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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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Wednesday
Sep242014

Barsa Taberna

Quick snacks @BarsaTaberna.

 

Patatas Bravas with Roasted Garlic Aioli

 

Grilled Octopus with Channa Masaia, Tamarind Water, Papadum

 

Paella Croquettas with Mahon and Monforte Fontina, Pea Purée

 

Charcuterie - Serrano Imported Cured Meats, Candied Almonds, and Olives

 

Lasagnette with Shitake Duxelle, Ricota, Dandelion, Pickled Honey Mushrooms

 

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Monday
Sep082014

Canoe - Taste 60th Parallel

5-years in the making, @OliverBonacini's @ChefHorne takes us to Canada's North.

Canada's North has always interested me, from it's breathtaking landscapes to it's rich culture and history, the North is uniquely Canadian. When Chef Horne first mentioned doing a series of cross Canada tastings, this region was by far the one I was most interested in, and looked forward to. Needless to say, this was a fantastic meal, and really, what meal isn't when you have great company and someone like Chef Horne working with some incredible ingredients. Every bite was smart, thoughtful, and tasted wild.

This was one of the most unique and different menu's I've ever had, I've said that before, but this one was truly special, and from talking with Chef Horne, it's a menu he's never going to do again. Chef Horne demonstrated such skill in bringing together all these different elements, and highlights wild ingredients like never before. From the first bite to the last, the theme of the North resonated throughout the entire meal. Tonight's meal was so special. 

 

Amuse-bouche: Jerky

Left to right: Venison, Seal, and Caribou. Served with Mashed Potato, Red Vein Sorrel, and Mustard Seeds.

Paired with Rosée Lemonade.

Venison was very much on the mild side of flavours, without being told it was venison, it would be hard to tell exactly what it was. The seal was be far the most interesting, looks like any other kind of lean jerky but tastes like gamey fish. Caribou had a more intense game flavour to it. The mashed potatoes mellowed everything out. I'd take a bag of seal jerky any day!

 

 

Course 1: "Unknown Fish"

 

Juniper Smoked Inconnu, Dandelion Purée, Arctic Char Caviar, Fried Bannock, Arctic Rose Cream, Capers, Juniper Berries.

Paired with Coffin Ridge L'Acadie Blanc, Grey County Ontario 2013.

From the Mackenzie River, inconnu is a species of freshwater whitefish that is perfectly suitable for smoking due to it's oily flesh. Aside from being a local source of protein for residents in Canada's north, much of the inconnu caught is sent to Siberia where a large market exists. To Chef Horne's knowledge, this is the first time inconnu has been served in Toronto.

The inconnu was smoked for 4 to 6 hours, and you're served 3 distinctive pieces from the belly, loin, and tail. The smoke profile and texture of the fish changes with each piece; from fatty to lean, a gradient in smoking intensity. For the wild rose cream, the wild roses are harvested, dried, then folded into crème fraîche. The cream with the saltiness from the arctic char roe, and the smoky inconnu, all served with fried bannock, this makes for a perfect bite and a great way to kick off the theme of the evening. On a side note; if the demand for this fish increases and is readily available, this dish would make for a perfect picnic item!

 

 

Course 2: Wild Rabbit Agnolotti

Foraged Mushrooms, Caribou Moss, Wild Cranberry, & Matsutake Mushroom Cream

Paired with Terlan Pinot Noir Montigil Terlano Alto Adige Italy 2011.

Caribou moss, aka reindeer lichen, like most plants in the north, is a slow growing lichen (only 3-5mm per year), and as the name suggests is an essential source of food for caribou. However, it is traditionally used as a remedy for kidney stones and diarrhea, and is usually prepared by soaking until soft and served with berries, roe, or lard. In this case, Chef Horne soaked the caribou moss for 3 days, changing the water every day to clean and hydrate the dried lichen and then fried and used as garnish. 

The rabbit was braised in rabbit stock for 2 hours, cranberries were served fresh as well as powdered along the edges to cut the richness of the matsutake cream sauce that was poured table side. The earthiness of the lobster mushrooms and chanterelles along with the bold flavours of the rabbit provided a nice foundation for the cream sauce and cranberries to balance everything out. Easily one of my top 5 dishes I've had from Chef Horne. 

 

 

Course 3: Arctic Char

Swiss Chard, Preserved Oyster Leaf, Pine Shoot Oil, Wild Rice

Paired with Dr. Büklin-Wold Riesling Trocken Pfalz Germany 2012.

Wild rice is one of the few grains that grows in the north, and is a major source starch. The rice is puffed, and served with the braised vegetables.  This was one of the most interesting dishes of the evening because of the oyster leaf. Raw, these leaves have a salty, complex minerally taste to it. Exactly what you would expect from an oyster. Seriously, it tastes exactly like an fresh oyster. Salted and cured, the flavours are more subtle and worked well with the dish. However, if you were to eat the leaf on its own, we enjoyed the flavours and textures of the raw leaf (pictured below) more than the cured version because of the almost mushroom texture the leaf has and the brighter oyster flavours.

 

 

Intermezzo: Buttermilk snow with sea buckthorn 

 

 

Course 4: Caribou Hind

Fermented Black Currants, Braised Rock Tripe, Rye Berries, and Birch Bark Jus

Paired with Rennie Estate Winery 'G' Assemblage Beamsville Bench Ontario 2011.

Served on a bed of barley and roasted turnips, the caribou hind was simply roasted with alder. It took 5-years for Chef Horne to bring in wild caribou to Canoe, and it was worth it. Rock Tripe is also known as 'Wood Ear' for all the Chinese folks out there. This dish brought together the whole theme of the evening for me. Perfectly cooked to a rare finish, the caribou was incredibly tender, moist, and full of earthy gamey flavour. One thing I've learned with game meats is that you want to eat it while it's hot, and this was no exception. As the meat cooled, the irony game flavour intensified, and overwhelmed my companion…more meat for me! It's these big bold flavours that I've come to expect from Canoe over the past few years, and it's the reason why I keep coming back. If there's one place that know their meat, it's Canoe.

 

 

Course 5: Frozen Tundra

Wild Honey Mousse, Berries, Gold Leaf, Balsam Fir Cream

Paired with Midnight Sun.

Once again Pastry Chef Gonsalves out does himself with the dessert. Served white chocolate pearls with a graham cracker filling and with wild blueberries, covered with a white chocolate blanket and wild honey mousse wafers. This arctic white dessert was a perfect end to a very memorable meal.

 

 

Petit Four: Bark

Chocolate and Cedar Gelée

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Tuesday
Sep022014

Soup Opera Prince Edward County

One of the newest restaurants in the county, @soupoperaPEC has some #GoodEats!

My biggest problem with visiting the county is that I just don't have a stomach big enough for all the good food in the county! Chef Sujo Bae is a classically trained chef cooking up a storm in the county. She opened her restaurant in June in a former ice cream parlour, and driving down the road you'd have to look twice to see that there's French bistro in side. Paying homage the building, you can still get your ice cream fix along with a market of French products.

I really wish could have eaten more, because if what we had was any indication of the quality of food Chef Bae can produce, the rest of the offerings from Soup Opera is definitely worth coming back to the county for...as if I need an excuse lol.

 

 

Soup Opera Frites with Aioli, Burbank Potatoes fried in 100% Beef Drippings.

 

Ratatouille. Provençal Vegetable Stew, Nicoise Olives, Garlic, Fresh Herbs, Turmeric Rice

 

Carre L'Agneau (Rack of Lamb) from McColl Farm, Dijon Herb Crust with Lamb Demi Glace, Green Beans, and Gratin. 

 

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Thursday
Aug212014

Canoe - Snacks

Snack time @OliverBonacini's Canoe Always #GoodEats!

 

 Porchetta with 48 Day Sauerkraut, cooked with bacon fat.

 

 

 

 

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Monday
Aug182014

Richmond Station

Scallops, burger, and all the desserts @richmondstn w/ @foodinthecityTO. #GoodEats

 

Scallop Ceviche with Corn Chips, Lime, Wild Leeks, and Sriracha Aioli

 

Station Burger with Lettuce, Beet Chutney, Aged Cheddar, Milk Bun, Rosemary Fries, Bread and Butter Pickles

 

Blueberry Corn Cake with Corn Panna Cotta, Tarragon, Coconut, Mint, Blueberry Sorbet

 

Saffron Pudding with Rosewater Sherbet, Nokodchi, Plums, Pistachios

 

Penny Candy Eclair with Peach Cream, Strawberry Sorbet, Almonds, Strawberry Wafer Lemon, Strawberry, and Blue Raspberry Jelly

 

Chocolate Mousse, Whisky Ice Cream, Cherries, Rye Twigs, Hazelnuts

 

Strawberries and Shortcake with Lemon Curd, Hibiscous, Puffed Tapioca, Blueberry Cream

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Monday
Jul282014

Canoe - Snacks

A quick snack @Oliver_Bonacini's Canoe! #GoodEats

 

Halibut Ceviche, Pickled Watermelon Rind, Puffed Tapioca, Rhubarb Purée

 

Alberta Lamb with Strawberry BBQ Ribs, Roasted Loin, White Eggplant, Sumac Lemon Sheep's Milk Cream, Pickled Green Strawberries, Garlic Scapes

 

Date Pudding (Goat Cheese Semifreddo, Green Apple & Brown Butter Toffee), Chocolate Torte (Okanagan Hazelnut, Praline & Ovaltine Ice Cream), Milk Chocolate & Kernel Peanut (46% Milk Chocolate, Banana Butter & Caramel Ice Cream)

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Thursday
Jul242014

Marben - Sausage League

@MarbenResto annual #SausageLeage, today's contestants @thevaldezTO vs @Caplansky! #GoodEats

 

Valdez: Chorizo Lime and Pan Made Potato Tortilla

 

Caplansky: All Beef Sausage, Bean Cassoulet, Crispy Chicken Skins

 

.....and the winner is Caplansky!

@foodinthecityTO was craving risotto, so here's Marben's Smoked Risotto with Seared Scallops, Chorizo, Sea-Buckthorn, Hazelnuts, and Sea Asparagus.