Showing posts with label chocolate tart. Show all posts
Showing posts with label chocolate tart. Show all posts

CRU (Toronto)


LBS has switched out their three letters for three new ones … CRU. With the change, the menu’s morphed from similarly priced seafood options to a more standard format. No worries, their spacious banquette seating environment and large bar still remains.


CRU’s menu now straddles a variety of proteins and cultures. Items such as the burrata ($19) and brown butter gnocchi ($23) have an Italian influence, although updated with different spices. The burrata is covered with a date compote, honey, tangy za’atar seasoning, and tons of micro greens to give the creamy cheese a Middle Eastern flair. It’s rather refreshing, but better suited for summer months; I was craving something more comforting and sinful.


The brown butter gnocchi ($23) was more satisfying – well flavoured plump soft nuggets in a savoury brown butter sauce with earthy chestnuts, crunchy lightly pickled cauliflower, and briny capers thrown in. The gnocchi is a richer dish and works well for sharing.


Their starters are the more adventurous options. Thumbnail sized caviar doughnuts (complimentary order shown below; normal order is $16) takes a dense cake batter and glazes it with sweet crème fraiche. It’s kept savoury by decorating the pastry with radish, chives, and, of course, caviar. If you like sweet and salty combinations, this one will blow the typical bacon and maple glaze version out of the water.


I was actually fooled by the vegan ‘nduja (complimentary order shown below; normal order is $11) where the spicy salty spread did taste like the pork version – the only difference being it was much smoother. Topped on crispy grilled bread, slices of pickled fennel and dill were a good attempt to balance out the powerful spread. If the smokiness was toned down a bit, the ‘nduja may be even better.  


CRU’s mains were definitely what impressed our table with the aged duck breast ($29) being the favourite. The combination of gamey duck meat, thin sliver of fat, and well rendered crispy skin made for a tasty bite. As the juices and fat melded together on my taste buds, I instantly wanted another bite. Paired with soft confit squash and some pumpkin seed crumble, the dish definitely had a fall/winter flair.


Some people may find the Angus striploin ($33) a tad chewy but I enjoyed the well seared crust and deep beef flavours. Even the glazed celeriac, paired with the dish, was a treat. Usually the root vegetable is served in a puree form, its flavours diluted by cream, butter, or stock. Left whole, so that its natural tastes were prevalent, it made for an interesting side - imagine something that has the texture of turnip but the after taste of celery.


While we knew not to expect Chabrol caliber apple tart tatin ($10), the deconstructed version was a letdown. There was way too much cinnamon apple filling and the puff pastry is better described as thin crispy wafers than pastry. Good luck trying to spoon any of the compote or ice cream onto the thick spoon provided. The dessert was disappointing and messy.


Go for the millionaire’s tart ($12) instead. Indeed, it’s a rich dessert given it’s constructed with chocolate ganache, caramel, and hazelnut ice cream. But, the ganache is made with dark chocolate so the sugariness of the tart is restrained. It was lusciously flavourful and left my taste buds feeling like a million bucks.


In general, CRU’s dishes are packed with flavours. Each element on the plate holds its own and together packs a powerful punch. It’s certainly a change from the safe fare at LBS. CRU food is here to make a statement.

Overall mark - 7.5 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 100 Yonge 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!

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CLOSED: Giulietta (Toronto)


Toronto has no shortage of good Italian restaurants. So, it was surprising that when Bestellen closed it’d be re-opened as … another Italian restaurant. Nevertheless, Chef Rob Rossi comes from that background and the food at Bestellen was good, so a visit to Giulietta … another pasta, pizza, and meat establishment … was a must.

My outlook improved when the burrata ($30) was set on the table. The cheese draped with thin slices of salty prosciutto, why mess with a great combination? 



Since the bread wasn’t toasted or oiled, it was a bit chewy and difficult to get a knife through, so if it was cut thinner it would be even better. The caramelized onion and fig spread on the bread was absolutely delicious and went so nicely with the milky flavourful cheese, which was served at a perfect room temperature. The staggering $30 price tag was a bit of a surprise though… note to self, always ask for prices with specials.  


Well marbled beef was used in the carne cruda di chianina ($19) and while I couldn’t taste the fried garlic mentioned on the menu, the anchovy was an interesting addition to the mix. We’re asked if we’d like a side of bread ($3) which, in my opinion, is a must. You really need something to spread the beef tartare on or it’d be way too salty and overpowering on its own. For those that are abstaining from carbs, perhaps a salad would help balance the flavourful beef.


Even one of Giulietta’s pizzas would be a great shared starter. The l'amentea ($21) has a healthy portion of spicy soppressata and tons of garlic that would give Count Dracula a scare. I love garlic so found it went nicely with the soppressata, but did drown out the fior di latte, which became more for its creamy chewy texture than flavour. The well blistered crust was coloured evenly and had a lovely chewy texture, but could be thicker in the middle as the paper-thin centre became lost amongst the sauce.


The chestnut agnolotti ($26) was not as hearty as expected, possibly due to the ricotta folded into the chestnut paste or the sheer amount of the guanciale used in the pasta, giving the dish a salty property. While it’s a good dish, I did expect more flavours. After all, it's supposed to incorporate earthy chestnuts and sweet 20-year balsamico. In reality, the most prevalent flavour was bacon, which like the garlic in the pizza, can be welcomed if you LOVE the ingredient or overpowering if you don’t.


Although the salty rosemary crust on the bracioli di maiale ($42) would have been too strong, giving the pork a slight bitter aftertaste. Once a smear of sweet fennel and apricot mostarda was added to the pork chop, the flavours gelled together and really worked, especially when mixed with a piece of fat. It’s a rather sizeable portion but arrives pre-sliced so can be shared family style.


For chocolate lovers the gianduja torta ($12) has a lovely silky texture and combines wonderfully with the salted caramel, both flavours equally balanced. It’s especially good with the crunchy toasted hazelnut pieces. Imagine having Ferrero Rocher in a tart form, to another level.


While the dinner was good, there wasn’t much that stuck out about the experience to make it memorable and proclaim it as something that makes Giulietta. For now, I'll consider it another good Italian restaurant in Toronto.

Overall mark - 7.5 out of 10



How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 972 College Street West

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: