Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Acadia Restaurant, Toronto

The dishes at Acadia are quite complex in presentation, flavour and texture and the chef contrives his innovative details in such a meticulous way. I did not find the detail superfluous. So, I just sat back and enjoyed the ride.

Nova Scotia cod cheeks with blue corn meal, pickled prawn, sugarcane chow chow mirlitons and whipped buttermilk. An interesting presentation and combination of flavours and textures. However, I felt that although this was an intellectually interesting dish, the rather bland flavours did not perk up my taste experience.

Gumbo 50C: Shellfish, andouille tasso ham, black rice grits, smoked chili gumbo file. The flavours worked well, but, the portion was rather large. After a while, my palate became satiated and the flavours muted. I believe that this dish would have worked well in a smaller portion.

Ecolait veal cheeks with satsuma "Hoppin John", parsley root, chicory pebbles  and bitter cocoa. The presentation interesting, the veal cheeks were tender but the flavours were rather 2 dimensional. 

Collard greens with crisp pancetta and liquorice infused cream. What a great approach to flavouring collard greens. Such complementary, innovative flavours.

Northern bay scallops with red brassica, wild mustard, celeriac, pickled broccoli stems and dandelion. The scallops were very fresh and sweet tasting and the flavours complementary. Everyone at the table liked this dish.

Charleston rice middlins': gold jumbalaya with bight sized pieces of smoked sausage (no photo). Loved the flavours and textures of this dish.

Anson Mills grits with gulf prawn sausage, hedgehog mushrooms, pimento cheese and smoked ham consomme. For me, what made this dish a standout, the element that jumped up all of the flavours and brought them together, was the smoked ham consomme. The consomme and the grits is a southern equivalent of mashed potatoes and gravy and you've got to love that kind of comfort food when done this well.

Carrot and coconut with pecan streusal, coconut maple sugar and buttermilk snow. A kind of deconstructed version of a carrot cake that was a refreshing and very satisfying end to this creative cuisine opus. This is exiting cuisine and also a restaurant I want to revisit.

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