Dined at The Rosebud last night with a few friends. I had been there before but they hadn't. As usual, it was a fantastic meal.
We started by ordering some small slates/appetizers - sharing the navy bean w/flatbreads (flatbread was fantastic - a really earthy buckwheat taste and very thin grilled bread); the chicken liver pate (classic straight-ahead pate with baguette toast rounds) and the spring salad. The salad was a real winner - consisting of chopped french beans, shelled peas, asparagus, heirloom tomatoes, radishes, flat leaf parsley, mint and marinated feta with a dressing that seemed to consist just of olive oil and lemon. It was truly a taste of spring and every ingredient shone - it was also a huge portion.
For mains, three of us had the oft-mentioned pan-fried ricotta gnocchi with shortribs in tomato sauce - it was fantastic and very rich (luckily the salad assuaged the guilt). The other had the halibut with creamed leeks and candied radishes which looked (and was pronounced) fantastic.
We shared an order of profiteroles which were not bad - I have to say I don't think that the focus here is on desserts as the only options were the profiteroles, a lime mousse/souffle and a meringue with berries. Not bad but not really up to the standard of the rest of the dishes or choices on offer. But, since we were full, no great loss.
Bread is not provided with dinner although can be ordered for an extra charge. However, we all agreed at the end of the meal that the meal wasn't lacking because of it and given the portion sizes are fairly large we were all full anyway!
We had 2 medium-priced wines - a white rhone-style blend and an italian barbera - both of which were good value picks. (low 40s)
This is sometimes a tough restaurant to get people to go to because the menu isn't posted online. But, there is really something for everyone so I would encourage people to take the plunge. There is always a good variety of starters, meat, fish, pasta and a daily risotto.
Service was friendly and professional - we never wanted for anything all night. It is definitely on my list of go-to places in Toronto, up there with Niagara Street Cafe (although Rosebud is generally more expensive at about $150 per couple with wine).