I ended up choosing these 2 resto's for my Winterlicious dining....
Sassafraz ($30 lunch): This experience was JUST okay. I know many people reallly enjoy this place so I will not write it off, but THIS experience specifically was very "meh" .
The beet carpaccio was very tiny and had an blood orange sabayon (foam) that I really did not enjoy. It didn't go well with the beet flavour at all. I wished I had ordered the baby spinach and toasted pumpkin seed salad, it looked great. The spinach was so small and cute with the perfect amount of dressing and great manchego cheese.
For our Mains we all ordered the apple Dijon crusted pork tenderloin with sweet potato puree. I could have licked the puree off the plate it was so yummy. But it was the ONLY thing that was keeping the pork moist. It was very overcooked and not very flavourful at all.
For desert the Chocolate Marquis was very rich but I enjoyed it as a splurge. My friend who I was with couldn't stomach it. The creme brulee was also said to be very good.
All and all, I wouldnt go out of my way to hit up Sassafraz again.
BITE ME ($45 Dinner): I thoroughly enjoyed my experience here. The dining room had a great rustic and calming vibe. It didn't feel too pretentious (which I was expecting for some reason - maybe all the buzz around this place right now) The appetizers were very small but good enough. I got the braised cabbage and pork belly. This was a little more bacony tasting than i was expecting, but maybe that is how pork belly is supposed to be. Either way I savoured each tiny bit and and loved the sweet potato agnolotti. My friend got the beet salad and didn't seem too enthused.
The mains were great. Most of us got the Dexter beef à l’Alsacienne and were very happy and actually very full too! Great portions on that one. The sauce was delicious and had a nice wine aftertaste. The texture of the noodles was amazing. It had similar shape to cheese curds but less squeaky. It was a nice change from a noodle or rice dish. The beef was tender and the waiter explained the dishes very accurately. The mushrooms were grilled to perfection. A very satisfying (hearty) dish.
One friend ordered the peppermint and miso glazed sea bass. She thouroughly enjoyed this and said the vegetables on the side were cooked perfectly (nice and crunchy and fresh tasting with lots of flavour) This one is a great option for a lighter/healthier dish.
Desserts were good. We had the Banana cream crêpe soufflé. Satisified my sweet tooth nicely. They didn't mention there was chocolate involved though. Which may have changed things for some people, as it was drenched in a chocolate sauce. The St. Jacobs apple gâteau was reccommended to us and was enjoyed by everyone who had it. This was had a great presentation with a dried apple slice and whipped cream.
All and all a nice experience. No complaints. The waiter was nice and explained things well. He gave us seconds of the fresh bread (nice and warm and moist) and hummus (could have been in a larger ramekin)
- This place could use some music. The seats were comfy. The waiter didnt notice that he completely missed the glass when he poured our perier water. haha. The plates and bowls were really neat looking and added to the experience (they were shaped like a one of those crispy tortilla bowls you sometimes get with a taco salad etc) The new cutlery was appreciated after each course.
Note: the poor girl sitting beside us had her shirt on inside out. Should we have told her? maybe she knew and would have been really insulted if we drew attention to it. Maybe its hottest new look =)
I heard "Lee" is amazing. I want to try it. Good? Reasonably priced? I still also need to try Jamie Kennedy's poutine.