I've wanted to dine there for what seems like forever after seeing it land on Toronto Life's Best of List year after year and finally had my chance!
We settled into our table out on the terrace and decided on the 5-course tasting. I indulged with the matching wine pairings since I wasn't driving - as someone reminded me, you only live once, and who knows when we'll be out that way again?
Our meal began with an amuse of sweet pea jelly with trout, red peppers and cream.
Our first course was a citrus ceviche with a basil chip - I'll have to try serving my basil like that at some point. This was paired with the Gosset Semillon-Sauvignon Blanc blend from Clare Valley, Australia which was perfectly crisp and cool. Unfortunately, it's not available at the LCBO so if I want to taste it again, I may have to order it through the agent, and then, only by the case. sigh.
Our second course differed but we switched half way through so were able to try everything: I had the monkfish with garden beets and young asparagus,
and wL had the grilled octopus with compressed watermelon and pine nuts. The plating's rather disappointing but the contrast in taste and textures made up for it.
Our third course was rabbit with chanterelles, snail ragout and sweet peas, and this may just be my favourite of the meal.
For the fourth, wL had duck with a carrot-ginger puree (sooo yum! I will have to try this too!), asparagus and spinach,
and I had lamb tenderloin with a lamb shoulder cannelloni, artichoke hearts and an asparagus puree.
By the time our plates were cleared away, we'd been dining for 2.5 hours. The sun was setting and I was beginning to feel the itch of phantom bites, so we settled indoors by the fireplace in a couple of cozy wingback chairs for dessert:
Passionfruit chocolate mousse
All in all, it was a fantastic 4-hour dining experience. The staff was gracious with their impeccable service and we never felt rushed. We were there until 11pm and knowing that we had come in from Toronto, the maitre'd kindly informed us that a room was available should we not wish to make the long drive back. We declined, but one day, I think I will be back for a weekend stay...