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!


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Summerlicious: Canoe

54th Floor, TD Bank Tower
66 Wellington Street West
Toronto, ON M5K 1H6
(416) 364-0054

We finally went to visit Canoe, one of the more sought-after restaurants in the Oliver and Bonacini group. They've participated in Summerlicious and Winterlicious before, but the menu never jumped out at us until now. Reservations were tough to come by, so we felt pretty lucky that we managed to have lunch confirmed on a weekend.

On the day of, we had called ahead to let the restaurant know that we were running late due to traffic (and a triathlon), and were instructed that they would only hold our table for an extra fifteen minutes. Luckily, we made it and actually had to wait at the bar because our table wasn't ready yet.
I had been secretly praying that we wouldn't get a cloudy day. Look at the lovely view over Lake Ontario!
I had read that Canoe was recently renovated, so I'm a bit curious as to how the restaurant looked before. To me, the place still had a retro look and the decor was feeling dated. Service here, while efficient and ran like a well-oiled machine, was not the friendliest. Was it the Summerlicious crowd? Was it because it was the last day of two busy weeks?
Howard picked the Ontario summer greens salad with ricotta, rosemary croûtons, and a maple cranberry vinaigrette.
Our friend tried the chilled cucumber soup with orange scented cucumber, buttermilk, and dill.
I wanted something that I never tried before - whipped sheep’s milk mousse. This was served with potato chips, tender shoots, and a radish vinaigrette. Pretty unique in terms of an appetizer, the mousse tasted like tangy yogurt or a heavier cream cheese.

There was no doubt about it, you were eating this dish with yours eyes thanks to the presentation.
Howard's Wellington County flat iron steak was cooked to medium raw, was juicy and tender as far as beef goes. Underneath, there was gai lan, Sarladaise potatoes, and a smoked mustard aïoli.

One of our friends also ordered this and the only thing we heard was him muttering "aioli sauce" and how delicious it was as he finish every bit of it.
Our other friend tried the chicken campanelle pasta with peas and smoked bacon, served in a citrus chicken broth. I tried a bite of the pasta and was surprised to taste such creamy flavours in the piece.
I had the olive oil poached heritage salmon with zucchini, potatoes, and kabosu mayonnaise. The crust on the salmon was not appealing at all, they looked like tiny little maggots! But looks can often be deceiving as it provided a nice crunch. And the salmon itself, oh my goodness! The salmon was perfectly cooked to the point where it was silky smooth and it just melted in my mouth. Quite possibly the best salmon that I've had!
For dessert, our friend ordered the chocolate hazelnut mousse with coco caramel and devil's food cake.
I saw the torched bread pudding on the Summerlicious menu and that was why I wanted to visit Canoe this year. Served with Niagara plums and an Osprey Farms honey sabayon. Remember how our friend was praising the aioli? That was me with the sabayon, I couldn't get enough of it! If they had a pot full in the kitchen, I would have gladly scooped some more onto my plate. Recipe please!
Howard's frozen yogurt dessert felt a little underwhelming after seeing ours. Luckily, he enjoyed the raspberry broth and milk crumble.

In general the desserts were pretty good, although we were confused by the garnish as it didn't quite help enhance any flavours or pair well with the sweets. Perhaps they just wanted a pop of green.

As for our first visit to Canoe, we rather enjoyed ourselves. We were lucky enough to get a table by the window. Our drinks and dishes arrived in quick and proper succession. The portions of the food were perfect so we left feeling satisfied. We look forward to another visit in the future!