Salmon Rillettes at Lapointe’s

Salmon Rillettes at Lapointe's Restaurant in Ottawa

Salmon Rillettes at Lapointe’s Restaurant in Ottawa

I have previously posted a recipe for my own version of Salmon Rillettes, in which I explain the origin of the name and the basic technique. The appetizer you see above was served to me at Lapointe’s Restaurant in Ottawa but, for a simple dish, this otherwise very decent Seafood restaurant did a singularly unimpressive job.

There has been a Lapointe’s Fish Market in Ottawa’s Byward Market for as long as I can remember and, for many years, they had a restaurant about a block away. There is still a Lapointe’s Restaurant somewhere just outside the City, but the Byward Market location is now closed. The place was located below street level, although they operated a patio service during the summer each year. Every meal I had inside was terrific but my one lunch al fresco turned out to be disappointing.

The plating for this appetizer was ‘enhanced’ by some leafy greens which were a little tired and the Rillettes were supplements by thin pieces of Crostini, a Fruit Chutney, and a wedge of Lemon.

The Crostini were a bit unfortunate in that they were prepared with Caraway Seed in addition to Flax Seed. Caraway is popular in Scandinavian cookery, and is quite often used with Salmon but, unfortunately, I do not like the flavor at the best of time and find it doesn’t work for me with fish. Still, that’s a personal taste and not something for which Lapointe’s deserves criticism, but I could have done with out it.

The Fruit Chutney was a bit ambitiously named in that the sole fruit used was just Apple. It was spiced with a little Cinnamon and Clove and was actually very nice, but the Apple was cut in very large chunks which made it difficult to spoon onto the Rillettes once this was spread on the Crostini. A smoother, less chunky condiment would have worked much better.

My real issue with this appetizer was the Rillettes. The Salmon was mixed to a nice smooth consistency with the butter, but there was absolutely no flavor. Even a little salt would have been something, but there was no flavor of fish, herb, or anything remotely interesting. I can’t imagine how they managed to do this but, for such a (usually) decent restaurant, this was a pretty poor effort.

Comments, questions or suggestions most welcome!