Friday, 6 January 2012

Flashback: Auberge du Pommier - Winterlicious/2011 - February 5, 2011

In her opinion:

So in light of the fact that I blogged about Winterlicious yesterday and probably got some of you thinking about possibly experiencing this great opportunity. I decided to share one of my favourite Winterlicious 2011 moment.

My husband's favourite restaurant in Toronto and maybe the world is Auberge du Pommier.  This is an Oliver and Bonacini Restaurant and serves some of the best modern French food outside of well, France. It's described by the restaurant itself as the "original jewel in the Oliver and Bonacini crown" and what a jewel it is! 

This restaurant is located at the top of Yonge Street just south off the 401 and it was constructed using two 1860's woodcutters cottage. It is simply beautiful.  But what's more important is that it serves simply beautiful modern French cuisine.

So getting back to Winterlicious 2011 - we called and reserved February 5, 2011 for dinner. This was a Saturday and we made it a part of an early Valentine's weekend celebration. And what a weekend it was; we dined at both Auberge du Pommier and Canoe (but we'll talk about Canoe some other time). We had a choice of 3 courses to pick from including an appetizer, main course and a dessert.  Here were my choices:

My appetizer - Potage de Pois Cassés et Jambon (smoked ham and split pea soup with parsley).

My entrée -  Boeuf Grillé au Poivre (peppered Wellington County beef with warm ragoût of
 butternut  squash, pearl barley and sunchokes).

My dessert -  Mousse au Caramel Salé (salted caramel mousse with caramelized white chocolate
torte, banana and chocolate sorbet).

This meal was outstanding.  I had a glass of Biff's Juicy Red - my favorite red (made by Cave Spring Cellars for Oliver and Bonacini restaurants).

The potage or soup was excellent and in the middle of Winter it just fit the bill. I remember that my main was amazing.  The beef was cooked to perfection and the accompaniments were excellent. Finally, the dessert was unbelievable.  I love anything with salted caramel and this combined well with chocolate and banana...just incredible.  

I loved this dinner.  Everything about it was perfect from the attentive waiter, to the delicious food to the perfect atmosphere! Auberge du Pommier is also one of my favourites but ssshhh...don't tell Edgar!!!

In his opinion:

Auberge du Pommier.......what can I say about this truly amazing place. Regarded as the best modern French food restaurant this side of the Atlantic and in my opinion only maybe rivalled by The French Laundry in Yountville.  This 19th century cottage is where Chef Jason Bangerter serves some of the best meals I have ever had. Maybe the only restaurant that I have ever been in my life where the food, service, ambiance and taste is always consistence (hence why I keep going back, something I don't usually do).
On this particular day, we went for dinner with the same expectations we usually have and we were not disappointed a bit . 

Walking under the white trellis in front of the cottage you know that you have found a gem among the concrete surroundings of tall buildings that circle around you. Open the double doors to the cottage and you feel like this formal, warm and very welcoming "Auberge" could be in Alsace, Bourgogne or Provence.

We were lead to our seats in the back dinning room, down a few steps and into a cosy corner with beautiful over-sized chairs. The wait staff is courteous, knowledgeable but at the same time, unpretentious.

I start with a glass of Pinot Noir while I make my prix fixe selections. What to have? Everything seems so good but I must make a choice (bummer).

For appetizer: I ordered a serving of Crevettes Marinees (sweet shrimp cocktail with orange, cucumber, tarragon and dill).

I'm usually not one for cold seafood but this combination of salad/shrimp cocktail was subtle enough just to highlight the shrimp.

For entree: of my favourite dishes in the world..Coq Au Vin (boneless chicken marinated in red wine with pommes puree, smoked bacon and button onions)...and it didn't disappoint!

The chicken was perfectly cooked, juicy and full of flavour.  The chicken was is usually marinated in red wine, seared in ft and slowly simmered until tender.  I could really have this dish any day and everyday of my life!  That's how much I love it!

For dessert: Gateau aux Epices (warm spice cake with creme Anglaise, Armagnac macerated prune, langue de chat biscuit and vanilla ice cream).  Great contrast with the moist warm cake and the ice cream...divine!

After dessert: Some treats. Chocolate mint meringues courtesy of the chef.  Nice touch by the way.

The good: If you are a "lover" of French food like myself, it doesn't get any better than this.  The coq au vin was beyond good.  Absolutely perfect.

The bad: A meal at this restaurant is usually predictable, but only in the best possible sense.  Great food and service is what you should expect every time you dine here.

Verdict:  I have dined at all of the Oliver and Bonacini restaurants, including the "holy grail", Canoe numerous times but Auberge du Pommiers is without a doubt my favourite. It's simply the best!

I give it 5 out of 5 olives as a rating.

Auberge du Pommier on Urbanspoon

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