer
Signature Dish: Clam Chowder
Dinner & drinks for 2: $70

Filleting fish is a special skill, and I have great respect for fish mongers. However, when the filleting knife is back in its block, I want the charms of the chef to take over. Unfortunately, aside from the friendly wait staff, there wasn’t quite enough charm at the Pelican Grill.

To start, I ordered Clam Chowder ($5) and enjoyed finding a clam shell hidden in my potage, but I didn’t like the sand that came with it. The Calamari ($8) that my partner ordered arrived in a cardboard tray with a paper cup of slightly peppery ketchup dipping sauce. The Calamari needed more time in the deep fryer, and its “Old Bay” seasoning was bland.

For the main, I had the Rainbow Trout with Mushroom Sauce ($21). You can’t go wrong with a mushroom sauce, and this one was nicely seasoned. My partner had the Swordfish with Mango Salsa ($22). Dull is the word that bubbled up when we both tasted it.

For dessert we had the crème brûlée. Unfortunately the layer of hardened sugar covered a vanilla-tasting pudding rather than a traditional baked custard.

The Pelican Grill offers a variety of fresh fish in their well-stocked store, but don’t rush to have them prepare it.

Dining out

The Urban Pear
A fine restaurant offering a menu that changes with the seasons. Chef Ben Baird is one of ten chefs competing at the Gold Medal Plates next Wednesday. Their popular Sunday brunch is served from 11 a.m, to 2 p.m. 151 Second Ave. 613-569-9305

Chef René Rodriguez, another chef competing at the Gold Medal Plates next Wednesday, showcases foods of northern Spain and the Basque region, including an authentic tapas menu on Tuesdays from 5:30 to 10 p.m. 93 Murray St. 613-241-5500

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