May 24, 2017: Jojoinstameets set up a tasting with Paese Ristorante. Originally, the plan was for a sit-down dinner at the restaurant but since they had already hosted a dinner tasting event previously with another group of Instagrammers, this second one was a bit different. We were informed via e-mail that it would be an outdoor BBQ experience with a focus on “Cottage Grab and Go” — “products that are specially prepared foods aimed to help the busy weekend cottager. These foods are conveniently packaged and ready to be grilled at the cottage.”
Thus, it wasn’t a tasting at Paese Ristorante but a tasting at L-eat Catering!
L-eat Catering was located at 3829 Bathurst St in North York (major intersection of Wilson Ave. and Bathurst Street). It was indeed an outdoor BBQ experience. The staff went all out and even put a beautiful metallic trailer outside near the road on the lot to give us a private space for the event. There were picnic tables and a large grill ready for BBQing. It was a really secluded and nice space for our outdoor event!
When I arrived at 6 p.m. sharp, the event was just starting to begin. We began with some cold drinks that were freshly made for us.
We were given a quick tour of their catering facilities on-site as well as their big orange and sturdy van that provided the catering.
(They are situated right next to their Paese Ristorante actually. The owner apparently owns both the restaurant and the catering company. I later visited Paese Ristorante for dinner with a friend — that is blogged here.)
Very quickly, the dishes of food started appearing out on the tables outside. These consisted of breakfast, hors d’oeuvres, salads and sides, BBQ proteins, and later, sweets.
Everything was so well put together and presented. The staff at L-eat Catering sure knew how to put a good-looking display of food together! There was also a faux green plant wall that was perfect for the backgrounds of photos.
We were given the rundown on the Cottage Grab and Go box that they wanted us to highlight for the tasting. The “Cottage Grab and Go” box contained four people’s worth of food (or could be more depending on the size of the box) including what I mentioned above like breakfast, salads, BBQ proteins, and more. It was exclusively designed with the weekend cottager in mind. The goal was that the person in charge could order what they needed, pick up the Styrofoam cooler box of cottage necessities, and then drive off to the cottage without having to worry about going to the supermarket to pick up said items. It was a smart way to cater to the cottage goers.
When asked about the price of such a box, the answer was “about $30 a person” or around $200 for the entire cooler of goods (don’t quote me on these prices — if you want to find out more, contact L-eat Catering yourself).
Everyone loved photographing and trying the hors d’oeuvres.
We enjoyed the Coconut Breaded Shrimp with a honey jalapeno dipping sauce. The Coconut Breaded Shrimp was hot and fresh and was thoroughly breaded with lots of coconut. It was a really good one!
The Miniature Grilled Cheese with aged white cheddar and chopped caramelized onions on mini brioche loaf slices was my favourite of the evening. These were absolutely adorable little grilled cheese sandwiches. They were so cheesy and gooey on their own. If you like ketchup with your grilled cheese, the ketchup was available too. This little snack was a highlight of the night for sure!
I really appreciated how the owner came out with more platters of Coconut Breaded Shrimp and Miniature Grilled Cheese and urged us to eat it while it was still hot. He knew that we were hard at work taking photos of everything but wanted us to appreciate the food hot and fresh (the way food should be eaten!!!).
I tried the thin slice pizzas that were given to us for tasting too. The Fungi one was cheesy and tasted really good with the mushrooms. It had seared mixed mushrooms, fontina cheese, and fresh thyme. The other pizza was a Margherita with tomato sauce, mozzarella, and basil.
The BBQ Proteins included Tuscan marinated half boneless Cornish hen with lemon and rosemary, Asian marinated Miami ribs, and Homemade beef burgers. This was not a hit at all. The boneless Cornish hen was incredibly dry and flavourless, a.k.a the worst type of chicken and such a waste because I couldn’t finish it at all due to its dryness and blandness. The marinated Miami ribs were pretty good but not the greatest for me to have seconds.
The homemade beef burgers were incredibly flavourless and bland. The burgers LOOKED absolutely amazing and so photogenic but what good is good-looking food when it doesn’t taste good. I’m really glad I shared my burger with Joanne because I wouldn’t have been able to finish a whole one.
I tried the slaws and really enjoyed those!
The Quinoa Salad had organic dried fruits and whole roasted cashews.
The Asian Slaw had nappa cabbage, edamame, finely chopped pickled ginger, mango and sesame soy dressing.
The Yukon Gold & Sweet Potato Salad had caramelized onions and pommery vinaigrette.
We also were served a platter of sweet potato and yukon gold potato wedges roasted with rosemary and sea salt.
We also had grilled asparagus with olive oil, lemon zest, and parmesan shavings. The grilled asparagus was delicious! (No picture though.)
We finished the night with fresh Apple Pie and a Mixed Berry Crumble. The Mixed Berry Crumble was incredible and so delicious with so many berries in it!
One of the best desserts of the night was another miniature item. This was the Strawberry Cheesecake Parfaits mason jar dessert. It was in a tiny mason bottle with whipped cheesecake, strawberry compote, graham cracker crumble, and fresh sliced strawberries. This was seriously the best. The cheesecake parfait was so creamy and smooth. I highly recommend this dessert!
I didn’t get to try the breakfast Granola Parfaits that night (due to being so full from all the mostly delicious food) but they looked great.
Some items were a hit that night and some were a miss. In particular, the meats were a miss and everything else were a hit. As always, I’m grateful to being able to given the opportunity to try these Cottage Grab and Go items from L-eat Catering.
It was perfect that the event finished when it did because as we were cutting up the crumble pie, the thunder clouds started to roll in. The skies were getting darker and ominous so everyone grabbed an item and we ran inside. We did so just as the first large raindrops started to fall from the sky. Good thing everything was taken inside in time! 🙂
Again, what a great tasting event prepared by L-eat Catering! This was one of those perfect tasting events where the food looked great, tasted good, and was very plentiful for everyone to eat and even take home! Thank you for having me! 🙂
FTC Disclaimer: Although Jojoinstameets and L-eat Catering invited me to a complimentary tasting, the opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of the companies.