Wednesday, June 9, 2010


The 2010 season at Stratford Festival in Stratford, Ontario opened Monday. I was lucky enough to go to the opening of "Kiss Me Kate" last night, but before hand I was even luckier to eat at The Old Prune, a favourite of my grandparents! The Old Prune is a gem in the heart of Stratford, Ontario filled by regular clientele. The inside decor is different in the two rooms - the room at the back is light-filled, calm and serene whereas the front is filled with purples and black and white stripe table cloths. During off season in Stratford, The Old Prune is home to the Stratford Chef's School, where students across Canada may attend. The food however is truly the highlight of a night out at The Old Prune.

For May and June The Old Prune offers a prix fixe, however it is not limited to only one or two choices. There are about five appetizers to choose from and six main courses, as well as about five desserts. There is also a Vegetarian prix fixe, which in this day and age is probably pretty popular - and I must say looked delicious!

To start off your night at The Old Prune you are treated to an amuse-bouche by the Chef. (amuse-bouche: single bite sized hors d'oeuvre prepared and chosen by the chef) Last night it was a chicken liver (just like pate) on a little crostini with rhubarb compote. Just marvelous! I wish you could buy pate like that everywhere!

My appetizer course was roasted local asparagus with wild arugula, soft poached egg and red wine and bacon vinaigrette. It was delectable - the egg was perfectly running with a bit of a crunchy exterior. It looked like a deep fried piece of cheese, that oozes when you crack into it. The asparagus was lovely since it was local and so fresh.

In fascination of my main course I completely forgot to snap a pic. But let me tell you about it. Roasted Prime Aged Beef Striploin on salt-roasted shallots, fennel confit and tarragon! The salt roasted shallots were so tender and juicy, mmmmm and fennel that is braised is one of my favourite accompaniments to a main course.

The portion sizes are on the smaller size, which is great for me, because for once you leave a place not feeling stuffed to the brim unable to move. You are extremely content and very pleased with your meal. We skipped dessert as we decided to hit up an apres-theater joint for dessert (see next blog). However the desserts did looked wonderful as the passed my table on to someone else's. The dessert of choice seemed to be rhubarb strawberry cobbler with ginger ice cream! But to finish off the night they bring you little biscotti - even if you already ordered dessert! We had an almond biscotti and a lemon poppy seed drizzled with lemon sauce. Delish!

The Old Prune is a lovely and elegant restaurant among the top of the town's culinary places. The people there are lovely, making your experience just that much better. The food is prepared delicately and deliciously, and I look forward to frequenting The Old Prune as I return to the festival each year!

The Old Prune 
151 Albert Street 
Stratford ON

photo credit: my own & google images

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