In celebration of Canada's multiple gold medals (especially hockey and curling), my friend and I decided to go out and treat ourselves to a dinner out and what better place to go than a place I received a Dine Out voucher for. Located in Kits, August Jack is surrounded by many other local restaurants and not too far from downtown. It doesn't seem like a bustling restaurant so I don't think reservations are absolutely necessary unless you're expecting a large group on a Friday/Saturday night.
We decided to go for a full on appetizer dinner with two orders of Read Island Mussels in difference sauces, the Leek & Barley Risotto, and a toasted flatbread. I was really impressed with the mussels although they were $12 for half a pound (~10 mussels). These mussels were HUGE and so juicy, I almost thought they were bloated when I first saw them. And hats off to the sauces as well! We had one order of Paprika Rosé Sauce with Basil & Crème Fraiche and another of Pilsner Braised with Caramelized Onion. Both were very rich with herbs and light cream that was flavourful enough to leave me wanting more but not too strong that it overwhelmed the mussels. On top of that, this dish was served with a few slices of bread- perfect for dipping in the sauce.
The Leek & Barley Risotto on the other hand wasn't really anything special. It wasn't bad but no real pluses either.
The toasted flatbread that I got was definitely something a bit different though. It was a large piece of flatbread primarily divided up into two sections which were topped with different sauces and ingredients. One side had baked mushrooms while the other had a spicy mango sauce with caramelized onions. Although I'm a person who likes spiciness, I couldn't find myself liking the combination. I preferred the mushroom side since it was a bit more juicy. Overall though, the flatbread was okay.
I also ordered a martini to go with everything- the Circe: made with Lychee Liqueur, Blue Bols, Stolichnaya vodka, cran, and lychee fruit. Sounds sweet eh? Well it is. It literally tastes like fruit juice with a tinge of alcohol. Not bad though.
We ended off each getting a Duo of Creme Brulee to satisfy our sweet teeth of the night. There were two flavours: Vanilla Bourbon and Lavender Scented Milk Chocolate. The Vanilla was definitely lighter and sweeter while the milk chocolate was more rich and a bit more bitter than I had expected. Which did we like more? Well I'd have to give it up to the Vanilla Bourbon for its lighter taste.
So how did I like my experience?
Food: Mussels 10/10, otherwise 6/10
Drinks: 6.5/10 (nothing AMAZING, but decent enough)
Service: 7/10 (I felt like we were ignored for the first 15 mins while the waitresses were just talking by the bar. Like, hello? But it got better after we finally managed to get our order down.)
Atmosphere: 6.5/10 (Nothing really cool other than that wine cellar they have in the back, but I guess it was quite relaxing.)
Price/affordability: 5/10 (Uhg I just felt like for the amount of food we got, the price a bit much. Eg. my flatbread was a bit more than $15 but definitely didn't taste like it.)
Would I go back?/Would I recommend this place?: Maybe, but only for the deals like $5 Mussel Thursdays and $1 Oyster Sundays. Check out their website for some pretty sweet offers but otherwise, I'm not sure if this is a place worth splurging on. If you do decide to go however, GET THE MUSSELS! They're amazing regardless of the price.