Saturday, September 29, 2012

Chantecler Restaurant, Toronto, One of the Best.

I consider Chantecler, one of Toronto's best restaurant experiences. The hallmark of the restaurant has been interesting flavours and textures, simply assembled, without pretension. Below, is a dinner typically held during the week and following, the Sunday dinner "Lettuce Sunday".

Melt in the mouth gnocchi with cod roe and seaweed/potato foam.

Beef tartar with oyster/parsley emulsion, cucumber and nori. Quite an exceptional experience for someone used to conventional beef tartar traditions.

Zucchini blossoms, perfectly crisp and ungreasy, fried baby zucchini, mint leaves with sweet corn, romesco sauce and espalette pepper. Another incredible dish of appealing flavours and textures. 

Halibut with chanterelles, squid, pork jowl, sweet peas, fava beans and corn kernals. Each new dish is a wonderful experience and this one provided such complementary tastes and textures, a beguiling hit.

Another melt in the mouth pasta experience of ricotta gnudi accompanied by a very concentrated, mildly smokey tomato sauce, summer squash (yellow and green zucchini ribbons), basil and chopped chives.

Perfectly rare, aged striploin with kale, smoked bone marrow sauce, sweet carrot juice emulsion, carrots, and chinese black vinegar made with black glutinous rice. An imaginative and and highly satisfying dish. My camera flash did not do justice for this dish.

Pork neck with kushi oyster, wilted, braised lettuce, and XO sauce (composed of dried scallops, dried shrimp roe and chilli)

Buckwheat flavoured ice cream, peaches and crumbled shortbread. It is hard to express how well the flavour of the buckwheat goes with the fresh peach, but for me, it was a magical moment.

Seabuckthorn parfait with meringue and pecan, orange blossom honey and rose petal jelly. 

The perfect capuccino to finish.

Lettuce Sunday
"Lettuce Sunday" was a new experience for me at Chantecler. It is a communal style meal. The "lettuce meal" is a very reasonable fixed price and then, there are a few "add-ons".

"Kold" fried chicken (add-on), room temp, perfectly cook chicken with a very crispy addictive, ungreasy breading accompanied by a mildly spicy mayo.

Fried zucchini blossoms, crispy, but a bit over-battered, stuffed with corn and romesco sauce (a crushed almond/sweet red pepper based sauce with a hint of garlic).

Beef tartar, Asian style, with chillis, fish sauce and peanuts, topped with a raw egg yolk and served with pieces of nori for wrapping. Another wonderful departure from conventionally prepared tartar and this version I found addictive.

The lettuce presentation, boston and romaine lettuce used as a wrap; a plate of house made pickles (julienned pickled carrots, pickled jalapeno peppers, pickled shallot and pickled cabbage (kimchee); a hot pot of slow smoked pork shoulder with brown sugar and soy (left side of pot) and braised beef rib with fermented bean paste.

The condiments: XO sauce (6 o'clock) (shredded dried fermented scallop, shrimp roe and chilli); fermented spicy red bean paste puree (1 o'clock); sriracha chilli sauce.

A bowl of steamed rice.

Vanilla ice cream sundae dessert topped with lucky charms, firm style bananas fried and coated with caramelized sugar, puree of fresh strawberry sauce and chocolate sauce!!

No comments:

Post a Comment