Showing posts with label rum baba. Show all posts
Showing posts with label rum baba. Show all posts

Coppi Ristorante (Toronto)


Coppi’s dining room is a tribute to Italian cyclist Fausto Coppi and you’ll notice elements of the sport throughout: from trail posters; spokes on the wall; to, my favourite, a whimsical fish made from bicycle parts. It’s an interesting choice of décor for a restaurant whose menu and overall ambiance is nothing like a sports bar. Rather, diners should expect classic Italian dishes that have a heavier focus on seafood.


Their signature dish, the pesce al sale ($43), takes a whole fish and bakes it encrusted in salt. Wheeled out still in the salty tomb, the fish is quickly filleted and dressed in a light lemon butter sauce. 


While the dish looks huge, after fileting the meat what’s leftover is smaller than you’d expect, but nonetheless sufficient as a main for one. The sea bass was remarkably moist and tender with such a clean taste that even someone who doesn’t like fish could be converted.


The risotto frutti di mare ($44) serves two, but with a few appetizers this could be stretched for three people (pictured below is a single portion). Dotted throughout the risotto were bits of clams, shrimp, squid, octopus and bay scallops all evenly disbursed so each bite had a couple of seafood items and helped to thoroughly scent the rice. Tuck in as soon as it arrives as it’s a lovely consistency but a tad more cooked than normal; should be it left longer, it may become too soft.


Coppi offers a variety of appetizers but truthfully the choices are rather safe and nothing seemed overly exciting. Their Caesar salad ($15) is heavy on the anchovy and light on garlic, making the flavours subtler and ideal for those who want a lighter tasting version of the salad. The burrate caprese ($19) is simple combination of quality ingredients: a decent portion of burrata mozzarella, grape tomatoes, and rich and bright olive oil that went especially well with the warm heavily salted baguette.


Personally, I rather have an appetizer portion of pasta instead. The pappardelle in the mare d monte ($18) arrives as silky slightly chewy ribbons and the sauce a light combination of shrimp, mushrooms, and tomato. It’s a great blend of sweet seafood, earthy fungi, and just a hint of something fresh.


The spaghetti used in the chitarra tirreno ($26 for a main portion) is interestingly square-shaped and could be a tad more al dante. Regardless, the san Marzano tomato sauce mixed with all the seafood tastes wonderful and is that lighted umami-laced tomato sauce I love with seafood pasta.


Seeing the baba di ricotta ($13) we were instantly intrigued to try an Italian version of rum baba, a traditional French dessert. A funnel of sponge cake is wrapped around sweetened ricotta, which is a great addition. However, the cake is hardly “soaked” in the rum syrup mixture as described on the menu and any rum flavour is non-existent. When I order this dessert, I want that hit of alcohol against the tongue before the sugar shines through! This is better described as sponge cake filled with ricotta and drizzled with sugar water.


Coppi’s tiramisu ($13) uses most of the typical ingredients (lady fingers, espresso, and mascarpone cream). Yet, seems to leave out the zabaglione layer so the dessert is creamy and sweet but doesn’t have that rich egg custard that really makes the dessert. It’s a bit disappointing when tiramisu at an upscale Italian restaurant is only a touch better than one found at the supermarket.


There are a number of Italian restaurants to choose from around the Yonge-Lawrence neighbourhood. Coppi’s menu trends towards being an upscale establishment and offers excellent mains and decent appetizers but passable desserts. What truly sets Coppi apart is the ambiance: space exists between tables and the table itself is also larger (where they sit two people, in other restaurants it’d hold four). The timing of dishes is also well-paced to allow a brief pause between dishes, but still quick enough to keep things under two hours. It’s a place that you’ll want to stay and catch up longer with guests. Just load up on the delicious pasta, maybe you won’t even need dessert.

Overall mark - 7.5 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 3363 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!

Other Gastro World posts similar to this:


Coppi Ristorante Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

CLOSED: Bacchanal (Toronto)



While Bacchanal translates to “an occasion of wild and drunken revelry”, the actual restaurant is calming - in a chic French manner. On my weekend visit, diners were sipping on wine and devouring sauce-laced dishes, yet remained in their seats. I guess the wine induced dancing-on-tables happen afterwards.

I was quite happy to tuck into the warm crispy baguette; their house-made red fife wheat loaf was legitimately delicious and full flavoured.


What was left of the bread was great for dipping into the paprika and sherry vinegar broth from the moules escabèche ($10). Served cold, the mussels are plump from the garlicky sauce it soaks in.


Oh the heavenly gnocchi Parisienne au sarrasin ($15), it’s as if the French borrowed the Italian potato pasta and the South’s mac ‘n’ cheese and turned into a molten love child. The creamy comté sauce smelled fantastic and the cheese was strong enough without overpowering the gnocchi. Don’t leave without trying it.


Steak and duck are two dishes I attempt to try at every French restaurant; my benchmark dishes for judging the mains at the place. Bacchanal’s steak frites ($24) were respectable, the 8oz flatiron steak done medium rare and relatively tender for the thick slice. Thankfully, the fries were actually thin (thick chip cuts aren’t meant for steak frites – leave that for the fried fish) and when hot ever so slightly melts the aioli.  


While the Magret de canard ($31) was cooked the requisite rare doneness and the rendered skin crispy, the duck breast could have been cut thinner so wouldn’t be as chewy. The plum glaze was on point to give the dish that traditional sweet and savoury flavour, and with a smear of the whipped foie gras heightened the taste even more.


Surprisingly, it was the sablefish sauce Gamay ($37) I liked the most. Not for the actual fish (properly flakey but under seasoned), rather it was the beluga lentil that impressed having soaked in the cooking liquid. Plus, the leafy colourful kale and trumpet mushrooms did make for an impressive looking presentation.


Bacchanal’s baba au rhum ($15) was an eye catching take on the classic dessert, thanks to the carefully piped white chocolate whipped cream. While the cake was delicious (the hint of spice enjoyable), the rum syrup needed more alcohol … after all, how will the restaurant live up to its name of creating wild and drunken occasions?


French restaurants seem to be the choice du jour for openings and Bacchanal is joining the masses. With more choices comes tougher competition… Bacchanal creates respectable dishes, but not good enough to make me want to travel out of my way for. 

Overall mark - 7 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 60 Sudbury Street


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:



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

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

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:


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