Saturday, May 1, 2010

Stoneface Dolly's

Last night we had tickets to see the musical Blood Brothers at The Gladstone Theatre. (Go! It was awesome and has consistently received positive reviews!) Our hours prior to the 8:00 pm show, suddenly freed us up and we moved quickly to make dinner arrangements. We wanted something relatively close to the theatre on Gladstone by Preston. No time for big research. We drew a blank on giving consideration to a new experience. So we went with something we knew we could count on. Stoneface Dolly's. We have been there 2 or 3 times over the years and had always enjoyed it.

Arriving at 6:15 pm worked well since the 'rush' didn't arrive until closer to 7:00 pm.

We both started with a bowl of their signature Red Thai Soup. If you like a little heat, this dish delivers. Not too over the top. Getting the soup was against my better judgment since I knew the portion was handsome and I risked feeling too full as I was unfamiliar with my main choice. For sure this ruled out any possibility of dessert. But once again, I couldn't say 'no' to this full-flavour starter.

I was attracted to the Chicken Bobotie. Their description lured me in. "A traditional South African dish. Baked ground chicken with light curry spices, almonds and raisins served with coconut basmati rice, fruit chutney, yogurt raita, and salad. Or for the vegetarians, choose baked tofu instead of chicken."

I was taken aback when my plate came. The portions were huge! Now I know I should have passed on the soup! But I persevered through to the last bite, at least grateful that lunch was small. I did find the chicken concoction a just a wee bit sweet and would have enjoyed a more earthy spice and curry flavour coming forward. I noticed that another review on Ottawa Foodies felt the same. I think I was feeling that way because of the existing sweetness already on the plate with the very fragrant basmati rice and then the decent portion of fruit chutney. The phyllo bowl makes for a fun presentation for the baked ground chicken but it doesn't necessarily play a role in balancing flavours. I don't want to seem like I am over analyzing because it was tasty and there was no question it was well prepared. The salad was large and fresh, fresh, fresh.

My date ordered the Rosemary Gorgonzola. "Fettuccine tossed in a rosemary gorgonzola cream sauce topped with caramelized pear, walnuts and grapes." They allowed you to 'protein' it up with tofu, chicken or shrimp. (He took a pass.) It smelled great! I had my eyeballs on it when it came to the table, hoping to snatch a taste, but it moved along pretty quickly. An obvious compliment. By comparison, his main was not crazy big. Just a nice size. Probably the plan due to the richness of the dish.

Our meal started with homemade rolls. Your choice of butter or the oil and balsamic for dipping. I snuck a soup dunk with my last bite.

My date went for his usual Beau's ale and I cheerfully supported the Drink City of Ottawa H2O campaign.

We had very attentive service. His only flaw was that he didn't save me by telling me that I might die if I did the bowl of soup and my chosen main. Forgiven though!

I debated about blogging about my dining experience, wondering if it would be too pedestrian, since the thumbs up ratio on Ottawa Foodies is 16 to 1. Well, now 17 to 1

Stone Face Dolly's on Urbanspoon

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