Tasting Notes | Dinner at Rush 2009

By Shivana Maharaj
August 10, 2009

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Conde de Caralt Cava and Strawberry fizz spoon

Do you remember elementary school recess when some kid inevitably had a stash of candy from 7-11 to share with friends? Executive Chef Leboe’s grown up version- a fizzy strawberry and cream spoon explodes in the mouth with the Cava. Too much fun.

Conde de Caralt Cava

Fruity, persistent mousse and a slightly acidic component starts our meal off. The nose is clean, fresh and effervescent. Sommelier Heather does a fantastic job at pairing food and wine.

Bowl of cereal (agria potato chips, chilled vichyssoise)

Executive chef Justin Leboe knows how to start dinner by putting a smile on your face! He cheekily insists on a ‘breakfast’ to start the meal- crispy potato flakes and cold, creamy vichyssoise. The crunchy fried thin slices of potato hold up to the soup very well. Well presented in a white porcelain cream pot and small square bowl. We couldn’t stop eating this updated comfort food.

Salt blocks (spot prawns, Asturian aioli, pistachio, black olive, orange)

Talk about a stunning visual presentation- our next amuse, served on pink square blocks of chilled Himalayan salt. The spot prawns- creamy on their own are complimented by an Asuturian aioli, black olive flakes and sweet orange supremes- the salt blocks subtly impart a mild saltiness to flavour the seafood.

Land and Sea: Butter poached oysters, cauliflower cream, rhubarb mignonette

One of the signatures at Rush is perfectly executing seafood- cooked and raw. Our first appetizer was butter poached oysters with cauliflower puree and a diversion from a classic mignonette (challots and vinegar), by utilizing in season rhubarb. The sweet oysters were balanced with the mild creaminess of the cauliflower cream. The pairing with a 2007 Telmo Rodriguez verdelho, basa cosecha from Spain added a great acidic note to the dish, complimenting the East coast mollusk.

Lobster and coconut bisque: Lobster tempura, lobster and semolina dumplings, ginger, lemongrass, basil, coriander, lime

Winter is nearly 6 months out of the year. We could indulge in this soup every day of those six months. Creamy, fragrant, and luxurious. This soup is pure comfort. Paired with 2007 Hatziakis winery, assyrtiko, Santorini- incredibly mineraly and a lovely accompaniment.

 Pea Agnolotti: Housemade pasta, English pea, mascarpone, lemon, onion

Agnolotti with pea and mascapone puree with Parmesan foam- topped with peanut tranches, which parallel the bright green legumes inside. Paired with a 2006 Domaine Maurice schoech pinot gris, Cuvee justin Alsace, France.

Yellow Eye snapper: Pan seared, summer vegetable pistou, eggplant condiment

The freshness of the yellow tail snapper is a treat for landlocked Calgarians. A crisp exterior and flaky smooth fleshy interior melt into the vegetable pistou. The vegetables taste as if they have been freshly plucked from a summer garden. Paired with a 2007 Lafond Roc Epine, tavel, rhone valley France- fruity yet with groundedness.

 Taste of Rhubarb

Interactive food- love it. These are a throwback to childhood freezies- tangy fresh rhubarb sorbet is packed into sous vide plastic and frozen, and cut open with safety scissors as our palette cleanser.

Coffee: Espresso creme brulee, espresso hazelnut iced cream, warm ricotta beignet with cinnamon sugar

Lighter than air beignets, served with a not too heavy creme brulee. Deceptively light, a great way to end our meal. Excellent pairing with chilled espresso vodka and Frangelico.
We ended the meal with a charming bag of Rush granola- a signature mix of crunchy granola (sunflower seeds, nuts, dried dates, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds). We enjoyed this addictive treat for the next few days: they ought to package this stuff to sell at grocery stores- “breakfast Rush”…has a nice ring to it.


100, 207 9 Ave SW