Saturday, December 30, 2017

Alo, Toronto: A Special Dinner For Renown Olive OIl Artisan Armando Manni.

Alo is certainly one of the very finest restos in Canada, easily within the top 3, no matter which aficionado's opinion  of the best that you may receive. This is the work of chef/owner Patrick Kris and his devoted and focused staff. Other than the Alo team's sheer creative talent, one thing that distinguishes Chef Kris's creations is his wide ranging sourcing for the very freshest and very finest unique ingredients. Another contributing factor to an exceptional eating experience are the remarkably well thought out and harmonious food elements paired to complement the primary dish ingredient.

My guests at this very special early Fall dinner were one of the greatest olive oil producers in the world, Armando Manni (Manni Oils) and Food/book writer and Editor of Canada's Best 100 Restaurants, Jacob Richler.

Canapes: Foie gras terrine with bourbon and maple (left); foie gras cream with plum vinegar and rice pearls.

Canapes: gougeres with mimolette and apple (left); hamachi roll with daikon and wasabi.

Amuse: baby white shrimp from Hokkaido with dashi jelly, fermented bamboo and kombu (top); Spanish lomo Iberico ham with field musk melon and tomato (right); Japanese bluefin toro with shiso leaf, toasted nori emulsion and finger lime (left).

Ham closeup.

Baby shrimp closeup.

Tuna closeup.

Raw Japanese Hokkaido scallops with fermented raw green tomato, fresh Himrod grapes, lemon verbena oil, brown butter, Burgundy spinach and edible flowers.

Hudson Valley foie gras (quebec) cured and seasoned with espelette pepper and accompanied by fresh sour cherry granita, umeboshi plum puree and Sicilian pistachios.

Chawanmushi of Hokkaido sourced, poached hairy crab with B.C. pine mushrooms that were presented fresh and grilled and all accompanied by a pine mushroom broth.

Braised and pickled pine nuts with broccoloi.

Ricotta agnolotti with parmesan fondue and crisp, marjoram, field tomatoes and fermented chili.

New Brunswick Lameque oyster with apple puree, cultured cream and Venetian sturgeon caviar.

Veal sweetbreads with fermented rice (shio koji) dressing, fresh wakame, pickled honshimeji mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms confit, pickled cloud ear fungus, puree of Japanese yam and kombu dust.

Sixty day, dry aged, Ontario beef rib cap (deckle) accompanied by king oyster mushroom ragu, black garlic puree, grilled spring onion, bearnaise sauce, crispy shallots and mizuna.

Pre-dessert: cucumber lemon puree, cucumber champagne sorbet, juniper and kafir lime opatine.

Apple: yeast caramel, yeast crumble, apple puree, apple crisp, meringue crisp and gjetost ice cream.

Peach: olive oil ganache, peach puree, olive oil crumble, compressed peach, peach verjus gelee, olive oil ice cream and pink peppercorns.

When many question why Canada is not represented in Michelin's starred domain, after experiencing a meal like this, given my wide ranging experiences at some of the very best restos in the world, one must ask why!!

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