Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Miscellaneous Toronto Resto Experiences: Splendido, Pangaea, Didier, Addis Ababa.

I just had to share this incredible Splendido experience. This restaurant has so many delights, but the highlight at this meal for me, was the "salad": black perigourd truffles, hedgehog mushrooms, jerusalem artichoke chips, sweet nasturtiam leaves, shaved raw oyster mushrooms, baby arugula leaves, jerusalem artichoke emulsion, truffle dust, truffle vinaigrette, all presented on a lovely wooden platter. A delight to both the eyes and the palate. One must experience this culinary wonder.

The other night I enjoyed a lovely dinner at Pangaea restaurant. The highlight was the seafood paella, normally only present on the lunch menu, I requested this for my main and the chef obliged. A wonderful cornucopia of flavours of the sea: fresh mussels, clams, bay scallops and shrimp with rice perfectly prepared with a complex, well flavoured stock. The rice also incorporated chopped smoked chorizo, the smokiness a highly complementary flavour, along with chopped tomato, chopped scallions and garlic. In all, a mouth watering dish that on reflection, makes me want to return.

I was at Restaurant Didier for lunch and enjoyed the city's best beef tartar. But, I wanted to share my tart tatin experience. Didier does it a bit differently, incorporating a kind of cake rather than a typical tart crust, a more refined experience with the addictive familiarity of the caramelized apples. 

Addis Ababa has been around for a very long time. I love the Somalian flavours of the slightly sour but highly complementary injera, used as a "bread" to complement and hold the various prepared foods. I need this flavour experience about once every 1 to 2 months. This platter has most of my faves: beets, collard greens, salad with their own tart dressing, lamb tibs, carrots and cabbage and kitfo (the Somalian version of beef tartar, served barely warm, that combines berbere spice and butter) that comes with their own version of crumbly fresh cheese. 

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