My foodie colleague and I tried this credit card reservation only restaurant at Ossington and DuPont. (Reserved on his AMEX. I never give out card numbers to "hold" a reservation. Places that require this are way too pretentious..)
Chef Justin came and met us. He explained that he lived upstairs and “welcomed us to his home.” Nice touch. Service was excellent, but the food was another story. Read further below.
We had the $95 fixed price menu. The meal was essentially a deconstructed salmon dinner using locally sources and organic ingredients (although the salmon came from BC…more on that later..)
First course plums 3 ways. Score 7. Should have been an amuse bouche and not part of the main meal. You are encourages to eat the plums with your hands, but they don't provide anything to wipe your hands with first, so hopefully they aren’t too germy from opening the restaurant door….
Second course, baby corn freshly boiled, served on corn husk, eggplant with beans and a thin slice of locally cured ham. The corn had a good texture, but was frankly tasteless - Score 4. The eggplant with beans was better – score 7, The cured ham was good, but too little was serve – score 7. Overall 6.
Third course was freshly baked sour dough styled bread, 2 small slices per person. Since when is bread a formal part of a meal??? Score 3.
Between excellent courses, I used the bathroom downstairs. There was a guy in the stall singing to himself. Seriously.
Fourth course was julienned peppers. Tiny portion. What a joke. I am hungry already! Score is 3.
Next course was 2 (yes two) tiny German butterball potatoes with kale chips served on greens. Seriously. These are potatoes! Unbelievable!! Score 4.
Next course BC wild Coho salmon served almost rare. Very soft texture. Served with Shiso and Soya. Unfortunately very bland. Would have been much been had it been served grilled. No more than a 4 overall.
Final course of Golden Ginger cooked apples with cedar oil and fresh cheese curd and other crap. This was ok, but just apples. Score 6.
Last item. Dessert. Blueberry corn anise. Not a big fan of a corn taste for dessert, but this is actually the tastiest item on the menu. Score 6.
With the bill came a ganouche, which was ok and something else which was so-so.
One word sums up the meal - Audacious. What's appalling is the price for this deconstructed menu. Local and cheap ingredients (except perhaps for the totally under-cooked salmon) served at an exorbitant price. Did I mention that I am hungry?? This is a $20 meal priced at $95.
Actinolite Final Score - taste 4. Value for money 2. Save you hard earned loot and go elsewhere. Enough words wasted on this place!