Showing posts with label striploin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label striploin. Show all posts

BlueBlood Steakhouse (Toronto)


If you haven’t visited Casa Loma lately, you’ll be surprised by how much has changed. Once a destination for tourists, elementary school trips, and weddings, the attraction now houses an escape room and BlueBlood Steakhouse, a sprawling restaurant occupying three rooms on the main floor. When an eatery is set in a castle, there’s undoubtedly opulence and the price points to match. At BlueBlood, staff gush about the caviar and wagyu tasting flight, menu items that not every average non-noble can afford.


Even with steaks as mains, we started with the prime steak tartare ($26). For raw meat, it was surprisingly tender and despite the dish incorporating cured duck egg and house made pickles, the tartare was mellow tasting. The only disappointment was the for-show-only bone marrow; the tartare didn’t seem to incorporate any of the ingredient.


It’s unclear whether the restaurant forms the crab cakes differently depending on the number of people sharing the dish - the jumbo lump crab cake ($24) ended up arriving as three, making it much easier to split - kudos to the kitchen if there is that level of customization! This would help explain why the crab cakes were rather thin, which results in an oily starter since there’s so much breadcrumb coating. While it would help if they were drained better, the fresh hot cakes were good, especially with a smear of the light dill aioli.


For a steakhouse, their steak selection isn’t the greatest. While the menu includes a lot of high end options such as wagyu and shared cuts like a tomahawk, there’s not that many reasonably priced personal-sized portions. For my favourite cut of steak, the ribeye, BlueBlood only offered three choices with none in the dry-aged category. Settling on the 14oz wet aged Erin, Ontario ribeye ($65), it was tender and flavourful, but would be even better if it were a smaller thicker cut. While lying on the hot plate, the thin steak soon became medium in the middle and well done on the edges.


At first, the 16oz dry aged centre cut striploin ($75) tasted great given it had such a rich flavour from being dry aged. But, after two slices the ultra-lean beef soon became chewy and heavy. Personally, I find lean cuts, like striploin, aren’t the best for dry aging. The evaporation of moisture causes the beef to toughen, albeit concentrating the flavour.




Perhaps, this is a cut that benefits from a sauce. We chose to forgo them and rely on the salt selection instead – the smoked salt goes particularly well with everything.


While petite in size, the 8oz barrel cut Nebraska filet ($65) was tasty with its strong beefy flavour. Given the filet is another lean cut, it was suitably wet aged and remained tender. Truthfully, while the steak looked dwarfed compared to our other choices, the portion was adequate; especially if you’re ordering appetizers and dessert, you won't leave feeling glutinous.


Trust me, you'll want the sides, especially the lobster mac ‘n’ cheese ($20) where the pasta was done perfectly and the cream sauce not overly thick so remained molten throughout the meal. The dish incorporated enough lobster to go around and I went back for seconds and thirds.  The garlic mashed potato ($14) was also silky without relying too heavily on cream, the garlic essence was present but restrained. I could have done without the cheddar espuma sauce that accompanied the broccolini ($16), since all the other dishes were already so rich… at least it was kept to the side so there were plenty of plain roasted pieces to choose from.


The baked Alaska ($28) for two could easily feed four, a honking rectangle of Neapolitan ice cream covered with sponge cake, Prosecco ice, and meringue.


My first and only experience with this flaming concoction was as a child on a cruise ship, therefore to see the rum being poured from pot-to-pot before setting the dessert ablaze brought back memories of my youth. Is it the yummiest dessert? Probably not, you order it for the show and if you want a boozy adult ice cream cake.

Thank you Parv for these amazing photos
Before leaving for the evening, a box of Avoca dark chocolate caramel truffles arrives, in the shape of sapphires. For some, diamonds are a girl’s best friend; for me, at a steakhouse, it’s a nice piece of ribeye.


Overall mark - 7 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 1 Austin Terrace (in Casa Loma)

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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:


BlueBlood Steakhouse Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

CLOSED: Globe Bistro (Toronto)

Location: Toronto, Canada
Address: 124 Danforth Avenue
Website: http://www.globebistro.com/
Type of Meal: Dinner 


Meals purchased off group buying sites can sometimes be a disaster, but my experience at Globe Bistro was incredible. My friend found a $149 six-course tasting menu deal for four people (the equivalent of $37 a person).  The sample menu sounded delicious so we decided to give it a chance.

Walking into the restaurant I was surprised by how spacious it was – there was a whole second dining area in the back. With its dark décor and natural wood elements, Globe has laid-back vibe. On the whole, the seats were comfortable, so much so that we didn’t realize our meal lasted three hours!

Our waitress advised the six-course tasting menu changes daily and that it would be tasted blindly (essentially, you do not see a menu ahead of time). Of course, we were gamed for anything and happy to go along with whatever Chef Ed Ho wanted to serve. Before any dishes arrived, some warm soft whole wheat sour dough bread  was brought out. Accompanied by a delicious fragrant truffle butter with black pepper it was great.



Next, an amuse bouche of crispy pork belly bites. As soon as the cube of meat hit the palate I knew I was in for a treat. Covered with salt & a spicy togarashi spice mix and topped with a pickled mustard, it was a delicious combination of varying flavours. Hot and crispy, it was a superb start to the meal.



Afterwards, the first course, a soup of zucchini purée. A brilliant green colour, it was more intensely flavoured (had almost a seafood essence) than expected. Topped with a drizzle of olive oil and crispy tempura zucchini blossoms the soup was a great use of squash.



The composed salad course was one of my favourites of the night. Rather than the typical bed of lettuce, the salad’s base was a thick tomato purée. Sprinkled over top were sweet spring peas, crunchy pea pods, sweet heirloom cherry tomatoes and a crumbly goat cheese. It was another dish that expertly combined different textures and flavours without losing the natural essence of the ingredients themselves.



For the fish course the Chef presented a pan fried pickerel with a great crispy skin and was done well. Served with a carrot purée and more sweet crispy spring peas it was a light summery take on fish. I would have liked there to be a bit more salt but all in all not a bad dish.



Before the main course, a peach sorbet palate cleanser was brought out. Creamier than expected, it was also topped with a drizzle of honey that was produced on the Globe’s rooftop … so it appears the Royal York is not the only downtown building with beehives on top.



The main was a lovely thick piece of Wellington County 60-day aged strip loin.  Done to a great medium rare, it would have been even better if it were served warmer. I thoroughly enjoyed the accompanying blanched kale, sweet corn and plump mushrooms.



Before dessert was a cheese course, a great transition between savoury and sweet. Globe served a stilton style cheese (I believe it was a Thornloe Casey blue cheese) with white balsamic macerated red currants and crostini. Normally, I’m not a fan of pungent cheeses, but this one wasn’t too bad and rather creamy. Given Globe has a rooftop of beehives, it would have been ideal if the cheese was paired with a piece of honeycomb instead (something about honey and blue cheese, what a great combination). Apologies forgot to snap a picture.

To end, a dessert of warm chocolate brownie topped with lemon custard and raspberry coulis. Again a dish that I normally wouldn’t like (I personally think chocolate and fruits do not mix) but was rather enjoyable. The brownie was a great soft dense consistency and because it wasn’t too sweet, the lemon and raspberry complemented it well.



My friends and I were very happy with the experience and appreciated the great friendly service we received. Without a doubt, we lucked out with an amazing deal on Globe’s tasting menu; regularly it would be $70 (which is still a fair price). Should you want something smaller, they also offer 4 courses for $50 or 5 courses for $60. All in all, price points for everyone – go try Globe out, I think you’ll like it. 

Overall mark - 8 out of 10


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____________________________
Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • - 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!




The Fifth Grill and Terrace (Toronto)

Location: Toronto, Canada
Address: 225 Richmond Street West
Type of Meal: Dinner


Having never been to the Fifth, other than to go to the club, we decided to try dinner there. Upon entering, I’ll admit it was strange to see the club functioning as a restaurant; where the bouncer welcomes you in and the person selling tickets brings you to an elevator. The club’s dance floor was spruced up with extra furniture and the pillars covered with white veils.  

The restaurant itself is located on the fifth floor, hence the name, and you get to it through an old fashioned elevator complete with operator.  It’s quite large with an indoor dining area and outdoor terrace. The dining room is classically decorated with white, tons of light fixtures and comfy chairs. The only odd décor was a mini disco ball hanging from the middle of one fixture which was whimsical but also tacky.

An amuse, a tomato caeser shooter, arrived as soon as we sat down.  Not being a caeser fan, I tried it nevertheless - it was thick and garlicky without the zing of horseradish but could be refreshing on a summer day.  A basket of bread arrives after ordering, soft French bread but cold so nothing crazy.

 

My appetizer, the house cured bacon and summer melon salad, was beautifully presented.  A combination of sweet melons, sour balsamic and slightly salty and smoky bacon, the salad was certainly flavourful.  I enjoyed the thick cut bacon but could have done without the balsamic glaze over it as with the citrus vinaigrette the dish was a little sour for my taste.

     

While viewing what other diners were eating, the striploin appeared to be the overwhelming favourite so I chose that as well.  A generous portion of steak arrives which dwarfs the small square of sweet potato gratin and sprinkle of French beans beside it.  The steak itself wasn’t the best cut; mine was unevenly sliced which caused half the steak to be perfectly cooked at medium rare but the other half extremely rare.  I also wish the Fifth invested in better steak knives as it became difficult to cut through the thicker rare part.

 

A pat of bercy butter - butter mixed with shallots, parley and white wine - sat on the steak.  It needed more herbs as it’s supposed to add a burst of flavours to the steak but really just tasted like unsalted butter with specks of parsley.  The beans were good, thin and crispy, I wish there were more of them!  However, the sweet potato gratin arrived luke warm and seemed like a bit of an afterthought. 

I ended with the vanilla panna cotta which didn’t really taste like panna cotta.  It was a thicker and creamier consistency than most, but I enjoyed the richness.  The strawberry rhubarb sauce wasn’t too sweet so really lightened up the dish. The dessert was the highlight dish of the night, which is disappointing for someone who likes savoury dishes more.

 

The panna cotta, in my opinion, was better than the lemon lavender cheesecake that my friend had. Although the flavour was spot on, I could really taste the citrus and lavender, the consistency was a bit lumpy.  Additionally, the batter was too watery as it arrives slightly saggy looking. 

 

Accompanying the bill was some individually wrapped chocolate chip cookies to bring home which was a nice touch.  Sadly, the cookies, although buttery, were hard and crumbly.


I was surprised the Fifth’s Summerlicious offer was priced at $45, which is normally reserved for the fancier restaurants in Toronto.  The Fifth simply doesn’t have the same polish and food quality that you would expect for a place charging $45.  It may be a strange comparison, but I felt like eating at the Fifth was similar to eating on the Niagara Falls strip – overpriced but satisfactory food.  Service was great at the beginning with the person at the entrance enthusiastically welcoming us and the attentiveness of the gentlemen operating the elevator; but the service in the restaurant seemed lack luster in comparison.  The food was decent but not amazing.

It was a bit strange they keep plates of food on tables between the elevator/bathroom and dining room before serving.  While visiting the restrooms I could see the various plates left there with slips of paper marking the table.  Somehow, it feels a little unhygienic and it certainly means the food is not under heating lamps and gets cold while waiting to be presented.

On the plus side, having dinner at the Fifth Grill and Terrace does get you admission into the club, so you avoid lines and cover.  So, it’s a good option if you’re looking to go out dancing to burn off calories afterwards. 

  
Is Summerlicious worth it?

As a special feature to the Summerlicious blogs, I will attempt to calculate the savings being offered (based on my meal selection).

Summerlicious - $45

Regular menu - $62 - salad* ($12), striploin ($38) and panna cotta* ($12)

Savings - $17 or 27%

* The summer melon salad and panna cotta aren't on their regular menu; prices based on the chopped salad and chiffon cake

Overall mark - 6 out of 10


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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!
For further general discussions about this blog please refer to http://gastroworldblog.blogspot.com/2012/09/welcome-to-gastro-world.html
Fifth Grill on Urbanspoon









CLOSED: Lucien (Toronto)

Location: Toronto, Canada
Address: 36 Wellington St East
Type of Meal: Dinner

Lucien's dining room is a narrow room adorned with dark walls, dark wooden tables and dim lights.  The only feature that attempts to open up the space is a large mirror at the bar area.

When my friend and I entered on Saturday, the restaurant was still relatively empty.  With plenty of tables for two available, I expected to be seated pretty quickly; alas, this wasn't the case.  Rather than seating us in one of the three tables already set-up for two, our waiter insisted we wait until they cleaned a table in the corner by the window.  Since it's situated between a wall and two windows, it felt like we were eating in a pet store display.  Perhaps, a couple may like the table since it's private and secluded. But, as two friends having a casual dinner, it was a bit strange and definitely not worth having to wait five minutes to have it made up.

Lucien takes after its Italian roots and charges for bread - common in Europe but rare in Toronto.  Nonetheless, wanting something to nibble on before our mains but not wanting something heavy, we decided to pay the $2 and share the small bread basket.  Consisting of six slices of cold bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, it wasn't worth paying for. 

I had the daily house made pasta ($29), which was tiger shrimp on linguine that night. The three tiger shrimp were great - large, cooked perfectly and seasoned well.  The linguine, on the other hand, was less impressive.  The noodles were slightly overcooked so after a few bites it started getting gluey.  The first few bites which were covered with shaved parmesan were good, but the rest was bland since there was too little sauce on the pasta.  To make things worse, there was no salt on the table so you couldn't even flavour the dish yourself.



My friend ordered the striploin ($37), which was overdone and subpar. Accompanying the striploin were plain fingerling potatoes that could use some herbs and time in the oven and plump crimini mushrooms were the best part of the dish as they were meaty and nicely roasted.  The Diane sauce was abnormally thick and resembled peanut butter on the plate but tasted like congealed gravy.  I would have just liked a simple jus from cooking the beef. 



Overall, the food had the potential to be good as they were made with quality, fresh ingredients.  However, somewhere in the process things went wrong - either the chef lacked quality control and let overdone items leave their kitchen or the food was sitting for too long waiting to be brought to the table.  Either way, with the plethora of rustic Italian restaurants and steakhouses across Toronto, there are many better options to go to. 


Overall mark - 5 out of 10



____________________________
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!