My friend had a fabfind voucher ($29 for $60 worth) for Stonegrill so we decided to make a trip to Cabbagetown to try out the place. Got to love those group deals how else will you try new food without paying full price.
Stonegrill is a restaurant famous for its "dry cooking" method where the meat is cooked right at your table on a super-heated natural volcanic stone at an exact temperature of 400 degrees celcius. That's a really hot piece of rock. By cooking at high temperatures it will cook the meat faster as well as lock in the natural juices and flavor. The result is a healthy nutritious meal since no fat or oils are added in the cooking process.
Something new for the both of us to try. The only thing I ever ate at a restaurant that required me to do the cooking is either Korean BBQ or hot pot but neither uses a heated volcanic stone to cook it. Definitely something unique and interesting. The healthy part is just a bonus since let's be realistic if you're going out to eat are you really going to care if it's healthy or not, if that's the case isn't it better just to eat at home. That's just my opinion.
Upon entering the restaurant we were bombarded with this aroma which made us immediately search for where the smell was originating from. We had no clue since the place was packed with people so it could've been any one of the tables with food on it. Already we were psyched about testing out this new restaurant since it was a full house and something smelled good.
After we were seated, by the bar as an outcast away from the other patrons since the main area was filled, five minutes later a waitress showed up with our drink order. She told us the specials for the day as well as what dishes were considered popular. She claimed the house special was any of the game meat such as kangaroo, ostrich, swordfish and bison. We opted for the kangaroo since both of us had never tried it before unfortunately, it was all sold out so we settled for ostrich instead. We also ordered the Stonegrill platter which consisted of calamari, scallops, rooter ribs and garden salad.
The ambience of the place is perfect for a date or a social gathering with its dim lighting and relaxing atmosphere. However, since there was only one server in the entire place with x number of tables (since we had our own little section I couldn't see how many tables there were in total) the service was pretty slow.
When our food finally arrived we were kind of confused. First we both never had ostrich before so we didn't know
how long to cook it. Secondly, we didn't know how to cut the piece of meat either horizontally or vertically. Finally decided to cut it vertically since we figured if it's in smaller pieces it will cook faster. Man was I wrong. It cooked way too fast so had to turn it over quickly before it overcooked. It was hard to flip over the meat since it was already overcooked and it was sticking to the heated stone. Not very happy at this point since nobody likes to eat meat that is too well done and it was an expensive piece of meat too such a waste.
Let's just say, due to our lack of knowledge we didn't enjoy the ostrich since it wasn't cooked properly. One thing I also have to point out is the meat wasn't even seasoned. There was no salt or pepper whatsoever. It was just a lump of meat on a heated rock. That's all. If I knew they weren't going to season it then I would've ordered something else. If I just wanted a piece of raw meat then I'll head to the grocery store and buy it and cook it myself. I have to say even the veggies and potatoes had seasoning and it tasted great why couldn't they season the meat as well then it would've been a winning combination. A little salt and pepper goes a long way and can make a dish go from zero to hero.
Onto the other platter the food was just mediocre. Nothing wow and nothing horrible. Just ok except for the scallops. It was tender and juicy and full of flavor because it was actually seasoned. As for the calamari it was just bland to me. No flavoring at all. Even the dipping sauce had no flavor too. It was just mayo or something.
The 3 pieces of rooter ribs, which was Texas style rubbed baby back ribs cooked in root beer and red wine drenched in their special BBQ sauce and topped with goat cheese, was actually pretty good minus the spray of black pepper I tasted. Then again I don't really like black pepper so this might not be for me.
The highlight of this dish is the scallops and garden salad. Yes I said salad. Just plain old green leafy vegetable with tomatoes and a very good dressing. Surprisingly that out of a $30 plate I chose the salad as one of the best items out of the four. That dressing must've been really something for it to make the salad as one of my top dishes or its counterparts was just plain awful.
The grand total came to a whopping $75 for only 2 plates of food. Our voucher costed $25 for $60 worth of food. So the difference we paid was $15 plus tip. Thank god we had a voucher since I wasn't too pleased with the food and the lack of flavoring as well as the portion sizes.
Will I ever return here to try out their "special" sold out kangaroo? Probably not since who knows if the seasoning will be similar to the ostrich which is basically no seasoning at all.
TOTAL BILL $40...ONCE IS ENOUGH!!!