Showing posts with label fritto. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fritto. Show all posts

Stock Bar at Stock T.C (Toronto)

There is pent up demand within households – that’s what’s frequently being said about the torrent of money that’s about to flow through the Canadian economy once the flood gate opens. I can see why they’re predicting this: once my friend scored a reservation at the new Stock Bar, the roof top and street-side patios at Stock T.C, we wouldn’t bail even though Toronto was hit with a day of rain. Under normal conditions, we would have rain checked the patio and gone for an indoor dining experience. But since that wasn’t possible in June, and we had already been relegated to takeout and delivery for months on end, we were going anyways.

We saw umbrellas over the tables in photos and thought we’d take a chance. It’s a bet that paid off as we scored one of the last tables where everyone would be properly shielded from the elements. I bet Stock T.C wished they invested in more umbrellas to ensure more tables could get the full coverage – despite the plethora of umbrellas, when they’re placed only to protect from sun, it means few tables are usable.

So, was the risk worth it? Under normal conditions, the food would be a disappointment. The tagliatelle all’astice ($45) was so over seasoned. It’s perplexing why the chef felt a dish with lobster and marinara – two fairly flavourful ingredients – would need so much salt and pepper. The crustacean became lost, they could have thrown in any protein, a neutral chicken would have worked better. And for a high price point, the pasta had a lot of cherry tomatoes and probably a claw-worth of lobster. I’d pass on the pasta.

The Stock steak frites ($26) was decent – the beef was a little chewy, but that’s also expected from a lean sirloin that’s cooked perfectly to medium rare. If I were Stock T.C, I’d leave the steak uncut. Sure, the presentation will not look as nice, but it will help the protein retain it’s heat more as a common complaint is the steak arrives cold and dry. I wouldn’t say it was dry, but the temperature was a problem.

Perhaps the best dish of the night was the funghi e burrata ($26) pizza, but even this wasn’t something I’d rave about. I enjoyed the ingenuity of pairing burrata with mushrooms (typically it arrives with basil or prosciutto), as the earthy fungi gives an interesting twist with the creamy cheese. Yet, since I had this last, the pizza had two things going against it: 1) it tasted bland… after the salty pasta anything would seem tasteless; and 2) the crust, while nice and thin, had become hard from the cold.

If people are sharing dishes amongst a table, the restaurant should recommend having the pizza come between the appetizers and the main, or even act as the starter if the table isn’t getting anything. That would help ensure people are eating the pie at its peak.

The pizza would have made for a nice interlude between the prosciutto con gnocco fritto ($17) and the steak and pasta. Even the fritto, fried pieces of puffed dough, had cooled by the time they reached the table. Nonetheless, they had a lovely aroma, and the prosciutto was shaved thin enough that even the heat of your hand starts to warm the fat enough to stick to the pastry. Since it was my first bite of freshly prepared food since 2020, that fritto was freaking fabulous.

Eating outside always presents the chefs with challenges and deteriorates the taste of a dish. And with restaurants trying to recoup lost revenue, survive with limited occupancy, and deal with rising ingredient costs, menu prices will be higher than the historical norms. In the end, expect to pay more for dishes that aren’t at their best.

Which brings me back to the point of the pent-up demand. Sure, I paid a lot for a subpar meal, but I still loved it.

Overall mark - 6 out of 10

How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 2388 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!

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