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Restaurants & Bars

"GEORGE," Toronto - An epic meal to complement the Boy's-Night-Out of two fervent gourmands celebrating a milestone birthday!

Charles Yu | Sep 16, 202111:05 AM     9

Due to the close proximity of our birthdays, for the past two decades and more, my foodie brother-in-law and myself have been holding annual 'men-only' birthday bash to celebrate this event. With a theme that builds around fine dining centred on Chef's tasting menu ( with optional wine pairing ), we have driven near and far, throughout the province, in search of such culinary offerings created by noted chefs. From Langdon Hall in the west to Treadwell farm-to-table out in the east and almost everything in between ( from past defunct gastro-temples like Centro, Splendido, Perigee, Senses, Truffles to existing stalwarts and up-and-coming stars like Scaramouche, Auberge-du-Pommier, Alo, Actinolite, Frilu...etc ), we have had our fair share of gastronomic delights.

For this year's special mile-stone event, we have decided to pay 'George' a long overdue re-visits. Apart from the two ex-Splendidos and Toronto's current culinary treasure 'Alo', based on past experiences, in our opinion, only 'George', under the baton of previous Gold-Plate award winner Chef Lorenzo Loseto, can deliver us with trusted and 'consistently' high level quality food, worthy of our repeat visits.

Our venue decision did not disappoint! The artistic, spectacular and delectable dining experience met all our expectation and then some. I would rate it among the top 5 meals I have had in Canada. In my book, a solid Michelin star effort by the creative chef and his talented team.

During and following this period of interruption caused by Covid, Chef Loseto did not miss a single beat. In fact, my observation tells me his skill and artistry have actually improved and mellowed, resulting in welcoming refinement and smoothing of the edges of his dishes. His current plating arrangements clearly displayed such metamorphosis. From the previous overly busy and 'macho' approach, his current composition is way more visually appealing and subtle. Fiery colourful, striking and visually pleasing arrangements dominated the plate.

On the palate side, Chef Loseto continued to amaze by utilizing his well-honed skill and knowledge in combining global flavor and taste profile into his French/fusion dishes. The following are a few selected examples:
( North American ) - conventional pairing of perfectly seared jumbo diver scallops with a dense, traditional east-coast lobster bisque...to
( Middle Eastern ) - Infusing middle eastern spices into crispy French potato galette to create a Falafel like taste bomb or the use of Olive tapanade to enhance the savory component of grilled steak....to
( Japanese ) - Using a tasty sesame infused sweet Japanese Tamari to dress a fatty salmon belly wrap....to
( South American ) - Use of an exotic and flavorful house-made Chimi-Churri sauce for a perfectly cooked medium rare lamb loin and chop....
All these are masterful fusion touches designed to trigger wow-factors amongst his patrons.

During the past ten days, I have had the good fortune of being able to dine in two of Toronto's top culinary Pantheons....'Alo' and 'George'. Whilst Alo creation resembled a calm and gentle Renoir or Monet masterpiece that featured some rich, deep, intense and complex, jet fighter like taste profile. George offering is like a vibrant, vivid and polychromatic Van Gogh artwork. The taste profile resembled more like a sleek business jet. Though more conservative, less bold and acute, overall, the use of diversify and intriguing exotic garnishes and ingredients still managed to create a delicious and enjoyable epicurean encounter.

Service for the evening was both professional, attentive and filled with good humour delivered by our friendly server ' Rob'. Strict Covid policy was adhered to.

After this wondrous Michelin star calibre meal, my conclusion is that, in the current Toronto culinary landscape, George is way, way under-rated among its peers and IMHO, should deserve a much higher stature and ranking....at least in the top 10!

Cannot wait for my next visit to try out ' Game '!! :D

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