Oh, my goodness. It’s not often I am at a loss for words, but tonight, I took the Love of My Life for a special birthday dinner to a relatively new place in Aurora, on Yonge Street, just south of Wellington (opposite the Beer Store) called Edward Street Market & Bistro. Wow!

As soon as you enter, the lovely Maitress d’ takes your coat and shows you to your choice of dark wood tables set with one fat glowing wax pillar, huge wine goblets and a short glass for water (still or sparkling!). There are wall-mounted fireplaces glowing in the background, casting just enough heat to be cosy without making you feel like you’re in a Swedish sauna.

The menu is respectable, with a good variety of starters, pastas and mains and the wine list is quite amazing. Great fresh bread and a variety of savoury spreads in addition to butter. No rush, no pressure. We both ordered an amazing Australian red (Six Rows, Shiraz ’09, Mclaren Vale, Australia),  the 7 oz. beef tenderloin – the smallest on the menu – with seasonal vegetables and a jalapeno béarnaise which was tasty and not hot at all. The thick cuts of meat came exactly as ordered (medium and medium-rare) with a crispy seared crust. The server was informative but not overly chatty and he was spot-on with timing the water refills and asking if the meal was satisfactory. The piece de resistance was the chocolate concoction for dessert and the espresso. Yummy.

After dinner, we wandered into the Market and ogled the deli/cheese counter. Strolling through the Market was like being back in Brussels or Paris, but with a much larger floor space, of course. Another revelation – selections were well marked and very diverse. It was good to see such a wide variety of cheeses from Quebec and Ontario, as well as the standard Stiltons, bries and gorgonzolas.

All in all, a wonderful evening.