I was star-crossed to be able to go to Auberge de Pommier with C and some of her fam. Owned by the Oliver and Bonacini empire (Canoe, Jump, Biff’s, etc.), this is the sort of restaurant where expectations and preparatory menu gawking accomplish very little. This will not be a foodie freakout because guess what. The evening was amazing, just as it should have been.
Tucked behind country club landscaping, adjacent to a gawdy evangelical temple and benign office buildings, Auberge is located in a simply weird spot north of Yonge and York Mills, a true island in the North York corridor.
Once you forget about the neighbours and walk up the entrance and head inside, you forget everything. This is likely the nicest dining room in the city. Massive cushy chairs, country home stone, undeniably beautiful. Like a whitewashed Club Chasse et Peche but with more money and less adventure in interior design.
Service was perfect – warm, friendly but distant, almost classic French service just without the white gloves, thank goodness. Massive white plates, precious presentations, tasteful portion sizes, lots of butter. Classic haute cuisine stuff. Maw.
Here’s a rundown of some choice selections we had at the table:
- I had caramelized sea scallop and braised beef cheek with sweet peas, morels and summer truffle Champagne cream. Never had beef cheek before, beautifully done, super tender, just like braised brisket.
This totally furthers my proof that apps are always better than mains. Always. Something other than protein/pureed starch/vegetable. The highlights were definitely the appetizers.
- I had grilled beef tenderloin on creamy cauliflower velouté with wild mushroom croquette, horseradish scented tomato confit and Bordelaise. Arguably the best cut I’ve had, just would’ve liked a better sear. Regardless, who wouldn’t be ecstatic over a beautiful Chateaubriand, cipollini onions, and croquettes.
- Butter poached lobster glazed under an aromatic, citrus and tarragon mousseline with braised endive and citrus salad. Beautifully cooked lobster, but other things on the plate weren’t as impressive for us diners. And butter butter butter.
Cara’s dad bought the envy of every wine freak’s dreams – Châteauneuf-du-Pape, 2006 Reserve.
This isn’t meant to be a gloaty post. If you have a very special evening and you want to celebrate with the best vibe in the city and beautiful French food, you know where to go. I was a lucky man to be able to go, definitely a big check mark on the Toronto restaurant canon.