Pure Spirits Oyster Grill and Bar

A girls afternoon Winterlicious lunch turned into a bday lunch/get together with some good friends.

In the heart of the Distillery, when you walk into Pure Spirits Oyster Grill and Bar, I felt there were some good vibes. Friendly staff, and decor with character, the sunlight shines thru the glass windows. The original facade of a distillery lines the walls, with big steel doors, and even a vault in the back.

For $20, the Winterlicious menu

Crispy fish cake, traditional tartar sauce, arugula salad, orange salad

New England style clam chowder, aged cheddar bread
Baby spinach salad, roasted beets, spiced nuts and roasted mushrooms, blue 
cheese dressing 

Herb fired flat iron, crispy frites, caramelized onion and forest mushroom sauté, peppercorn jus
Pan seared white fish, saffron risotto, rosemary scented tomato stew
Organic farmed chicken stew, yukon mashed potatoes, roast garlic puff pastry

Vanilla crème caramel
Dark chocolate tart, whiskey chantilly
Trio of mini desserts

One things I did like was that we weren't limited to only ordering off the set menu, like some other restaurants. 

We started with some of the market priced ($2.50 - $3.75 per peice) of Oysters. 
The smaller ones from New York, the larger ones from PEI (i think).... 
I never knew oysters tasted different. 

Oysters must be eaten alive, or cooked alive. The shells of live oysters are normally tightly closed or snap shut given a slight tap. If the shell is open, the oyster is dead, and cannot be eaten safely.  Cooking oysters in the shell kills the oysters and causes them to open by themselves. Oysters that don't open were dead before cooking and are unsafe.

For the first course, we got the Fish Cakes and the New England Clam Chowder. 

Unfortunately, the soup was very salty. Is it supposed to be? 

Next was the main courses.

"A chicken pot pie that exploded" - Creamy and full of chicken. Underneath, mashed potatoes.  It was pretty yummy.

The guys who had the steak really enjoyed it.....

The white fish with saffron risotto. The fish was very fresh and clean tasting. Smooth and crispy on top.  The 'risotto' was more like some rice pan fried. I like that it was also seared on top, but didn't have much taste. It was a good compliment to the fish, but nothing spectacular.


So it was Patrick's bday. And they decorated up his dessert.....

But, at first they thought mine was the b-day dessert....
So they made my Dark Chocolate tart fancy with powdered sugar etc. Also see the green candle with white cream on the bottom. 
Brian's same chocolate tart had no powdered sugar or strawberry on top. Just a dollop of white cream.
Aie, disappointed that they made mistakes and lacked consistency (also when they were delivering the dessert). 

But, it was very good. The cream was very fresh.

Why is it broken?!

Overall, not sure if I would like to come back here for a regular meal. The food seemed okay, but lacked consistency, presentation (see the broken dessert, and the uncleaned plate for my soup) and some quality. Maybe it's like that with all Winterlicious restaurants, they just don't try as hard. They really should, because this is the opportunity to gain new customers.  

Oysters, Chicken Stew, atmosphere, venue, the creme on the chocolate tart

Presentation, salty soup, bland tasting risotto

everything else was meh

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