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Langdon Hall

IT’S SOMETHING OF A QUEST that draws Jason Bangerter out to his kitchen gardens and the surrounding Carolinian forest to gather ingredients for his ever evolving menus at one of Ontario’s most elegant rural retreats. His terroir-driven cuisine isn’t dogmatic, though, and a course of panna cotta with house-made buttermilk and homegrown citrus is followed by a partnership of East Coast lobster and wild sturgeon caviar. Sauces and soups are always beautifully judged. Local artichokes, squash and onions are treated with exacting care and garnished with treats from further afield, such as chips of black truffle or tongues of uni. The dining room is all pressed linens, polished crystal and benevolent professionalism. The drama is on the plate, often accented with tiny petals, tender leaves or other gathered things, and extends through the newly introduced and largely over-the-top nine-course tasting menu. For example, locally caught trout is juniper-smoked and served on a steaming rock in a nest of decorative juniper and pine. Two soups make strong but separate cases for culinary maximalism. A pumpkin purée with roasted rounds of sweetbread is served from a gourd tableside. A truffle soup — ask, as it’s often off-menu — is dense with puréed mushrooms and truffle oil topped with truffle foam. Wine pairings, directed by Faye MacLachlan, are exceptionally well executed, facilitated by the vast cellar.

Wine: The list is deep — with many intriguing half bottles — so do heed the sommelier’s advice.

Good morning: Maximalism continues with farm eggs scrambled with lobster, Champagne and garden-grown herbs.

Elegant, reminds me of proper Michelin-star establishments in Europe. Alex Chen
Jason Bangerter.