Sunday, September 18, 2011

Friday Lunch from Bannock

There is a do-not-miss dish at Oliver & Bonacini's latest restaurant, Bannock.  That dish is a roast duck poutine pizza. Yeah, yeah, we know it sounds like pizza gone terribly wrong.  Fries on pizza?  Right in so many ways starting with the lid of golden lid of melted cheese in which they are embedded. Beneath, there is a perfect crisp, cracker-style crust which is equal, despite its slender appearance, to the task of supporting fries, duck, and cheese.
Duck and Poutine Pizza
The sandwiches do not do it for us in quite the same way.  The pain au lait which holds brisket seems a little too sweet for its meaty filling. And, brittle teeth be damned, we want crackling on our porchetta sandwiches, not crackling mayo.  The pickle on this offering seems odd.  Bannock's version of porchetta is not quite fatty enough to need that hit of sour to cut the richness.  Somehow the combination of  porchetta and pickle seems not culturally correct. Would have been great,although more expected, with the brisket. Bottom line:  we will still pick up our porchetta sandwiches from Nick auf der Mauer.

Porchetta Sandwich, sans Crackling and plus Pickle.
Beef Brisket Sandwich with a Brie-ish Cheese and Arugula
Tim Horton's need not fear the sour cream doughnuts on Bannock's menu.  They are on the leaden side. On the plus side, a light dusting of thyme gives them an unexpected hit of flavour and they are not so sweet as the national icon.  In a contemporary version of s'mores, a very moist layer of brownie separates the graham cracker and an airy, beautifully charred marshmallow.

Bannock Thyme Doughnut and S'More Brownie
The menu here is full of imaginative versions of Canadian comfort food.  Our sampling suggests there may be need for a little tweaking.

Price: $47.37 plus tax for a pizza, two sandwiches, and two desserts

Location: 401 Bay Street

Phone: 416-86 1-6996

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