We’re nearly a month away from Christmas, and with American Thanksgiving now out of the way, I think it’s now appropriate to pull out the decorations to start making merry at home. It was also perfect timing for a Christmas fête at the Queen of Tarts.
Sparking wine and sparkling lights
There’s a lot to celebrate at the Queen of Tarts – this will be their first Christmas at the storefront, and the space will allow the Queen of Tarts to have a greater selection of pantry gifts (including a special Greek olive oil called Parthena – pure and cold-pressed, a sample yielded a light, fruity quality, and a flavour that made it good enough to drink). They will even be putting together baskets to make it easy for the harried shopper!
Gifts for the pantry
Parthena Greek olive oil
The cafe is also kicking off regular dinner service on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights starting on December 1st. And of course, special seasonal items will now start to appear in the bakery cases!
All decked out for the holidays
This evening’s open house was intended as a showcase for these delights, an opportunity to sample both sweet and savoury treats that will be offered over the next few weeks.
The Queen herself, Linda Kearney
Alongside a glass of sparkling wine, we were invited to try nearly ten different delectable desserts and appetizers that any hostess would be proud to serve. Among the more traditional sweets were mincemeat tarts, fruitcake and stollen (the latter was already packaged and ready for patrons to pick up).
Fruitcake and mincemeat tarts
The palmiers, a delicate savoury cookie made from buttery puff pastry, simply melted in my mouth. The olive tapenade was a sophisticated addition. As well, mini brioche buns stuffed with mushroom duxelle were also a new item, a wonderful two-bite hors d’oeuvre with the earthiness of the mushrooms (I loved that the shallots retained their crunch) and a touch of sweetness.
Mini brioche buns and Mack’s favourite gougères
One cannot pass up the dessert tray at the Queen of Tarts, and tonight was no exception. The sinfully rich brownies are always a crowd favourite, but the seasonal gingerbread Bundt cakes held their own. I’m not much of a ginger fan, but I enjoyed them, won over by their moist and fragrant interior.
Gingerbread Bundt cakes
A big change is coming though – as you may have heard, the Queen of Tarts had organized a contest earlier this fall to help them pick a new name. Linda has finally settled on “Dauphine”, which is the French term for the Queen in waiting. Look for a launch of their new identity soon.
Thanks again to Linda and her staff for hosting the festive open house – it definitely helped get me in the mood for Christmas!
Queen of Tarts Bakery & Bistro
10129 104 Street
Tuesday -Friday 9am-7pm, Saturday 8am-6pm