I had dinner tonight at Ververine on 1097 Queen St E., 416-405-9906.
Meal started with three different kinds of bread, first a foccacia bread topped with sweet potatoes and other vegetables, followed by freshly baked and still warm black olive bread and cheese bread. The black olive bread was the best, very soft on the inside with a crunchy (but not hard) crust. The cheese bread was also good, flavorful and not too hard.
I decided to try the special appetizer, duck with waldorf salad. The waldorf salad was served in two halved poached pears, alongside shaves of (smoked?) duck. The dish was very flavorful, not too salty, the creamyness of the waldorf salad complementing the sweet taste of the poached pear with the rich (but not fatty) duck. A very satisfying appetizer.
My partner decided to start with a lighter choice, a baby spinach salad with a summery dressing and caramelized pecans. A good start as well.
My choice of main course was the fish daily special: two fillets of snapper baked with herbs sat atop a bed of vegetable medley (red cabbage, onions, etc.), gnocchi and two sauces. The chef definitely exercised his creativity in this well executed dish, where the different ingredients created a symphony of flavors that made this experience very pleasurable. I was a little surprised to find out that the gnocchi served was not of the traditional variety, but shaped in small cubes that resembled a little like polenta to me; delicious nonetheless.
My partner had the pork chop entree, with a side of wonderfully prepared vegetable medley, with tomatoes, bocconcini cheese, onions and other ingredients.
We decided to split two desserts, "Boca Negra", a very rich flourless chocolate cake served with banana ice cream, and the "Warm Baked Peach", served with pistacho ice cream. "Boca Negra" was quite heavy in my opinion, but I'm sure that chocolate lovers would not find any fault with this dessert. The "Warm Baked Peach" is a dessert that showcases the chef's bold and adventurous spirit with very positive results. The unusual dessert was satisfying without being heavy, the texture and warmth of the baked peach offering quite a contrast with the creamy cool pistacho ice cream and raspberries on the side. My personal favorite.
Service was correct and friendly. The atmosphere is casual with a touch of elegance. Dinner for two including two appetizers, two entrees, two desserts, two juices, coffee, tax and tip came to $96.00.
I enjoyed this restaurant and I'm looking forward to going back to try the other items in their menu.
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