Last week I had the pleasure to be invited to a wonderful dinner party at Langdon Hall. Now, if you don’t know about Langdon Hall, I will tell you that it’s truly a culinary gem in Ontario and perhaps in all of Canada.
The property itself is hidden amongst the trees; you have to follow the winding path before you reach the property that resembles a Chateau—you know like the ones in the French countryside.
Many things make Langdon Hall a focus of the culinary scene. First of all, their chef is Chef Jason Bangerter, the 2017 Pinnacle Award for Chef of the Year. Secondly, they source their ingredients from their own gardens and work with local farms and Ontario producers to source products like meat, eggs, and seafood.
“The cuisine at Langdon Hall starts with looking out our kitchen windows. It is inspired by the seasons, wild produce growing in abundance on the property and the bounty of our kitchen gardens. Relationships have been built with local farmers, foragers and artisans who hold similar beliefs of providing wholesome natural products that have been prepared with care and respect. “
(Langdon Hall, website, Chef Jason Bangerter)
Their menu and dishes change according to each season, which not only brings a sense to newness to the menu but you are always guaranteed the freshest and most real of ingredients. You'll never taste anything like the meals at Langdon Hall as their plates are inspired by history and past events, create interesting and unique combinations.
Langdon Hall creates an elevated environment for their guests, from the surrounding gardens to the creativity and ingenuity of its chefs, it is truly an extraordinary dining experience.
Now that you know a little more about Langdon Hall and Chef Bangerter, let me take you through the best local gastronomic experience I’ve had yet!
The evening started with some champagne for a pre-dinner aperitif and small chit chat among us guests. Then we were invited to dinning room when it was time for dinner to start.
Every dish that was presented in front of you had a story behind it, “We create dishes with purpose, embraced with a story behind each product and a glimpse at the terroir of Langdon Hall.” (Langdon Hall, website, Chef Jason Bangerter)
The context and history behind each dish makes you connect to it with every bite, completely elevating your dining experience!
The first course was this Jerusalem artichoke served on the piece of bark where the artichoke grew, right in Langdon’s Hall own garden.
The amuse bouche was a dream; such a rich and intense flavour concentrated in one bite. The artichoke had a creamy, nutty, and crunchy taste to it with a hint of truffle that just overwhelmed your taste buds.
Then our second course was a serving of oysters plated in this wonderful rustic bowl. The bottom of the bowl, unbeknown to us was filled with dry ice. So when the waiters proceeded to pour warm water into each of our bowls, it caused a cloud of mist come up expand out and around our plates. See what I mean when I said elevated experience?
For your reference, the oysters were from East Coast Canada (PEI), so they had an ocean flavour to them and were meaty and salty. Refreshingly delicious!
The third course was a vegetarian’s dream and could turn any meat lover into a vegetarian, at least just for this meal. A single fried cauliflower served in the middle of your plate with a sweet and sour chili sauce, peanuts, and coriander.
Then we had the Truffle soup, which is probably the best soup I have ever tasted in my twenty three years of life. It was accompanied by a parmesan shortbread biscuit which had its roots from Chef Bangerter's time as a chef for the Royal Family. .
This soup is a symbol of Chef Bangerter's career. In a Canada's Best 100 article by Jason himself 'Royal Truffle Soup with Truffle Foam & Parmesan Shortbread' he states, "It was an instant success at Auberge du Pommier when I was chef there back in 2007, and when I moved to Luma, people followed just to ask for it there, too. Now they come for it at Langdon."
The soup has such an intense and rich mushroom flavour. It's really a truffle lovers dream. So much so, that Chef Bangerter recreates versions of this dish in every menu he makes. It's his signature, and one many travel across the globe to have a taste of.
Next before the main course, was the pork belly. I was happy to hear the close connection Jason and Langdon Hall has with Murray’s farm. According to Jason, they raise the best pork he has ever tasted and I can’t disagree. It was served with orchard apple, mustard, and calvados.
For the main course, you had the option between the Thyme Roasted Beef Loin with Glazed Cheek, Onion Soubise, Truffle Pudding, Sauce Périgueux, or the Arctic Char with Vanilla Parsnip, Garden Carrots, Cardamom Cream.
It was a tough choice between the vanilla parsnip and the glazed cheek but in the end the cheek won. And boy was it ever the best decision ever! This dish was to die for!
The roasted beef was cooked to perfection and the glazed cheek just melted in your mouth. The onion soubise gave it a hint of sweetness and the truffle pudding was a such a nice compliment to the beef.
Finally, for dessert we had a chocolate truffle made from Langdon Hall’s own chocolate, Terroir Noir topped with raspberry and beet chips. I am not ashamed to say I wanted to scrape the plate with my fork.
The red wine of choice for the diner was a Lotus Cabernet Sauvignon. It was unlike past Cab Sauvignons I’ve had – it was ripe and fruity, soft, it went down smoothly and complemented the meals very well, especially the roast beef and glazed cheek.
The entire evening was magical and just sublime! I can't wait to be back. Until then I will be replaying the taste of the flavours in my head over and over again.
Now, before you leave here with the desire to run out the door and have your next meal at Langdon Hall, I would like to thanks a friend of mine, Stacey Bangerter, who made this experience possible.
I met Stacey Bangerter at my (Crossfit) box, Firepower. Through interacting at our box occasionally, we found out about each other’s love and appreciation for good, real food. Eventually, I found out that her husband was Chef Jason Bangerter from Langdon Hall. To say I was speechless and a little bit jealous would be an understatement.
I mean…who wouldn’t be?!
It was an honour and a great pleasure to be invited to her birthday dinner party last weekend where we were served the meal and experience of a lifetime. I keep replaying every dish in my head and just trying to hold on to the taste of it all.
It was magnificent.
Happy Birthday Stacey! Thank you for allowing me to celebrate your special day in such an amazing way. Best birthday party ever.