Showing posts with label bread. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bread. Show all posts

Edulis (Toronto)


Edulis is quaint. Walk too quickly and you may miss their storefront; the neighbourhood doesn’t feel like where one of Toronto’s best restaurants would be found. Tables are closely situated throughout the dining room, the dim candlelight some respite for privacy between you and neighbours. 

Upon entering the homey looking bathroom, I felt like I met a kindred spirit: framed all along the walls were tasting menus from notable restaurants! There were so many to read through … the November 2014 menu from Alinea (close to the time I visited the restaurant) and an interesting peeky toe crab from Daniel’s menu that peaked my interest. I almost felt bad; with only one stall, I was surely taking too long in the bathroom.

My only complaint for the evening is the actual ordering process. Edulis’ menu is short and sweet, but somehow turns into a five minute affair for our waitress to explain all the changes we can make. Some are additions (where you get another dish) while others a supplement (that replaces an existing one). By the end, I was a bit confused and tired; certainly it could all be simplified? Worst of all, you almost feel pressured to add something on, so it seems like Edulis’ regular menu would be insufficient, when it can certainly stand on its own.

What turned out to be my least favourite dish of the meal was the hors of d'oeuvre of imperial osetra caviar ($50) we added onto the meal (although my husband loved it). To me, the caviar was really fishy until you ate it with enough of the cream sauce. Moreover, the so call “caviar” wooden spoons we were given (since metal alters the ingredient’s taste) were much too thick to actually scoop up the delicate caviar without the help of fingertips. Where was the thin oyster of pearl ones that makes it so much easier?

In terms of the standard menu, Edulis presents two options: a smaller 5-course for $65 or 7-courses for $85 (per person). Understandably, the whole table has to order the same number of courses, but our waitress explains the seven course version isn’t that much larger as the two additional dishes tend to be smaller in size. Unfortunately, they can’t provide any description of what the menu could be given what’s served can change throughout the night depending on availability … talk about just-in-time inventory management.

The 7-course menu ($85) began with a simple bite-sized pintxo combining a large green olive and toasted bread drizzled with olive oil. It set the tone and reminded diners that they were in a Spanish restaurant with bold tastes to come. A larger basket of country style bread also arrived and we were warned not to fill up on it – we heeded the warning and took only a couple of bites. Nonetheless, the bread basket depleted by the end - the sauces were so good that we had to mop up every drop.


Take the light onion sauce accompanying the Nova Scotia tuna, which was served raw with crunchy seaweed cucumber, the sauce helped give a lovely essence to the fish without relying on the typical citrus or soy. What a refreshing bite that lightly stings the tongue, every bit of sauce was devoured.


The following lobster was delicately poached so it was just cooked through; still holding a bit of its translucence. Nonetheless, it was cooked and the natural sweetness shone through. Incorporating fava beans and crushed almonds, there was plenty of differing textures to the plate. The ajo blanco sauce is garlicky with a hint of citrus and a creamy finish – great against the lobster and for dipping bread.


Normally, a dish that’s lukewarm would be a turnoff, but the room temperature rabbit terrine actually was quite nice against the cool foam. Since it wasn’t too hot, the meaty terrine wasn’t a shock against the cool silky foie gras. Meanwhile, the Saskatchewan chanterelles added a great light earthy essence and the white asparagus shavings and pine nuts a bit of crunch against everything. 


My first time having triglidae, or as Edulis described it as “sea robin”, I can see how this fish gets its moniker. Although it looks like a typical white fish, the meat was intensely dense so it seemed like flaky chicken - sounds weird but actually quite tasty. Along with sliced summer squash, a squash blossom, and diced squash mixed into the sauce, the dish was light and refreshing. The sauce was predominantly olive oil and tomato based augmented with a hint of citrus, while the fresh oregano went nicely with the acid in the dish … how I wanted more!


Wild Nunavut arctic char is supposedly a rare fish that can only be sourced twice in the year – a lucky coincidence we could sample it that evening. Compared to traditional Arctic char, this was leaner so a bit stronger in flavour without the hint of oil on the tongue. Of course, the beany sauce was fantastic and there was so much of it that I finished it off like soup.


The last savoury course is also the sole non-seafood dish, a dry-aged duck breast and braised duck leg that evening. Despite not having an ounce of crispy skin, the duck was nonetheless cooked wonderfully and had us savouring its simple flavours and natural juices. The roasted baby turnips were sweet against the savoury duck gravy and herby salsa verde. All in all, it was a rich and hearty ending compared to the other lighter dishes.  


After all these years, why is Edulis still one of the hardest restaurants to score a reservation to? Simply put, their food is fantastic! Their sauces can rival any French restaurant and for me tastes even better: despite having some butter and cream within the sauces, they’re well balanced so you get the silky rich mouth feel without the heaviness. Meanwhile, the proteins are kept simple and just cooked through (nothing was tough or dry), allowing it to compliment and not compete with the sauce. Moreover, the dishes generally have a number of textures so there’s often a pop of crunch, but done subtly so it doesn’t overpower the plate.

If you aren’t able to get a reservation, the restaurant does have a few tables on a covered patio, customers can’t order the tasting menu but are able to enjoy drinks and create their own cheeseboard from a large array Edulis carries.

The dessert was a raspberry mousse and sorbet with nuts. At first, I wasn’t overly excited – sorbet is so boring – but the flavours were, once again, well controlled so the sorbet wasn't too sweet or tart and the mousse not rendered into a sugary gelatin. I certainly could taste the fruit and the dessert had an almost Creamsicle finish.


Just when we resigned that it was all over, we’re brought over a rum baba with Chantilly cream. The server proceeds to drench the cake in a warm butter rum sauce and we're advised add some cream to each bite. Wow, what a great combination: first a hit of alcoholic rum, which is balanced out by the sweet cool cream and finishes with a slight saltiness from the sauce. What a lovely indulgent ending! I only wished they didn’t take away what little remained from the bread so we could soak up the rest of the rum butter sauce.


As I mentioned previously, Edulis is quaint. The small dining room can hold about thirty guests and the meal progresses slowly so you’ll be there for over three hours (although it doesn’t feel that long). Hence, I can see why it’s hard to get a reservation: they don’t try to churn multiple seating of guests through in an evening. With every course I wanted even more, anxiously waiting to see what the kitchen would come up with next. All the while, the wine continues to pour and the twinkling candles have a relaxing effect. All to enjoy one more bite of sauce-laden bread. 

Overall mark - 9.5 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 169 Niagara Street

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____________________________
Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!


Is That It? I Want More!

Other Gastro World posts similar to this:


Edulis Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Cluny Bistro for brunch (Toronto)


Despite this being a return visit, I still get entranced with Cluny Bistro’s dining room. It’s charming, elegant, intricate and beautiful … so French that Carrie Bradshaw would certainly approve. If only the restaurant were opened earlier, what a perfect place it would have been to host my bridal shower. Brides of today, take note.   


At first, I was a little worried if Cluny was a serious brunch establishment - our waitress was unsure whether they carried English Breakfast. Yet, one sip of the flavourful Tea Squared brew ($4) eased away any fears and I was ready for food.


Their weekend brunch menu includes French favourites (onion soup), traditional breakfast offerings (omelets), and then there’s classics with a twist. The pork banh mi benedict ($19.75) seemed out of place at a bistro, yet the promise of roasted porchetta and ultra-thin frites were too hard to resist.

Something about the combination of roasted pork, crispy crackling, pickled vegetables and well toasted sourdough bread … the aroma is hard to describe and incredible. The runny poached eggs went nicely with the ample chunks of porchetta, although I found the pickled vegetables were best eaten on their own. The thick slice of grilled sourdough soaked in all the delicious juices, but required a utensil sharper than a bread knife to cut through.

Cluny’s adjoining boulangerie is fantastic and after having a taste of the freshly baked breads during brunch, we had to stop into the bakery for things to go. Get the roasted garlic focaccia ($3.50), it’s not overly oily but still has a lovely sponginess; the liberal sprinkling of salt and sweet cloves of garlic topping the focaccia meant I didn’t even need butter. Brunch and groceries all procured in one spot, what an efficient start the day.

Overall mark - 7 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 35 Tank House Lane

Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more - https://twitter.com/GastroWorldBlog
____________________________
Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!


Is That It? I Want More!

Other Gastro World posts similar to this:


Cluny Bistro & Boulangerie Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bake Code (Toronto)

Bake Code Toronto


Bake Code is a bakery that’s seen a lot of press with mainstream media and bloggers. Every time I see a picture of the glistening carbs, they beckon me to visit. In reality, it really shouldn’t have taken me so long to make it out to the store, given its proximity to my home, but the news of the fabled crowds and line-ups just didn’t sound appetizing.

After waiting for the hype to die down, I bit the bullet and visited early on a Saturday (about half an hour after opening), to be greeted by a relatively empty store but alas also empty shelves. Over the fifteen minutes I hung around, staff were gradually putting product out (albeit at a rather unhurried pace), an annoying experience as it was hard to determine what to purchase without knowing the complete choices.

Eventually, I had enough and settled on a selection of buns that were available. After hearing the praise for their mentaiko baguette, I was in luck that they had the mentaiko rolls ($1.70) on display. About the size of tennis ball they’re the soft eggy dinner rolls found in Asian bakeries topped with a layer of oily fish roe. Sure, the bun was sort of reminiscent of sushi, but admittedly not my favourite. 

Mentaiko Roll: Photo courtesy of Bake Code
If only the filling in the custard bun ($2.20) were sweeter it would have been fantastic. There was a nice ratio of custard to bun and baked with a wonderful caramel crust letting out that yeasty bread smell I love.


My husband enjoyed their ham crescent ($2.90), a crispy flaky croissant stuffed with a smoked ham and baked until it’s extremely crispy and flaky.  

Ham Crescent: Photo courtesy of Bake Code
The cranberry creamed cheese crown ($4.50) consisted of pillowy soft pull apart buns, the texture a cross between a ciabatta and kaiser, filled ample amounts of dried cranberry studded creamed cheese. With three to a crown, this is also a comparatively economical offering.  


I appreciate the unique selection Bake Code offers: from their website the selection of cakes and the pork floss bun sounds intriguing. However, as with all businesses, it’s hard to sell what’s not in stock... please Bake Code, make sure your product is ready when you open!

Overall, the first visit wasn’t as successful as one would hope – the available goods were decent but hardly as unique and amazing as I’ve been hearing. One day, perhaps I’ll make it out to the bakery again, this time here’s hoping the shelves will be full.     

How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 4910 Yonge Street

Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more - https://twitter.com/GastroWorldBlog


Is That It? I Want More!

Other Gastro World posts similar to this:


Bake Code Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato