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Restaurants & Bars 14

TOCA by tom brodie

KevH | Feb 21, 2011 08:07 PM

Ritz Carlton opened and open-table already has TOCA by tom brodie in their list, so we made a reservation for a group of 4 there for dinner today. The only thing I could gather here is that the chef is from Canoe... we are not really the type who follows the chefs, although we do like to try different restaurants.

Since there is ZERO review, here is one I have typed up. Please keep in mind I am not a food expert, so I am just putting it out there based on our own taste buds.

The hotel is brand new, and the staff is quite friendly, although I did not like the fact that they don't have self-parking (parking itself is $16.95, paid at the reception), but since we were with friends, I'd rather leave my car with them instead of having guests walk along with us (the RBC car park is right next door).

TOCA by tom brodie is on the upper floor in their main hall. We were greeted by the receptionists who took our coats, and we were seated near the top of the stairs, behind their table of wines, in front of the "cheese cave". The restaurant is not busy, so traffic is not that much and it is pretty quiet.

The cheese cave itself is an interesting concept, and we did see how they prepare their cheese plates and dining guests visiting the cave, along with Tom Brodie himself inside the "cave" Some of the cheese looks delicious, too bad we were too full to order.

The menu is quite short, one page, with 3 columns inside a folder type menu cover, with a note pad for the cheese of the day.

We ordered:

Apps: (Prices varies from IIRC, $14 to $25+)
Pan-seared Foie gras
smoke salmon
duck with onion soup
crab marrow (crab meat cooked in bone marrow)

Main: (prices varies from $34 to $68, for a 24oz bone-in bison rib eye)
Pan-seared venison
glazed cod
pork stew
(the cod and stew apparently are their popular dish)

Side: (Prices in menu for various dish are all $9)
cremed spinish
avacado frites

Dessert: (Don't remember the prices)
Double chocolate souffle
bread and butter pudding
chocolate lava cake

Apps:
The pan-seared foie gras is not spectacular, but it was interesting as it came with homemade cotton candy. The duck and onion soup is served at the table, where the server would pour the soup into your bowl. The crab and marrow is likely the highlight for our friend, as he is quite happen with this dish. My smoke salmon looked like a salmon pizza when it arrived. It was topped with some salad, a creme sauce on top of a piece of deep-fried dough. It kind of looks like a foccia, but it actually looks more like a "cow tong pastry", the sweet and savoury pastry that serves with congee in Chinese restaurants. The portion is huge (I suspect they served me the large portion, as there were two prices next to the dish).

Main:
The venison unfortunately, I was told, not too venison like. It's more like beef than venison. The cod itself is fresh, but the flavour is too strong and too sweet. Texture is quite good however. My pork stew I though is quite nice, although our friend who tried it thought it tasted like the vietnamese beef brisket stew. The seasoning is good and the pork texture is not dry, it's just right.

Side:
The cremed spinach apparently is very good. It is very fine, almost like a spinach dip according to my gf. It is very rich. The avocado frites is more like avocado wedges, deep fried in a batter similar to ones for the Japanese fried (fake) scallop. Texture is very creamy and works well with the homemade mayo that came with the side.

Dessert:
The double chocolate souffle is served with a side of chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream. I was told it was way too sweet, and it was disppointing that one of the souffle ordered is actually caved-in. The lava cake is pretty generic, although the white coffee ice-cream is apparently good. My bread and butter pudding is quite sweet, but the flavour is very good, and the english cream kind of made it less sweet. What is weird however is that we got soup spoons for our desserts, making it hard for the desserts that came with smaller containers.
Staffs were quite attentive and polite, so no complain there. Total for the food for our group of 4, with 5 apps, 3 mains and 4 desserts came out to about $320, including taxes, without tips. One glass of ice wine, and just tap water for everyone.

Some photos of my dish and my gf's dish:
Apps:
http://img823.imageshack.us/i/img0049...
http://img233.imageshack.us/i/img0052...

Mains:
http://img12.imageshack.us/i/img0055h...
http://img88.imageshack.us/i/img0058p...

Avocado frites:
http://img821.imageshack.us/i/img0056...

Dessert
http://img130.imageshack.us/i/img0059...
http://img233.imageshack.us/i/img0060...

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Toca
181 Wellington St W, Toronto, ON M5J 2H5, CA

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