The season has finally arrived – deck season! Not much is better than a warm breeze, the sun beating down and enjoying a cool drink while basking in the warmth and company of good friends. Well, it gets a little better if you can do all that while enjoying some great food on the deck of a local restaurant.
On our first warm and sunny day of the season, I watched hopelessly from the window of my fourth floor office, while the entire downtown population made the best of the beautiful day. That was when I decided, it was the perfect day to kick off deck dining for the summer. I put out an open call on Twitter for tips on who had a dinner-ready deck and thankfully, Magnum and Steins answered my call.
I called immediately to make a reservation on the deck and rounded up a group of friends who were up for the sunny food adventure.
If you recall my previous review of Magnum and Steins’ Lounge Menu, you’ll already know that I’m a fan of their food but, eating on their deck was a brand new experience and I got to try a new item on their menu.
Upon arrival, we were escorted through the modern dining room to the deck at the rear of the restaurant. The deck itself is quite small, seating only about 8 people, which made me very thankful that I did make a reservation!
The deck furniture is simple, bar-height and feels limited in comparison to the very chic decor of the restaurant’s interior. But, it was perfect for our casual evening out. Being a group of six, we had the deck to ourselves and enjoyed a private, catered affair in the warm sun.
Naturally, we started our fête in the sun with drinks. I opted for a drink I reviewed last time – yes, it is that delicious. The Melontini is a fantastic mix of sweet melon and rich vanilla which was a perfect start to our meal.
While we mulled over the menus and noshed on the fresh bread appetizer, I tried out another mixed drink off the Magnum and Steins cocktail menu. This drink, the Sea Breeze, is a sweet and citrusy beverage mainly consisting of grapefruit juice. I will definitely be returning to try this fresh and light cocktail.
The first dish which graced our table was the Charcuterie Plate. This plate featured Duck Prosciutto which was a real treat. However, the rest did fall a little flat and felt a little lack lustre overall.
Thankfully, this was followed by two much-loved dishes. Fish Tacos ($8 each) and the Mags Fries ($7). These two appetizers make a perfect combination together to create a casual meal, which is exactly what you need while deck dining with friends.
The Fish Tacos were served on a perfectly Grilled Flour Tortilla, while the Crispy Fried Cod was layered with Shaved Cabbage, Pico de Gallo and drizzled with a mouth-watering Chipotle Lime Crema. The Mags Fries feature Hand-Cut Bistro Style Frites with Parmesean Cheese and Fresh Parsley along with a complimentary dip.
Honestly, I wish I could eat this meal everyday. Both dishes are fresh, full flavoured and leave you wanting more.
We continued our casual Magnum and Steins meal with the infamous Duck Confit Nachos ($10/half serving). This plate is a favourite of mine and I am always happy to be present for the first time others get to try it! Seriously, you need to go and try these nachos.
They’re rich, decadent and irresistible. The dish is based on crispy, Fried Wontons, topped with a Carrot & Ginger Slaw, drizzled with Sweet & Spicy Sesame Soy and finished off with a mound of juicy and rich Duck Confit.
The last dish we ordered was a Magnum and Steins feature for the month of May; fresh, homemade Gnocchi. Gnocchi may seem like a popular restaurant dish however, finding a truly well-done gnocchi dish is rare.
This dish, was perfect. The base was rich yet subtle, which felt very authentic. The lobster claw admittedly felt out of place initially but its flavours blended perfectly with the tomato and garlic base – and was itself, delicious. The gnocchi was cooked to perfection with the tender, yet structured consistency that it should have.
I would be very happy to see Gnocchi as a feature on the Magnum and Steins menu again.
Overall, my experience on the Magnum and Steins deck was wonderful! It was a real pleasure to have such a private dining experience at such a great restaurant, while getting to take advantage of a beautiful day in downtown St.John’s.
One thing to note is that it was a little noisy on the deck, as it is in close proximity to roof-top machinery from the restaurant and nearby buildings. However, you do get used to the background noise quickly – and surely the experience makes up for it!
On the next warm, sunny evening I highly recommend gathering a few friends and trying out the Magnum and Steins deck for a truly delicious experience!