Sheraton Cavalier hosted its annual St. Paul’s Hospital Mistletoe Charity Ball on Saturday November 26. Executive Chef Andreas seven course menu looked impressive and nourished over 500 hungry beautifully dressed guests to a background of big band music by the Metro Jazz Ensemble of Saskatoon.

Our evening took flight with Cipes Brut from Summerhill Pyramid Winery. Light, refreshing and bubbly, it paired perfectly with the lox and tuna tartar canapés. There were other little bites but the tuna won in popularity. You could feel the freshness in your mouth and the light citrus aftertaste pleasantly pleasing. One lady told me she ate seven.

Our dinner Amuse Bouche an elegant plating of grilled sable fish, prawn, crispy risotto cake, white asparagus with brown butter sauce and a sprinkling of salmon roe. The fish melted in my mouth and I wanted more. Forget the risotto, too crispy, too dry, and definitely under seasoned. Next time, leave it off the plate.

The 1st course, a silky soup of winter squash, bosc pear bisque, and candied ginger had me wanting to lick my bowl, a favorite at our table. If served with a smidgen of garnish I would have said perfect. I especially enjoyed biting into the small pieces of spicy ginger.

A salad of heirloom tomato, strawberries, basil, Chèvre, and imported balsamic served for the 2nd course, appeared abhorrent in the amount of red plated. My colleagues were unimpressed with the two large chunks of cheese and the lack of seasoning. Remarks included “where do I find those delicious fresh strawberries”.

Our next food experience, a watermelon-mint granité refresher, fashionably served in a martini glass lacked the tartness needed before a main course. More like an Italian dessert, the sweet icy mouthfuls did little to cleanse the palate. I could taste the watermelon, not the mint. It served only as a garnish.  However, our tabled housed a group of sweet mongers who quickly slurped up this in-between.

Next to arrive, our main course; fresh horseradish rubbed Triple A Fillet, port demi,  gorgonzola butter, forest mushroom risotto, and warm root vegetable slaw. My plate looked completely different from my husbands’ and our fillets tasted different. His beautifully charred, perfectly seasoned, and cooked medium-rare. Mine lacked color, seasoning, and in taste and appearance poached. As for the risotto, a sticky, mushy overcooked mess and my fork stood in it like a flag pole at half mast.

A huge selection of tiny squares and bonbons adorned several tables encircling a huge Nut Cracker ice carving. Perhaps my lack of liking sweets dissuaded my ability to enjoy the clusters of chocolate, pastries, and sweet cheese tarts. Or perhaps the slightly-chilled glasses of La Vieux Pin Petit Rouge by the end of the evening paired unevenly. But the warm Christmas pudding/cake with rum sauce definitely teased all our palates.

Overall a wonderful evening but where was the menu stated liqueurs and brandy for the dessert course?