The sight of fall foliage coupled with this weekend's time change have prompted me to check out whether Chef Troiano of Frilu has changed his celebrated tasting menu to incorporate a FALL theme. Not only did he pre-empted my thoughts and revamped the menu, he also brought back a few of his memorable specialty delights ......the crispy Cannoli stuffed with super velvety-smooth Chicken Liver Pate, the smokey char-grilled Maitake Mushroom with Ikura Foam and the seasonal, aromatic roasted whole pumpkin with bone marrow!! As if those were not enough to entice me back for another visit, Chef Troiano also managed to add some of my favourite, uncommonly found, ingredients like Ox-Tongue and Black cod into his latest offerings!
So, whilst my Kids will be having a 'Millennial only' chowdown at Buca Yorkville, this pair of abandoned, 'poor night-vision' seniors have decided to hold a 'Baby-Boomer' night-out at our favourite neighbourhood fine-dining 'canteen' and give the new menu a try.
Being my seventh visits to this culinary haven which resulted in a follow-up, equal number of postings. This time, I have decided to take a lazy route by skipping my usual detailed description. The latter, if proceed, will no doubt result in yet another variation-of-the-same-theme review, containing the use of superlatives like sublime, exquisite, mouth-watering...etc. Instead, I will just let the posted menu, corresponding food photos and your imagination do the talking!
With consistently high standard and inventive food creation that engages all senses; caring, attentive friendly service and a super-convenient locale close to my home. This cozy and intimate gastro-gem continues to provide a warm and welcoming destination for gourmand like myself who would like to occasionally escape from all the ongoing Covid madness.
Having savoured three other incredibly delectable and whimsical tasting menus at Alo, George and Pearl Morissette these past months. I am glad I do not have to make a quantitative and qualitative evaluation analysis of all four dining experiences and make a comparison?! For sure It will be one tough assignment...though a most intriguing one at that?!
However, what is certain is that, though located obscurely uptown and with fewer awards and accolades than some of its esteemed peers. When it comes to Tasting Menu, Frilu, with its talented chef(s), ever changing creative menu and wondrous, charming food offerings, should have no problem sharing a spot on the same mantle as its other three aforementioned renowned culinary rivals!
Our Omakase menu for the evening:
Potato, Black Garlic ( mini-taste bomb! My new-found hors d'oeuvre favorite! )
Cannoli, chicken liver ( tasty and great textural contrast! )
Trout, Daikon, Gooseberry ( similar to Alo's version, flavor more intense due to trout )
bone marrow, squash ( Eat with care! This is piping hot-hot-hot!! )
Beef Tongue ( sous vide 24 hrs, then char-grilled, tender and chewy! Lovely! )
roasted hazelnut dust, onion/anchovy paste
Slow Roasted Celery Root ( very flavorful and exotic! Great veggie dish )
Smoked Venison floss, brown butter, pear
When the Hen Danced with the Salmon ( my perennial favourite, umami ladden saltiness! )
Char-grilled organic Maitake mushroom, Ikura cream, beef garum
Fresh Pasta ( minced pheasant, Romano cheese ) ( only disappointment of the evening. A bit bland and overwhelming salsify bitterness...apparently great therapeutic property though?! )
Pheasant and Salsify Broth
Black Cod ( miso, sake marinated, charbroiled )
Plum miso, cabbage ( overall rendition, tastier than Nobu's! )
Ontario Lamb Shoulder ( slow roasted......jus/sauces tastier than Alo's last month! )
Parsley, Rosemary oil, Jus
Quince sorbet, black tea shaved ice
Wine: Alsace Domaine Marcel Deiss, Muscat Dry, 2017 ( floral, aromatic, slightly off-dry. Versatile, goes well with most dishes! )
It is very seldom, if never, that one would post a 'warning' in a food/restaurant review. However, in this case, I would like to be the first!
The ' Roasted Pumpkin with Bone Marrow ' together with the accompanying Sourdough bread arrived at the table ' PIPING HOT '!
Since this is the first substantial dish to be served and due to its visual appeal and aroma, there is a tendency for one to dig into the content and consume it immediately!....BIG MISTAKE!!
The latent heat of the ' molten marrow and squash ' mix was so intense, it literally burned, if not cooked my palate!!
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