Yesss I’m still alive and working away at this! As promised, to deliver all the reviews before the next licious event rolls around =P
Next up, we have a well known restaurant in the Toronto foodie scene, that is also quite popular on the licious roster – run by Chef Victor Barry. I’ve heard great things about this restaurant so this was the first time I finally got to try them out! I remember it was a Friday night that we had booked ourselves in for a dinner, and I was looking forward to the delicious beginning of the weekend meal after work. I was the last to arrive in our party, and I was told that we had to wait a bit, so we grabbed drinks by the nice bar to chat. Time went on and we were getting a little antsy to get started, but they kept telling us the table would almost be ready. Looking around, the place is not too big. It had an intimately dark and quiet cozy sort of feel, but enough space between tables so that you could have your privacy still. The place was of course fully seated that night, so we waited for our table. And waited. And waited a total of 30 minutes before we were finally sat down at a dining table. Honestly, I understand that it’s a busy time for the restaurant, but I think a half an hour delay is uncalled for with reservations. No other restaurant has had this issue during this event, regardless of how busy or small they were. So this is something I think they really have to work on. And after dining here, I could see why we had to wait for so long… they really really take their time with you during the meal. Although we started half an hour later, in no time during our meal did we feel rushed at all. The waiters and staff were all very polite and kind, and took their time in ensuring we were having a good and comfortable meal. They were incredibly professional and in no way could you tell that anyone was in a hurry or that it was very busy – and this is something you often see at all the other popular restaurants during licious. People tend to drop service a tad bit in order to handle all the extra customers. But this place did an excellent job at not doing that… yet at the expense of other customers waiting it seems. A better balance could be made I think in that respect. But let’s talk about the food too!
The foie gras was very delicate in the sense that it tasted like you got it from a fancy french place. Very smooth and rich, and matched up very well with all the options provided on the plate. An excellent foie gras it was *pinkies up*!
Totally not what I expected in terms of polenta from all the types I’ve had in the past! I’ve only really eaten polenta at licious restaurants and they’ve ranged from a solid deep fried form to a softer patty-like form. But this one was just straight-up liquidy barely solid. Its texture was like porridge LOL. No kidding, I mixed in all the ingredients presented in the bowl together… and I didn’t bother posting that photo of it because it really didn’t look appetizing AT ALL… especially in dim lighting. Just like a bowl of brown baby food??? …HAHA. Taste-wise though it wasn’t as bad as it looked. It really was sorta like eating some fancy type of porridge/oatmeal. All warm and densely filling. Not my fave way of eating polenta… but interesting enough a new way of trying it… probably in one of its more “raw” forms since it is cornmeal afterall LOL. Not to mention it probably didn’t help me that those olive looking things are actually mushrooms? Heh =P
Very small pieces, but very nicely cooked salmon. Not overcooked for the fish, but otherwise there wasn’t anything else special or very different to offer in this dish.
Beautifully plated and nicely cooked. The pork belly wasn’t a show stopper of a meat or anything though. Tasted good – wasn’t too dry but wasn’t very tender either. Nothing to fall off your chair about except for the visual beauty of it.
This was definitely my dish of the night. This is surprisingly probably one of the best sauced pasta on my list because the flavouring is just so perfect for me. It was a SWEET based sauce with stuffed pasta (one of my fave forms of pasta). And oh my my was it done so well. The agnolotti was very soft with a touch of sweet from the ricotta cheese. I have no idea what that brown crumbly stuff on top was but it was sweet with a powdery crunch, mixed in with the sweet potatoes and that killer sauce… it absolutely hit my love for sweetness. The pumpkin seeds added a nice change in texture with a strong crunch. Everything in this bowl of pasta just worked so beautifully together that I am sorta craving it again right now just talking about it. And mind you, it wasn’t overly sweet – still works out perfectly as a main course.
A very unique and tasty dessert that arrived in appearance not how I had expected. It’s definitely more cake-like looking rather than pear-like. But the cake piece was bursting with a delicious soft pear flavour. It was very light and fluffy and felt very refreshing with the mixture of ingredients on the plate (icecream/gelato, mousse, pear jam, etc). The caramel also played nicely without overpowering the main attraction – which is definitely the pear.
One of the more rare cheeses to be served for a dessert, but you got it here and I can’t see where you could go wrong with a good cheese (according to my friend because this is prob too strong of a cheese for me to appreciate)! They also provided a bunch of fun things to eat your cheese with, including a small sugar meringue that tasted like it was wasabi flavour! Cheeses are always such a fun dish to experiment with different things :)
A fruity cake that focuses more on the citrusy sour flavours. Was a nice little cake but I think the bosc pear still won over this one big timeeee!
A very formally presented restaurant given its status, so I would definitely go a little more business-ey and nice to match with the night environment and the classy and high quality foods. (I know… I also need to start coming up with different outfits to avoid the repeats!)
The food quality at this restaurant is definitely up to par with its fame. The people are also extra polite and serve you with care, to give you that high-class dining feel. Other than the super long wait, I would recommend dining at this restaurant for sure. It is very nice and intimate, perfect for smaller groups and dates.
Just keep eating!
Winterlicious: $28 Lunch // $45 Dinner
Reservations: Very well known restaurant so I would recommend booking ASAP. It’s also not very large so the seatings will fill up quickly!