It’s worth mentioning, I have never played it cool in my entire life. When I was invited to enjoy a second night of Provision at Compass Restaurant, I practically exploded with an unequivocal “YES”! Everything about my first experience was blissfully memorable, and I couldn’t wait to see what inventive dishes Executive Chef Scott Bailey would plate up next.
With a few delicious canapés under our belts and a cocktail to get the conversation flowing, we’re ready to be seated for our first course. The chef has made the unconventional choice to serve two Italian dishes, paired with American wines, and two American dishes, paired with Italian wines. Our first plate is a stuffed, Sicilian Arancini. Its crispy exterior beautifully compliments its soft, rich interior, which has been stuffed with a creamy, sheep’s milk ricotta, a savory speck, and black truffle. Coupled with a delicate California Riesling, my palate begs me to suspend my need for order. I willingly oblige.
Our second course is a sight to behold. The chef’s grandiose ideals take form in his larger than life, succulent, lamb stuffed ravioli. The pasta is perfectly al dente, and the sweet agrodolce is an impeccable pairing for the bold California Zinfandel it’s served with.
This is normally the point in the evening where I ask myself why I’m revealing intimate details to a perfect, albeit lovely, stranger. The wine is flowing, and we’re getting social. We’re getting loose, and suddenly, it feels like I’m at a backyard party surrounded by old friends. There’s no time like the present for the chef to roll out his third course, American BBQ.
American BBQs need biscuits like Danny Zuko needs Sandy, and chef Bailey delivers. As I pull apart the delicately baked dough and pop the first buttery morsel into my mouth, I can’t help but notice the details. I take in the red checkerboard paper and the tin plate adorned with sweetly baked beans. Chef Bailey masters the aesthetic of American BBQ, and his flavours could move even the most deeply Southern of souls.
Like seasoned veterans in the field of food, we tread on toward desert. Let it be known, that last bite of caramelized banana split will dance in my consciousness for weeks to come.
Nobody likes goodbyes, but I’m especially despondent to leave the long table tonight. With a full belly and a full heart, I bid farewell to new friends and what can only be described as another night to remember at Compass Restaurant.
Review by Danielle Cherkas
More pictures from the evening below!