Uptown Cut – Thunder Bay

I get to spend a week in Thunder Bay and it sounds like there are some nice places to eat! I’m starting at Uptown Cut, a new place in town. It’s about five or six months new and has three red seal chefs! The chef tonight for me is Justin, he’s studied at George Brown culinary school in Toronto. When you get three master chef together, sensational meals are created!
The place looks great right off the bat. It’s in what’s looks to be an old house. It’s cleaned and fancied up. A gal named Morgan is very helpful and is willing to put up with all my questions! 

They pride themselves here on the prime grade beef, meaning surpassing the standard AAA beef rating!!!! Well then, this should be great!

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I’ve been enlightened, Kobe beef is actually from the cow breed, wagyu. Kobe beef is wagyu from the kobe region of Japan. These cows are taken care of better than the prime minister of Canada, or even the president of the U.S.!!!  They can’t be under stress ever in their lives and are never put in a cage or pen.  These creatures are even massaged with essential oils!!! That’s bonkers!

As Morgan explains some of what this place has to offer, I’m intrigued by all the variety of food they offer. From baby octopus to shrimp fritters, hand pulled mozza to foie croquette! The price is a little high for causal dining but the experience is worth the payments!

They offer a tasting menu where you can choose a variety of small plates and finish up with one of these ridiculously fancy sounding styles of meat, either a slow roasted rib eye, a wagyu steak or dry aged ribeye. There’s a five course or a ten course tasting option. 

I can’t make up my mind so I order a shwack of small plates to get the full experience. 

The first plate is out! It’s the Uptown Rgg. A creamy sage and egg custard served in its own shell topped with Berkshire bacon… truly a tasting experience.  It’s fantastic! Cool in temperature, whipped and rich in flavour! The bacon is loaded full of taste but doesn’t overwhelm the sage custard! Delicious!!

Another plate, it’s hand pulled mozza! They take a local Gouda and hand pull it into a mozza texture! Lightly fried, served with a deep fried basil leave on a tomato sauce and sprinkled with Parmesan. Another winning dish! Great texture of the cheese and balance of cheeses. The tomato sauce has a pleasant zip as well!

Before I know it, the next plate arrives! This one is the confit drummy! Siracha  butter is mighty fine! Spicy and savoury. I like me some wings, but this drumstick is the way all deep fried bird should taste…always!!! Cooked by a clear professional!

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Up fourth is the baby octopus with a truffle tomato sauce and a  slice of olive loaf. And these are the real deal! This is a very spicy dish (chimi chiri) with three full octopus, octopi, octo… you know what I mean! I fell a little guilty about the little guys but they’re already in my bowl. The slice of olive loaf has just the right amount if butter, not to much but not to little and great for soaking up the tomato sauce. 

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This marks the half way spot!

The fries are stacked log cabin style and covered in an in-house made salted caramel, with a slice of blue cheese from France up top and then  sprinkled with that amazing Berkshire bacon! It looks so good I almost don’t want to eat it… Almost!! 

The caramel is a fantastic taste! The blue cheese is REALLY strong but is well balanced with that salted caramel. I can say, I’ve truly never had a taste sensation like that before! The caramel and fries was an awesome surprise mix!

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The next dish is the smoked wagyu, like literally, at my table smoked! They put the wagyu on dried wheat grass, light it on fire and then trap it in a bowl! The smoke stays inside and seeps into the meat until opened. The rich aromatic scent of campfire fills my nostrils! I wish I’d taken a video to show the flair of opening the bowl, the smoke wafts out as Morgan removed the bowl at the table! My first bite is a vivid experience of glorious meat tenderness and an ashe flavour that is reminiscent of summer good times! 

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The chef Justin, surprises me with a citrus salad next. Mango, Papaya, honeydew and cantaloupe topped with citrus slices (Orange, grapefruit segments) and drizzled with a lemonpro secco vinegar. A very good palette cleansing dish! 

Next up, The ouva da raviola was originally made for the king of Italy! After tasting it, i can confirm that it’s a royal dish!

The trick is to slice straight through the centre of the ravioli. This causes the insides to mix into the sauce itself! My cut is clean, the sauce is mixed and the first bite is fantastic! The soft yolk mixes with the truffle oil, ricotta, spinach and sage butter to create a blend of flavours that is rich. My second bite is even better. I was worried that the sage would be overwhelming but it’s not! Each bite has a different blend of the flavours offered. Ricotta cheese is the dominate flavour, nope it’s the sage butter, nope it’s the truffle oil, nope it’s the semolina pasta… each bite, a different and pleasant taste!

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The finale tonight is a unique caramel dessert made specially here. It’s called the bone thugs and harmony caramel! The bone is a lamb bone that they make a soup stock from then hallowed, soaked in a vinegar mix and then baked to dry. What a great use of the bone as a bowl for the salted caramel, cocoa and Berkshire bacon. Tonight they’ve used a cheesecake as the truffles are not yet finished being prepared. Sold out sucks!!

Aw well, I better try this place again! Yup, that good!!

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