HOWEVER…..last weekend, just before I started this insane cleansing of fat, my Partners in Crime and I dined at, in my humble opinion, one of the best restaurants in the Durham Region - Chatterpaul’s.
I probably should have filled up my car earlier in the day, because by the time I picked up my sweet friend, Tanya, I was running on empty gas-wise and we were running late in meeting her sister, Janet, at Chatterpaul’s. We figured she wouldn’t mind waiting for us for a few minutes and we stopped to grab some gas. I recently purchased a new car and couldn’t figure out how to open the gas tank. Laugh away clowns, but there was no release lever on the inside of the car and pushing on the gas door itself wasn’t working.
Frustrated with my sheer stupidity and tardiness (which I honestly believe to be an inexcusable fault), I threw the car manual at Tanya and demanded that she figure it out while I sped out of the gas station and rushed to meet Janet at Chatterpaul’s. Tanya’s a good sport. She’s got me out of several pickles in the past 40 years that we’ve been friends. So, as she read the instructions to me, and I tried to read them at the same time from the drivers seat, I ended up smashing into a pole. Pretty hard, too. Just as I was about to erupt into a glorious string of curse words, I got out of the car and noticed there wasn’t even a scratch on my new car. No sign of my bad driving whatsoever. My new car is built like a brick shit-house.
So being pretty high-strung to begin with, I was on another level when we entered Chatterpaul’s. Janet was already seated at one of the big round booths and as we joined her, I felt immediately calmed by the beautiful décor in the main dining room. The restaurant is made up of three spacious areas, the bar and two dining rooms. The warm tones, unique lighting fixtures and pretty accents make the room comfortable. But still elegant.
Our server came over immediately and took our drink orders. He also complicated my game-plan by letting us know that since it was a Thursday, their special Pasta Night menu was in play. Here’s the deal: You get a glass of wine, one of their incredible pasta dishes and dessert for $29.95. And the pasta night menu is VAST. The dishes vary from Mushroom and Spinach Ravioli to Blackened Telapia over linguini and lobster with a white wine sauce.
I was torn because I had been dead set on one of dishes on the regular menu. All the pasta dishes looked so good, though.
I ordered a glass of Cabernet Sauvingnon anyway and quickly described our gas-door debaucle to the server. He offered to come out after we finished eating and figure out the gas-tank, which I thought was extremely kind of him.
After we drank our wine and got caught up with one another, we ordered a large Caesar salad to split while we decided what to eat.
As we were having our wine and shooting the shit, the server brought out an amuse bouche courtesy of the house. I loved it. It was beautifully presented and tasted creamy with a hint of spice that I thought was awesome.
The Caesar salad was GIANT. It was big and garlicy and perfect for the three of us to share.
After much internal and external deliberation, I chose my meal from the regular dinner menu. I couldn’t help it. I had had the “Breast of Chicken” during a previous dining experience at Chatterpaul’s and it was so good, I had to order it again.
Both of my gorgeous dining partners chose dishes from the Pasta Night Menu. I didn't blame them.
We enjoyed our wine and discussed this topic and that for another little while until our entrees came out. As our handsome server came out with our food, I was absolutely confident that I ordered the right dish.
My dinner was the Breast of Chicken. It was incredible. The chicken breast was stuffed with asiago and jack cheeses, roasted red peppers and asparagus with a side of the sweetest Kahlua cream sauce you've ever tasted. But the star of the whole thing was a perfectly made potato cake that the chicken was placed on top of. The cream sauce came in a small container so the diner could pour as much or as little on top of the chicken and potato as per their desire. Obviously, MY desire was to drench the whole dish with the sauce. I was in heaven. The chicken was moist and tender, and the potato and sauce rounded out the whole dish. It had such a sweet, unique taste with the combination of the tart cheeses and the Kahlua cream sauce. A perfect 10.
Tanya ordered the "Mussels, Shrimp, Sausage Creole with spaghetti tossed in jalapeno, okra, sun-dried tomatoes and red wine plum tomato sauce." It looked really lovely when the server put it down on the table. Just as he put the dish down, he paused for a moment and said, "I think the kitchen forgot your mussels." We probably wouldn't have noticed had he not said anything, so we appreciated his honesty. He quickly ran back to the kitchen and brought her a bowl of mussels in a marinara sauce. Tanya told us that the dish was good, and that it was spicy, which she really enjoyed. I ended up eating most of her mussels when she wasn't looking and I can attest that they were delicious.
Janet, in keeping up with her sister's spicy palate, ordered the "Jerk Marinated Breast of Chicken, oven roasted over linguine tossed in a rich island coconut curry cream." She said it was excellent and that the jerk chicken was spiced perfectly.
Both of my friends' dishes came with dessert, while mine did not. I was jealous, so I ordered a dessert as well. Tanya and Janet ordered a butter tart of some sort and I ordered the creme brûlée. Both were home made and delicious.
Our server was very attentive the entire evening, without being annoying. AND as per his earlier promise, as we were leaving, he offered to come out and figure out what was going on with my gas tank door. Janet quickly declined his offer. She was determined to figure it out by ourselves. Sure enough, with enough poking and pushing, we realized that the little gas-door was frozen shut. With one good bang of her hand, the ice fell off and my gas-valve was free. Janet is tiny in stature, but one of the toughest broads I've ever met. I love my friends.
Anyway....If I were using early-90's lingo, I'd say that our dinner at Chatterpaul's was Wicked-Awesome. I loved it. Every time I've eaten there, our meals have been interesting and unique, not to mention beautifully cooked and extremely delectable.
You should definitely keep this joint in mind when you have something special to celebrate. Like the end of a torturous and hellish detox-juice-cleanse.....wish me luck. See you in February! xoxo
3500 Brock St. N. Whitby,
Ontario L1R 3J4