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Thursday
Dec182014

Canoe

A memorable meal @OliverBonacini Canoe before heading off to Tokyo! Thanks @ChefHorne @Chef_Coulson for that incredible steak!

 

Holland Marsh Onion Soup

Bone Marrow, Rye Crouton, and Thunder Oak Gouda.

A cold snowy day, this dish part of the recent Taste Ontario was a perfect start to the meal.

 

Foie Gras Terrine

Wild Red Current Jelly, Confit Goose, Yoghurt, Sea Buckthorn and Orange Marmalade, Puffed Tapioca, Pickled Mustard Seed.

Had a bit of a craving for a terrine, and Chef Horne delivered with this little gem.

 

Bone-In Rib Eye

Tourné Potatoes, Matsutake Mushrooms (Shaved and Wedged), Pickled Beets, Roots of Parsnip Root Pan Roasted in Butter and Glazed. 

The 8 oz bone-in PEI potato finished rib eye was the special of the night, and has just been 86'd moments before we ordered. But little did I know, Chef Horne and Chef  Coulson had been holding off on one last rib eye. The photo doesn't do it justice, but this steak was huge. This 20 oz beast was simply pan roasted in butter and thyme and cooked to perfection (I say simply, but to cook a steak this size, it takes quite a bit of skill). Tourné potatoes, tho not something I expected to see at Canoe, was a must have old school addition to the dish. 

 

Rye Ice Cream

Much talked abou rye ice cream, had to give it a try, and boy does it live up to the hype!

 

Chocolate & Squash

70% Chocolate Soft Cake, Squash Butter, Caramel & Squash Cinnamon Ice Cream, Choux Pastry.

Finishing off the night with a new dessert from Pastry Chef Gonsalves. The squash butter reminds me of the nougat you would find in chocolates. So good!

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Dec162014

Porzia Impasto Collaboration

Phenominal meal between @porziaparkdale & @IMPASTO_MTL. #GoodEats

A sold out, one night event, featuring two of the most well respected Italian restaurants from Toronto and Montreal. This very special tasting menu brought together Michele Forgione (Impasto), and Basilio Pesce (Porzia) to create a unique meal that highlights the best they have to offer.

 

Antipasti

Pancetta.

Pork and Duck Liver Terrine with Fig.

Mortadella.

Cinnamon Salami.

 

Albacore Tune Crudo with Bone Marrow Aioli, Pickled Onion and Fried Capers. 

Baccala (Salt Cod), cooked in Spicy Tomato.

Quebec Bufala, with Fig and Pistachios 

 

Lobster Busiate

Hand rolled busiate cooked ali olio with anchovy and chilli. Finished with lobster meat and lobster bisque. 

 

Corzetti

Soffrito, Chicken Stock, Butter, Sage, and White Truffle.

 

Zampina Stuffed Lamb Belly

Lamb belly rolled around zampina (sausage made from lamb, tomato paste, pecorino, wine, and garlic), Lamb jus, puntarelle, and dandelion leaves.

 

Dolce

Pistachio and Candied Ginger

 

Almond, Nutella, and Pistachio cookies.

Formaggi: Rochetta (Goat, Cow, and Sheeps Milk Cheese from Piedmonte Italy, with a Creamy, soft texture). Vento d'estate (Cows Milk Cheese rubbed in Lavender from Treviso Region of Italy)

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Wednesday
Nov262014

Canoe

Still thinking about this dish from @OliverBonacini's @ChefHorne from over a month ago! #GoodEats

 

Ivory Salmon, Saskatchewan Lentils, Housemade Kimchi, Apple and Celeriac Purèe, Charred Onions, & Purple Brussels Sprouts.

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Wednesday
Nov192014

Gale's Snack Bar

Less than $5 for lunch at Gale's Snack Bar. This place hasn't changed in decades (prices or décor)!

 

Hot Turkey Sandwich with gravy, fries, peas, and tomatoes. ($3.75)

 

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Monday
Nov172014

Back of House

Lots of #GoodEats over at #BackOfHouse in #Leslieville! Thanks @bakerdonz for the reco!

 

 

Burger - Sous-vide chuck patty stuffed with oxtail, pan seared, topped with melted cheese, cold smoked tomatoes, pickled red onions, and fresh greens.

 

Pulled Pork - Cola brined pork shoulder, carmelized in pan with BBQ sauce, topped with cheese, and compressed Granny Smith apples.

 

Chicken Wonder - Brined and sous-vide chicken, breaded with panko flakes and quinoa, topped with bruleed goat cheese, arugula pesto, and cold smoked tomatoes.

 

Beet Salad with Cottage cheese, arugula, lemon curd, smoked almond oil, and crispy shallots.

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Wednesday
Nov122014

Soup Opera

Warm up to some classic French bistro dishesfor lunch @soupoperaPEC. #GoodEats #PEC

 

Escargot Provençal - French Polignac Snails, Simmered in Butter and Garlic, French Brandy Flambé.

 

Soup a L'oignon Gratinee - Caramelized Onion, White Wine, Bone Marrow Stock, Gruyere and Emmenthal Cheese.

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Monday
Oct272014

Canoe - Taste Ontario

Back to Ontario with @ChefHorne @OliverBonacini's Canoe. #GoodEats

It's harvest season in Ontario, and Chef Horne is featuring some incredible ingredients from all over Ontario. With many of the ingredients being very familiar for both Chef and the diner, after all this is home, I'm sure this menu was still a challenge for Chef Horne to keep interesting and new. With a few surprises and ingredients that make you think twice, Chef Horne and his team have executed another delicious meal that keeps me coming back for more. This menu showcases the best Ontario has to offer, and as the harvest season progresses, the menu will change in the next few weeks to highlight some new ingredients.

 

Meadow Sweet Farm & Monforte Dairy

Heirloom Tomatoes with Spiced Oil. 

Paired with Hinterland 'Les Etoiles' Traditional Method, Prince Edward County, Ontario 2011.

Good start to the meal with rich cheese cutting the acidity the tomatoes bring, rounding out with the oil. That said, there was something amiss about this dish. Not sure what it was, maybe it was the lack of the edible flowers on this dish compared to one I had a few nights before? Edible flowers never really added anything in terms of flavour on the dish, mostly just there for presentation, but this time around they did add little touches of aromas throughout the dish. Especially when there's a variety of flowers like garlic, thyme, marjoram, and tarragon. Just something different that I missed.

 

Holland Marsh Onion Soup

Bone Marrow, Rye Croutons, and Thunder Oak Gouda.

Paired with Hidden Bench 'Buit Blance' Rosomel Vinyard, Beamsville Bench, Ontario, 2011

The soup is cooked for 8 hours, to the point where the onions have basically broken down and dissolved into the stock. The stock is cooked for 3 days, and is a combination of goose, duck, and chicken bones to make a rich and flavour packed brown stock. Easily one of my favourite dishes of evening, and one of the best soups I've had. Crazy good stuff (went back a few nights later just for the soup again!). 

 

Vicki's Veggies & 100km Foods

Beets, Puffed Amaranth, Maple Leaf, Mulled Wine Vinaigrette.

Paired with North Shore Project Rosé, Lake Erie North Shore, Ontario, 2013

Beets 3-ways, Pickled, Roasted, Puréed. The pickled beets are sliced paper thin and act as the foundation of the dish where everything else is built upon. Puffed amaranth is similar to quinoa, being packed with protein and are both seeds rather than grains, it provides a nice texture contrast to all softer beets. Crabapples are hidden between the wedges of beets and maple leaves, and contrary to the norm they were not too sour. Chef Horne said it was a good year to use them since there wans't much rain through the summer, so these provided a touch of sweetness while brightening up the dish. Last but certainly not least, maple leaves! Yes, they're the same leaves we just saw turn red during the fall season. Chef Horne experimented with using maple leaves from a Big Leaf Maple from British Columbia during Taste BC, and wanted to take it one step further for Ontario. You can read more about his development process here. Interesting component to the dish, but didn't really taste like much, just crunchy...kinda like fried kale, which isn't a bad thing.

 

Moose Poop and Foie Gras

Niagara Peaches, Québec Foie Gras, Strawberry BBQ Sauce, Peanut Sauce.

Story time: A little something extra inspired by our last conversation with Chef Horne. When Horne began researching suppliers for Taste 60th Parallel he mentioned to a friend and I that he came across a supplier that sold moose poop, for what I don't remember, but that whole moose poop thing stuck with my friend and I, so we decided to bring in a little bit of poop for him. My friend works at a candy factory designing and matching colours, so she made moose poop coloured candy for Horne and his team (tho we were told later that Chef horeded most of the candy in his office). I spend 2 days a week at O&B Artisan, the bakery that supplies bread to all the restaurants in the Oliver and Bonacini empire, so having the opportunity to put something extra into Canoe's bread order, we made chocolate blueberry sourdough which you can see above between the foie. 

 

Great Lakes Walleye

Charcoal Market Vegetables, Ale Tartar Sauce, Smoked Alliston Potato Gnocchi.

Paired with 13th Street Chardonnay June's Vineyard, Creek Shores, Ontario, 2012.

The market vegetables are wrapped in foil and placed directly on the coals and allowed to slowly cook in the pouch. The result are tender and flavourful vegetables. The walleye is fried to perfection, and the gnocchi are shallow fried to give it a incredibly crispy crust and a fluffy inside. This simple dish, along with the onion soup was the winner of the evening, seriously my friend and I could have eaten this all night and been perfectly happy.

 

Grape

Concord Grape Soda

 

Grandview Farms Strip Loin

Algonquin Grits, Sweet Corn, Swiss Chard, Sweetbreads.

Paired with Tawse Cabernet Franc Van Bers Vineyard, Creek Shores, Ontario, 2010.

Sweetbreads are soaked in milk then pressed and fried. The beef is apple finished, giving it a distinct taste, a little sweet if that makes any sense. Tho truth be told, I do prefer the PEI potato finished beef, there's a richness in there that's so very unique...more beefy. Garnished with corn hair.

 

Niagara

Roasted Peaches, Candied Violets, Chamomile Ice Cream, Cream Cheese and Yoghurt Mousse

Paired with Field Dreams

Pastry Chef Robert Gonsalves did it again with another beautiful dessert! The peaches were simply roasted in vanilla, lavender candy and poprocks for a fun texture element. The vanilla white chocolate spread added a wonderful level a richness to the dish that balanced ever so well. 

 

Doughnuts

A couple of doughnuts to finish off the evening.

 

Taste Ontario runs until mid-November before we finish off the year with Taste Prairies.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Oct072014

Canoe

Summer time #GoodEats @OliverBonicini's Canoe!

 

Tomato Salad - Heirloom Tomatoes, Sheeps Milk Cream Cheese, Wild Celery, Garlic Flowers, Thyme Flowers, Marjoram Flowers, Tarragon Flowers.

 

Licorice Infused Watermelon - Charred Lobster, Mascarpone, Fennel, Pickled Rind

 

Pan Seared Québec Foie Gras - Lavender Peaches, Ontario Peanuts, Toasted Cattail Brioche

 

Concord Grape Soda

 

Cauliflower Risotto - Roasted, Raw, and Puréed Cauliflower

 

Creamed Ontario Corn with Shallot Rings

 

Meat and Potatoes - P.E.I. Potato Finished Beef, Pickled Wild Leek, Rapini, Three Grain Porridge

 

Cheese Plate - Blue Bénédictin, Glengarry Lankaaster, Chamblé, St. Honoré with Whipped Honey, Raisins, and Biscuits

 

Doughnuts

 

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Monday
Oct062014

Richmond Station - Dessert Tasting

Movie themed desserts @RichmondStn w/ @FoodInTheCityTO & @ChieuNghi

 

Ghostbusters - Smoked Apple Twinky, Green Tea Slime, Stay Puft Foam, Popcorn Ice Cream

 

Pulp Fiction - Smashed Pop Tart, Strawberry, Sprite Jelly, Good Coffee Ice Cream

 

Peach Ice

 

Movie Snacks - Cherry Cola, Salted Peanuts, Twizzler Purée, Vanilla Ice Cream

 

Pan's Labyrinth - Celery Panna Cotta, Walnut Earth, Roasted Grapes, Mulled Wine Sorbet

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Thursday
Sep252014

O&B Artisan

Behind the scenes of @OliverBonacini's bakery w/ @bakerdonz. #GoodEats #Magic

Throughout the past few weeks, I've had the privilege of spending my nights at Oliver and Bonicini's in-house bakery, O&B Artisan, where Donny Pepin and his crew produce breads and breakfast pastries for all of the Oliver and Bonicini restaurants (OB Café & Grill, Bannock, Jump, Biffs, Canoe, Auberge du Pommier, Luma, as well as, other venues and event spaces where Oliver and Bonicini provide food service.

Spending time here has  really opened my eyes to the world of breads and given me a new appreciation for the art. Donny and his team are incredibly talented, great teachers, welcoming, and a great bunch to be around!

Thanks to Donny, Jay, and Yumi for giving me the time to come visit, there's still lots I need to learn!

 

 

All the starters are named, this is Betsy, there's also Janet and Bobby.

 

 

This is the Mother, she's 5 years old. Always kept in the fridge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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