Two weeks ago, I was given a VIP treatment at Novotel Vaughan as they invited me to join their celebration of being 5 years in the city of Vaughan. Strategically located behind the massive Vaughan Mills and close to Canada’s Wonderland, I have always passed by this hotel never knowing that there was a very cozy restaurant inside. For that night, I was able to sample a few dishes together with three friends of mine – Lamees, Mona and Mara. Pretty indulgent even before it started when they let me bring three friends. ;)
I have once stayed in a Novotel when I visited NYC years ago and I was pretty happy with the accommodation I got. Visibly contemporary, there is no missing that it caters to the fast mobile guests of today. Every convenience you can think of, I would say you can find it there. What I did not do in NYC was to dine in their restaurant. So to sample the food was going to be a first. But I had high expectations since I have seen the quality of service that they gave me in NYC.
As I walked inside the reception area, I was greeted right away by one of the hosts. They are clearly expecting people and I appreciated that they had the foresight to place someone in the front to give people directions to where the party was. As I was waiting for my friends, I leisurely took my time in one of the comfy sofas. I like that it was contemporary and warm without being too sleek and cold. Lamees did not make me wait too long as a few minutes later she walked in and of course we moved on immediately into the party space.
As I was an early bird, I got to the food without too much fuss. It’s a blogger’s dream to have the food left untouched for pictures. Just imagine how much it means to me as a food photographer. There were food stations set up and then there were waiters with canapés. They went all out with having us sample panko-coconut shrimp, vegetarian gazpacho, crab cakes with mango-strawberry salsa, avocado, mushroom and grape tomatoes bruschetta and mussels cooked in Grey Goose, red wine minuet. And while that list was already plenty, there was a station for freshly shucked oysters, pulled pork tacos and a cooking demo (and of course tasting station!) of classical cheese fondue. It was mesmerizing to see really good cheese being sprinkled into the yummy gooeyness in the pot. It was actually funny to me that most of the guest were politely standing far from the fondue station. I guess I am out of the norm because of course I came up close and personal to get that deliciously sinful shot. That cheesy goodness can’t keep me away.
It also helped not to feel too guilty when I was with friends who clearly loved food as much as I do. Good food and good company never grows old. While I enjoyed so much of the bruschetta (the waiter keep coming back with larger and larger slivers of parmesan cheese), I must say their dessert table was very much an eyecandy. I don’t normally gush over desserts but those little nuggets of chocolatey cakey goodness was impressive. I initially thought I was biting into a chocolate truffle when it turned out to be a tri-colored cake. The precision of each layer was spot on and the flavours just gives you that sweet satisfaction. If you are curious of what I am talking about, maybe you should make it to their Mother’s day brunch this coming weekend.
Thank you so much for inviting me to experience Novotel Vaughan. I will surely keep you in mind for more dining pleasures. :)