It’s that time of the year again – we’re in the middle of winter, dreaming of warmer weather to come. Thankfully, winter also means that one of our favourite Toronto culinary events is here – Winterlicious! It’s when restaurants from all over the city offer three course, prix-fixe menus, allowing you to discover places you’ve always wanted to try, or might not have even known about. We’re here to give you a preview of the Winterlicious dinner menu of one of Toronto’s most upscale restaurants, Café Boulud, located in the Yorkville neighbourhood inside the Four Seasons Hotel.
For the appetizer course, you have three options:
Guinea Fowl Terrine
preserved laroda plum, country bread
hazelnut crust, celeriac gremolata, brown butter
green apple, celery, apple cider vinegar
We were able to try the scallops and the terrine. Our choice would be the Digby Scallops; they were perfectly cooked – extremely tender and melt in your mouth, with the hazelnut crust adding just enough of a texture contrast.
For the main course, the three options are:
buddha’s hand, crispy artichoke, parmesan emulsion
smoked spelt, brussels sprouts, mushroom broth
“Pot au Feu”
bone marrow, carrot, turnip, potato
Of the mains, we tried the salmon and the beef “Pot au Feu”. Our recommendation here is definitely the Pot au Feu – it’s a classic French dish that was beautifully presented, with the jus being poured over the dish right at your table. The beef was soft, the vegetables were fresh and brightly coloured, and best of all, this dish had bone marrow, one of my favourite ingredients. Normally bone marrow makes a dish heavy, but as whole the Pot au Feu came off as very light.
Finally, for dessert, your choices are:
Pear Chocolate Gateau
chocolate mousse, poached pear, hazelnut gelato
cinnamon ice cream, caramel sauce, puff pastry, Chantilly
Tropical Fruit Sundae
coconut ice cream, roasted pineapple, passion fruit coulis
Thankfully we were able to try all three desserts. Truthfully you cannot go wrong with any of them, but if I had to choose, it would be the Pear Chocolate Gateau. Chocolate mousse, poached pear, and hazelnut gelato? What more can you ask for?
Along with the Winterlicious menu, we also got a preview of one of the items from the Valentine’s menu – the Celeriac Agnolotti. The pasta was just the right firmness for me, and the sauce was creamy and flavourful. If this is any indication of the rest of the dishes on the Valentine’s menu, that will be one pretty delicious meal.
Café Boulud’s Winterlicious dinner menu costs $45, and is available until Winterlicious ends on February 12, 2015. Café Boulud is located at 60 Yorkville Ave, just east of Bay St.
Photos by John Tan and Nick Lee