As a devoted fan of ‘tasting menu dining experiences ‘, the opening of the ‘ Nordic/Japanese’ influenced “Frilu”, just a short drive down the road from my home was a God sent! Now, for high quality, inspired ‘western Omakase’, I can remain up-town and no longer have to brave the notorious Don Valley rush hour traffic, in order to savor such experiences down town. Since their opening less than a couple of years ago, I have tried out each and every one of their memorable, seasonal changing, creative and delectable menu offering.
Sadly, the onset of this Covid pandemic has deprived me of such enjoyment. For over 6 months I have been yearning for their re-opening. After being notified a month ago of their dine-in option returning, I decided to pay Chef Troiano and his talented kitchen staff a much-overdue visit. Even though, for now, they will only be offering a la carte dishes.
The dinner I shared with my foodie brother-in-law tonight was near perfection! After such a long hiatus, the chef and his kitchen miraculously did not miss a single beat! Every dish was uniquely conceived, lovingly prepared and innovative-ly crafted and presented. The clever use of Japanese Bincho-tan charcoal, in a western kitchen, for grilling mushrooms, duck, beef rib….etc was a masterful touch, resulting in gorgeous smoky aroma of some key ingredients taking the center stage!
We shared the following dishes (with repeat orders for some of the outstanding ones):
- Foie de Poulet Parfait ( Chicken Liver mousse, toasted Sourdough crisp )
- Fagottini di Bisonte ( Pulled braised Bison Short-rib in pastry with sauce )
- Lobster on Crispy Rice ( Shredded lobster meat dressed with chive, horseradish emulsion )
- B.C Tuna & Smoke ( lightly smoked Tataki Tuna paired with Fennel, Konbu Oil & Parsley cream ) X 2
- Mineral/Briny ( Charcoal grilled Maitake mushroom, Ikura foam ) X 2
- Duck/Grain ( Charcoal grilled aged Duck Breast, creamed corn, char-grilled whole scallions )
- Dark & Light ( Chocolate granite, strawberry, Chantilly ).
Overall, every dish we ordered was a hit! From the super velvety smooth and creamy Foie pate to the butter oozing, crispy thin phyllo-pastry wrapper for the pulled-Bison, to the interesting textured and tasting lobster crispy Nigiri, to the lightly smoked, melt-in-the-mouth fresh Tuna, to the ultra-aromatic and delicious char-grilled duck..….etc. Even the simple char-grilled scallions can taste so amazingly delicious ( reminds me of the Basque region in Spain! )
However, a special mention has to be given to the fantastic tasting Maitake Mushroom and its Ikura foam accompaniment! Wow! What a treat for the senses! The smoky aroma infused, juicy and meaty Maitake paired with the salty Ikura foam sauce was a match made in heaven! Sooo good! We ordered extra dishes and asked for extra bread to mop up the sauce!!
Sadly, there was a minor downside! We were so looking forward to order a fish main course. The Halibut was right up our alley but somehow, the supplier was late with the fish delivery and the dish was not available! Sigh!!
What an incredible evening of great food and fine company!! Now, I just hope I will be symptom free for the next 14 days!!
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