Long story short, I wanted to try out The County General (after all the rave reviews and recommendations from friends), but by the time we got there it was packed and it looked like we would have to wait forever for a table. Instead, we decided to try out a different restaurant in the Queen West neighbourhood. My friend mention that Swan Restaurant makes really good sandwiches for lunch, so I figured it was worth a shot.
Yes - it was that dark inside...we practically read the menu by candlelight.
These were really nice. We didn't know they were so delicate though because when we tried to move the top one off the bottom crab cake, it kind of disintegrated on our forks. I really love the chipotle mango tartar sauce - it gave a nice kick to the crab cakes.
crisp roasted bbq caponcrusted in cornmeal, with braised fennel slaw, roasted potatoes and a cilantro lime aioli
I didn't particularly enjoy this - the skin/cornmeal crust tasted like it was blackened so badly that it was almost burnt (it might just be the texture of the cornmeal too - I'm not too sure). I didn't like the fennel slaw (I thought I tasted a hint of spicy mustard in the slaw). I also thought the potatoes were dry and overcooked.
I wasn't happy with this dish at all.
butter milk mash, red wine and duck reduction
The duck was charred and you could definitely taste the red wine even though it was supposed to be a reduction (I don't think they burned off all the alcohol).
braised beef short ribs
in beer and marmalade, with roasted parsnip potato mash
The short ribs were very nicely done - probably the best dish of the night. The meat was tender and the beer and marmalade sauce was great!
Maple Crème brûlée and orange chipotle brownie
The creme brulee was nice (and it was such a huge portion!). The maple was a nice touch, but after eating some really spectacular Crème brûlées, I just felt that this didn't really match up.
The brownie was really interesting, I found that it had a slow burn to it - the impact of the chipotle doesn't really hit you until maybe 2 seconds after you eat it and it just slowly heats up your tastebuds. Awesome!
Overall: I wasn't particularly happy with the meal. I found the booths kind of tiny (we had 4 people and it was a tight squeeze) and the ambiance was super dark...so I left kind of disappointed. Maybe it's better at lunch, but I don't think I'll be back for dinner.