The first stop of Summerlicious this year is a returning trip to Sassafraz after a few years later. The first time I came here was winter time, and I loved checking this place out during the summer because I found it to be so different! Located in a cute little yellow house in Toronto’s famous Yorkville Area for celebrity sightings, it opened up its windows and had a great patio during the summertime! The live music at night was to be heard through the windows and out into the streets! This classy restaurant always has the nicest decor and furniture. Super comfy chairs and couches both in the dining area and the outer bar area. Such a pleasure to eat in such a lovely environment. Was a great pick to start off this event with for me!
Shall we begin once again?
The usual bread starter! Nothing much here, crunchy outsides with soft centers. Mmmm :)
WOW. WHAT A STARTER. This was delicious in every way. They really know how to feed their ontario cows… because this beef tartare was possibly the best I’ve had ever. The tiny little quail egg on top was so cute! All the flavours mixed in nicely. Creamy and soft with crunch from the taro chips! It was awesome to eat both on its own, and along with the chips. <3
Mmm this was really artistically presented (and I always love that with dishes at fancy places). So summery feeling and tasting as well with its pomegranate bits and citrus-ey sauce. A nice sweet refreshing touch to this summerlicious dish… and the cheese wasn’t overpowering at all, unlike what I was first expecting! It was nice and soft with a subtle mozzarella taste, which works for me who can’t take strong cheeses. It was like biting into summery food pillows. Heehee!
Umm… what can I say. These were tomatoes. Just as the dish says. HAHA. I mean, they were great. Yummy and juicy and summery refreshing as well! But… it really just comes down to them being all different sorts of TO-MA-TO. OH YEA… there was an avocado puree… which is spread around in blobs on the plate… I remember thinking it could have more pop in taste considering avocados are usually really strong in taste… but definitely overpowered by all the tomatoes so not sure if that added much for me.
As usual, not a lamb eater, but I did try this dish a bit, and I defer my judgement to both my guests who said this was delicious indeed. The piece of lamb that I had was quite tender and actually not too strong for me it seems. The sweet potato frites on top were so crunchy and thin and delicately made without being oily :) props on that skill! And that vegetable medley (which you can’t see) wrapped inside/under that giant cucumber-like (menu says it’s summer squash) veggie was the pleasant surprise for me in this dish! It was mixed up as little chunks of with some cheeses thrown in and the flavouring came together SO WELL and so different than what you would expect from veggies! I’m sure anyone who usually hates veggies would give this a go!
Yeaaa… looks pretty normal / plain / vegetarian. However the taste and flavouring was done really nicely! You wouldn’t expect any less by now right? Pasta was a perfect al dente for me, cheese and sauce wasn’t overpowering. Everything came together deliciously without it feeling as heavy as it looks.
Duck breast was definitely the dish I had expectations for at this French cuisine! First piece made me question a bit. I felt it was a little TOO much on the raw-er side. Could be cooked a bit more so that it’s not so overly chewy and hard to bite apart. But that duck taste and quality is definitely there. Second piece I had with more sauce and cut up into smaller pieces actually seemed better than the first impression. Hmm… the orange reduction sauce… thought that the orange could be more prominent. Regardless, was still a delicious duck dish (alliteration yaay)!
I liked all the different parts of this dish that came together so that it wasn’t JUST mousse. The chocolate mousse itself was very soft and chocolatey in a light fluffy way while retaining all the chocolate strength! A bit of light citrus-ey touch in the sauce to balance out the sweetness and make it more summer-like! The candied pistachios was so crunchy sweet and yummy! The mousse itself also sat on top of a biscuit base… which I didn’t really care much for. JUST MORE YUMMY MOUSSE AND CANDIED PISTACHIOS PLEASE!
Ahhhh the jammy stuff… “caramelized pineapple” according to the menu… omgggg sooo gooood! This was like a pudding but with a completely unexpected flavour than what you’d expect just from looking at it. You’re thinking, ok, light, creamy, milky taste with a bit of fruit? Then BAAAAM… WHAT IS THIS UNIQUE FLAVOURING? That was the response for both me and my friend xD It’s sooo different it’s almost indescribable as a dessert. IT WAS GOOD. It was like such tropical refreshing crazy goodness! Hah! I tried!
I am nottttt a cheese person so to be most accurate I defer my judgement to my cheese friends. I asked “Did you feel like batman after eating it?”… I got “No I did not feel like batman”. BOOOOO LOL. But in all seriousness, the cheese was medium flavourful and not overpowering. Apple honey compote was sweet and worked nicely with the smoked walnuts. The different levels of sweetness and saltiness complemented each other really well :) SOUNDS LIKE A GOOD SAVOURY DESSERT TO ME! Thanks K2 for the input! ….
“and the walnuts/flatbreads provided a wonderful juxtaposition of texture with the cheese and compote”…. rambles on.
One thing I noticed about summertime outfits… people tend to be more colourful / casual with their outfits compared to winter. You’d get fancy, but it would be more focused on artsy and lighter outfits that seem to be less fancy, but still look just as classy in the pretty restaurant environments! So I will be picking some more random splashes in my wardrobe choices as well this time around for dressing up!
Phew! Got through my first posting of this Summerlicious finally! Hope to be somewhat on the ball with all these restaurants so you don’t get crazy gaps of reviews and better up to date info!
Sassafraz was such a great restaurant, I definitely enjoyed it this time in the summer much more than in the winter. Please stop by here if you get a chance to enjoy the fresh air and live music! Beautiful place in a classy neighbourhood for sure. Keeping up to the standard of their foods!
Continued Food Adventures!
Summerlicious: $25 Lunch // $45 Dinner
Reservations: Busy, but not that crazy. You’ll need a reservation for sure before dining, but they are open everyday for lunch and dinner so you should be able find availabilities.
Attire: Nice Casual / Business