Thank you for the amazing 8 years here at A Baked Creation, we can't thank you enough for the memories! But we've decided to move over to a new site - Sincerely, Syl. Please join us there for future posts on all the things you loved here!


Saturday, July 7, 2012

Summerlicious: Böhmer

93 Ossington Avenue
Toronto, ON M6J 2Z2
(416) 531-3800

This year marks the 10th anniversary of Summerlicious! I cannot believe that it's been a decade already! If you're not familiar, the program features participating restaurants in Toronto, each restaurant offers a three-course prix fixe menu - an appetizer, main, and dessert.

The main draw for diners is that you get to dine at a restaurant you might not normally eat at. Or you might discover a new restaurant you didn't notice before. Restaurants benefit from this program as it brings in new customers - who if impressed - may become regulars. That's the hope, right?

So there's a lot to be said about first impressions . . .
The first Summerlicious dinner we choose was at Böhmer. In the past year, I had noticed this restaurant on our way to pho on Ossington Avenue, the decor looked pretty interesting, so when I saw it on the Summerlicious restaurant list, we made reservations.

The hostess was very friendly and took our party of four to the back of the restaurant. I was secretly hoping for the front to take advantage of the natural lightning, but the back had another advantage.

Above: The busy bar.

Above: Private dining behind the divider.

Seated at the back, we got to watch Paul Böhmer, the chefs, and the front of the house team work the pass.

Our waitress was friendly and upbeat. She slid our wrapped utensils off the plate and took our order. She was mindful and we never had to ask for a refill or find another staff member to help us. Oddly enough, the food runners were not paying attention to detail and kept presenting the dishes to the wrong person.

Howard and I tried the Lord Bergamot. A pear infused vodka with earl grey syrup, Dubonnet Rouge, and white pepper. This I quite enjoyed! There was even a slice of pear for garnish.

To start, Howard tried the forest mushroom soup with herbed crème fraîche. Served piping hot, the soup was fragrant and hearty. It was amusing to watch Howard take tiny sips.

I tried the potato rosti with frisée, arugula, soft quail egg, and bacon lardon. This one fell flat for us. The rosti, which should have been the star of the dish, was hidden under the salad. Perhaps, due to being buried under the arugula, the rosti felt a bit soggy. The rosti was also difficult to eat if you wanted to cut it into smaller pieces.

I predicted that Howard would order this, the grilled hanger steak with frites, onion rings, and chipotle jus. Cute presentation of the frites and we wished there were more! Build a bigger frites cabin! Medium rare, the steak itself wasn't as tender as we would have liked it, but the jus was good.

I debated between the pan roasted white fish and the chive gnocchi. The gnocchi won out, but seeing the fish at the table beside us, I wanted to steal a bite. The dumplings were served with cherry tomatoes, baby spinach, roasted garlic, and extra virgin olive oil. Was the gnocchi soft and pillowy? Yes, but surprisingly, my favourite bites were of the cherry tomatoes - loved that burst of juicy roasted flavour.

Dessert time! To satisfy Howard's love of face-puckering sour, he had the lemon semifreddo with blueberry compote and crunchy meringue.

I should have ordered the devil's chocolate cake with chocolate mousse and pecan crunch.

The banana bread pudding with butterscotch and coconut cream was the most disappointing dish. I love desserts, but this one did not sit well with me. The bread pudding was dense, heavy, and hard. I actually had trouble getting my fork to cut all the way through for small bites. To me, it was simply a poorly made banana muffin. However, the butterscotch and the coconut cream were quite delicious.

The atmosphere and decor was pretty cool, there's a large communal table in the middle and a lounge off to the side. We had really high hopes for the food though. The restaurant was on a few top Summerlicious restaurant picks. Overall, the dishes didn't shine and our party of four would unlikely find ourselves returning.

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