Saturday 31 March 2012

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Twisted Tomato in Kelowna

I don't get to take my wife out to dinner as often as I'd like. I definitely don't get to take her out as often as she'd like. The problem with this situation is that there's a little more pressure to make it a great evening when we do go out. That leads to us ignoring some of the amazing restaurants in Kelowna, and returning to places where we've had good food before. What it seems to take in order for us to venture to a new establishment, is either the recommendation of a friend, or a special deal like a Groupon or a Twongo. When a friend of mine recommended that we buy the Twongo for the Twisted Tomato in Kelowna, that was enough prompting for me.

Of course I should mention that it wasn't a close personal friend. More of an acquaintance really. The point being that my friend/acquaintance doesn't really know what kind of restaurants I'm used to. I tend more towards the bigger establishments that have lots of tables and plenty of space to park. The Twisted Tomato doesn't fit this bill. It's small. Really small by my standards. In the restaurants I frequent you can spend a while wondering which horizon your waitress has disappeared over. At the Twisted Tomato you half expect the chef to come over to your table and say "Hey, we're a little behind in the kitchen. Do you mind lending a hand?" (If anyone orders a hot dog or a PB&J, I'm there for you chef!). I'm going to guess that there are about 15 tables in the restaurant, yet despite it's small size, Twisted Tomato achieves that balance of always full - never a line.

There should be a line down the street for this place. They may not have the seating capacity of a major chain restaurant, but the Twisted Tomato has something that nobody else does...their Duck Nachos. These are now easily my new favorite appetizer, and to be honest if they came in a meal size platter they'd probably be my new favorite dinner too. Here's the listing of what's in them:

Braised "Brome Lake Duck", hoisin barbeque sauce, carmelized onion, roasted bell peppers, mozzarella, cheddar, bruschetta, and chipotle aioli.

I can't tell you what a lot of those ingredients are, but I can tell you that they're good. How good? The best recommendation that I can give them is that, while we were enjoying a plate of Duck Nachos, my wife (who I love dearly, but Lord knows what she's thinking about sometimes) decided that it would be an appropriate time to share a story about feeding the ducks at her preschool. Even the cuteness level of her story didn't sway me from devouring my share of the nachos, then wondering if there was a way to steal one of hers without being noticed (no such luck).

The rest of our meal was fantastic as well. I had a scallop and bacon fettuccini that had chunks of bacon in it big enough to make me wonder if they were small scallops or not. Lori had the spinach and apple salad and a soup of some sort. I'll vouch for the salad, but I don't do soup. If you want to take her word for it though, it was pretty good. We did make the sacrifice of sharing a dessert, just to ensure that the quality of the food extended all the way to the end of the meal, and I'm pleased to report that the Turtle cheesecake is indeed every bit as good as it sounds.

This brings me to a dilemma though. If the Twisted Tomato has better food than pretty much all of the chain restaurants around here, then should I be risking our valuable date nights on some of the smaller restaurants in town, hoping for a repeat discovery? Are there other things out there as good as Duck Nachos? Am I missing out on something even better? It's hard to imagine, but I think I'll pay a little more attention to the Deal of the Day sites and recommendations from friends (or acquaintances) in the future. In the meantime, I'm already planning a return visit to the Twisted Tomato for some more Duck Nachos. Hopefully Lori can come up with a more appropriate dinner story this time.