Sake at Atelier

Atelier course #2: "Savage Garden" - paired not with sake (the point of this post) but with NZ Astrolabe Sauv Blanc
Atelier course #2: “Savage Garden” paired with Astrolabe Sauvignon Blanc

One of Atelier’s 12 courses — 13 if you factor in the amuse (a sphere of Concorde grape goo on corn bread, with corn pudding and house cured ham) — at a recent Marc Lepine dinner, was a dish called “See Spot Prawn” and it came paired with sake. It so happened to photograph badly – surely its fault, not mine – so I include course #2, called Savage Garden, for your viewing pleasure. Not a dish paired with sake, however. And sake is the point of this post.

The See Spot dish was a series of one bite wonders, united in their focus on BC spot prawns — but it was the sake that commanded equal attention.

Made in Toronto’s Distillery District  IMG_5767by the Ontario Spring Water Sake Company and called Izumi of the North (Junmai Nama Cho) it tasted at first of damp wooly socks. Possibly with a hint of foot odour. Like the smell of my front hall during basketball season. Curiously not unpleasant, actually.

And then woosh… in came softer, brighter notes, like warm blankets with a bit of nutty toasted rice, juicy apples, and autumn pears in the finish. This is a once-pasteurized in the bottle sake, very vibrant tasting, and though I don’t know nothin’ ’bout rice wines, I know I liked this one immensely.

The Ontario Spring Water Sake Company offers tasting tours, if you’re interested in fitting that into a Toronto visit. You can buy the sake at the Distillery brewery. It’s also available through the LCBO and

Cost for 300 ml bottle of Izumi of the North, $12.95 (12.5% alcohol).







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