Sunday, July 15, 2012

Friday Lunch from Cafe Fiorentina

It must be said that Girl Courier has a fine eye for possible luncheon sources.  She dropped the name"Cafe Fiorentina" a few times before we tried it. Glad we are that she was persistent.

Delicious Quiche with dill, chevre and olives & a fresh salad

The thought of quiche induced an inner groan which was quickly put to rest when fork met lips. Although the filling was generous, it was not one of those examples of the three inch deep variety. While the black olives were perhaps superfluous, the chevre/dill combination was a mildly perfect foil to the quivering custard texture. Often quiche crusts are both thick and soggy,  This one was just about right. As quiche goes, it was quite good. The accompanying mixed greens salad added crunch and tang.

Beets, aged cheddar and garlic scape pesto on delightful house baked bread

However, the panini was a creative triumph.  It's true that Gourmet Burger uses beets on their burgers but there are few others who think of putting beets between bread--along with aged cheddar, and for a jolt of green, a slick of garlic scape pesto.  Be still, oh dancing taste buds.  But that was not all, the bread was tasty and seared to golden by the sandwich press. Most remarkably, the yeasty treat was made on site.

Tangy sweet strawberry rhubarb tart

That there is some extraordinary baking going on at Cafe Fiorentina became even more obvious when we tried the strawberry rhubarb tart. We see lots of tarts that are a feast for the eye but way too few where flavour matches appearance. Usually the filling is too gloppy, too sweet, not enough fruit,an underbaked crust.  In this one, all the elements were in balance. To gild the lily, a streusel topping with toasted almonds added just the right texture contrast. A blood orange panna cotta, a delicate shade of blush pink, was delicious on its own but would be the perfect adjunct to the strawberry rhubarb tart on a dessert plate.

Strawberry rhubarb tart with a light and summery blood orange panna cotta

With a little digging, the reason for this finesse became clear.  One of the team, Alex Chong, worked with Didier, at Epi Breads, and spent time in Italy. The other partner, Tina Leckie, was at Celestin.  Good training and hard work will tell.

Price: $25.50 for quiche with salad, a panini, and two desserts.

Location:  236 Danforth Avenue

Phone: 416-855-4240

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