Charlie’s Burgers Presents James Henry of Bones Restaurant in Paris

Charlie’s Burgers is a series of private dinners in Toronto hosted by different high-profile chefs in different locations. In 2010 it was ranked by Food and Wine Magazine as the number three “word of mouth” supper club on its list of “100 Best New Food and Drink Experiences in the World”. How does it work? Selected guests are sent a date, told how much cash to bring and then given directions to a secret spot such as a street corner, where you receive other instructions that lead you to the actual venue. Once you arrive, you are treated to an insane multi-course dinner prepared by an internationally renowned chef. The chef hosting our evening was James Henry of Bones, one of the most sought after restaurants in Paris. We had to arrive at Queen and Peter at 8:45pm, look for a man on a barrel, and ask him if he had any old Michelin guides. You are then given the address of the dinner… and then the games begin.

Aperitif: Falanghina, Camporeale, Lunarossa from Campania, Italy.

Amuse bouche were paired with blanc de blancs, Schramsberg 2012, Calistoga California. A classic French Terrine, radishes with nettle butter and raw fish and turnips

Steamed oysters with burnt lemon, lime and orange oil (these were INCREDIBLE)

After the amuse bouche came asparagus with ramps and bottarga (dried mullet roe, a Mediterranean delicacy) paired with Fernao Pires, Porta de Teira, Ninfa Branco, 2012 Tejo Portugal.

This was a “TBD” course… it turned out to be clams with potato. Amazing.

Blood cake with peas and broad beans. Paired with Granata, Barranco Oscuro, 2010, Granada, Spain.

The final dish was spectacular- aged beef with romaine and anchovy. Paired with Barbara d’Alba, La Cresta, D.O.C, Roche Dei Manzoni, 2010 Piedmont Italy.

James Henry used an impressive array of Ontario ingredients from nettles to local cheeses. The dessert was outstanding- an almond tart that was not too sweet, with a goat milk sorbet. A refreshing ending to a very rich meal. This was paired with sherry, a 30 year-old Oloroso, Bodegas Tradicion from Jerez Spain.

The sommelier was knowledgeable and delightful… all the servers were just as excited to be there as the guests.

There were about 70 people at this secret pop-up dinner, and the wonderful thing about Charlie’s Burgers events is that you all sit together and you meet such lovely people. We dined with Mac and Norma who were wonderful. What a fun night… incredible food and wine, and it was spectacular to get to experience one of the hottest restaurants in France right in downtown Toronto.

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