The Musical Brunches at Rundles, one of Stratford’s finest restaurants, run Saturdays and Sundays until Sunday August 24.
Anna Atkinson is the featured performer this year. Suzie and I saw the debut performance and it was enchanting. Rundles is a great place to see an intimate performance. The food, as always, was exquisite.
Suzie’s scallops were moist and flavorful, my braised and grilled lamb shank, with roasted turnips and yellow zucchini, was a real treat.
I’ve always enjoyed lamb shanks, they’re a succulent cut. Mine was so tender I could have used a butter knife.
I don’t eat any added wheat or sugar, it’s one of the ways I manage my Crohn’s disease, so for dessert I had a cheese plate. The mix of cheeses with a fruit compote, and some tasty greens (were they decoration? who knows, but I ate them anyway), was a perfect conclusion to the meal.
Suzie has cut back on sugar, so she had the cheese plate too, although hers came with a variety of delicious crackers and bread. She loved it, but I think I saw her lusting after our neighbour’s white chocolate parfait with lime granita, and a fresh mango salad.
I suppose we could have tried a bit of the mango salad. We’ll ask when we return in August to see Anna perform again.
One can’t write about dining at Rundles without mentioning the service. As always, the service was efficient, attentive and personal, something I greatly value due to my special diet. The staff anticipated all our needs without being intrusive – a skill lacking these days in far too many servers.
The set list changes each week, and it’s fun to attend a concert early in the season, and again later in the season when the performer has grown accustomed to the up-close and intimate setting.
Atkinson has mastered several instruments, which won’t come as a surprise to those who have seen her onstage at Stratford.
The acoustics at Rundles really highlighted Atkinson’s voice, which possesses a maturity well beyond her years. Yet she still radiates a youthful exuberance; Atkinson is one of the most joyful performers I’ve seen recently.
Click on the logo below to sample Anna’s CD on iTunes
The video below is an acoutsic performance of the song Cinnamon from her album Mooniture.
Below is a video from a collaborations with guitarist/composer David Occhipinti, and the Toronto-based quartet Words Around The Waist. The track really highlights Atkinson’s precise yet playful voice.
I caught up with Anna and recorded an interview, which will be published next week on my podcast The Inadequate Life.
Here are some photos from the Stratford Summer Music Festival video shoot.