Sorry for not posting for the last couple of weeks, it has been very busy with life. Here’s the very belated Valentine’s Day dinner post I promised. Let’s jump right into it.
Auberge du Pommier
4150 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M2P 2C6
Auberge du Pommier is a French restaurant under the Oliver and Bonacini chain. It is also a restaurant that is available during Summer and Winterlicious. If it wasn’t for a special occasion, I would definitely wait for this restaurant to have some kind of discount before giving it a try. My friends who have tried it loved the food and the amazing service. My boyfriend who isn’t a friend of French food was a little skeptical but ended up enjoying the experience. This is definitely a restaurant we’d love to try again.
Even the decor inside felt like a nice, expensive home. You could almost forget that you were in a restaurant. Also, every time you get up to go to the washroom, a server will come a refold your napkin. It surprised me the first time, I thought my boyfriend refolded my napkin but it was actually the handy work of the servers =).
You could order meals a la carte, but my friend suggested the tasting menu, or as they called it, Menu Gourmand. I believe the portions are smaller, but you get a 5 course meal per person (with a few extras in between), so it gives you a better feel of what the restaurant offers. To be honest, I’m pretty glad the portions were smaller, there’s no way I could have eaten everything if we had full sized portions. We decided to get the menu with the wine paring as well since it was a special occasion – comes up to $150+ tax&tips per person. For those of you who can afford this on a daily basis, I hate you =P. For those of you who cannot, like myself, wait for Summerlicious, that’s what I’m looking forwards to. Every dish, including the complimentary ones that are not on the menu came with a small glass of wine. If you are a lightweight drinking, you could actually get drunk by then end of dinner. Also, if you are driving in Ontario, after this meal, you might be intoxicated over the legal limit, so do what my bf did, give the non-driver the extra alcohol =P.
This first dish was not on the menu, smoked salmon with caviar on a dill sauce. The dish was simple and light. Very refreshing for the first dish and not too filling at all. It was paired with a very refreshing, semi-sweet sparkling wine (actually my favourite of the night).
We were also served olives and compimentary bread with this interesting ricotta spread. It was incorporated with honey and topped with cracked black pepper. I’ve never actually tried ricotta sweet before, so it was a interesting touch. I did enjoy the simplicity of this spread though.
Foie Gras – normally $27. The foie gras is served on a black sesame sponge cake and came with lemon curd and lemon sugar. I’ve actually had foie gras when I went on a grad trip to France, and I didn’t love it so I was pretty skeptical to try it. For those who love the strong, acquired taste of foie gras, you might be disappointed with this, however, I was glad that this wasn’t as strong and powerful as the foie gras I had in Paris. My boyfriend did not enjoy this dish at all, so if you’re not adventurous, I might pass on this. However, if you want a dish that can ease you into Paris’ version, I think this is a good place to start.
St. Jacques, normally $23 – seared scallop, uni (sea urchin) spaghettini topped with black truffle. My far my favourite dish of the night. I know French food isn’t for everyone, but this is definitely a must-try. I’m already thinking about the next time I get to eat this. The scallop is perfectly seared. Even my boyfriend who isn’t normally a fan of sea urchin enjoyed it here. When the sea urchin is mixed with the scallop and the creaminess of the cheesy spaghettini, it just melts in your mouth. Not to mention that the entire plate is covered in black truffle. This dish is so simple, fresh and decadent, totally recommend it and drooling as I type.
Oignon a duck and vegetable ragout stuffed in a sweet onion. The duck, rice and vegetable mixture was very flavourful. However, the onion alone was lacking a bit of salt and pepper in my opinion. I felt like the onion really needed the duck mixture to carry it out. Together, they were a good compliment, the sweetness of the onion was brought out with the saltiness of the duck ragout. Personally, I prefer when dishes don’t necessarily need to be paired together to taste great. Dishes should be able to carry their own but be even better when eaten together. I didn’t really get it with this dish, so I was a little disappointed, but I still enjoyed it.
Pot-Au-Feu – dish of ribeye and short ribs with vegetables in a dashi broth. I thought adding the broth was very smart because it kept the meat very moist. I definitely preferred the ribeye over the short ribs especially when you compliment it with the hot mustard. Probably wasn’t the best steak I’ve ever had but it’s prepared in a way that I have never experienced before so I enjoyed it.
This dish was also not on the menu but served as a palette cleanser before dessert. It contained apples, celery, dill and jelly. It was really refreshing and had really cute presentation. By this point in the meal, I was already stuffed but I did enjoy how it served its purpose. It made me enjoy dessert even more.
Chocolat Napoleon, usually $11. You might have realized from some of my previous posts that sweets are my weakness. I love anything sweet, especially sour, chewy candy. Chocolate sweet is not usually the kind of sweetness I crave so I was really worried about this. I started with the chocolate gelato. Super creamy and not overly sweet. I usually find chocolate ice cream a bit bitter (and not in the good way like dark chocolate), but this was smooth and delicious. The dark chocolate croquette was by far the most delicious thing on the plate. The pastry was crisp and light on the outside and chocolatey on the inside. The crisp and smooth textures were perfectly complimented. I also really enjoyed the hazelnut and chocolate wafer bits crumbled in the centre of the plate. I love anything with a little crunch and bite. Especially for something as smooth and delicate of chocolate, anything with a crisp texture just brings it to life. Another dish that I’m in love with and would totally recommend.
8 courses, 8 classes of wine, 3.5 hours later, we were exhausted and ready to sleep. This is definitely not the kind of dinner I recommend for day-to-day, but for special occasions, it’s definitely worth it. I felt like Auberge du Pommier was an amazing place for a different kind of eating experience. Normally, I prefer simple, chills, easy and hole-in-the-wall types, but this was at the opposite end of the spectrum. Can’t wait till Summerlicious to enjoy the same good food, but in a more laid-back style of eating.