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Reviewed February 2, 2004   »   32avenue.com   |   justin-cheung.com     

Canoe

TD Bank Tower, 54th Fl. - 66 Wellington St. W., Toronto
Tartar of Atlantic Salmon | with Lady Apples, Horseradish, & Caperberries, this was one of the better salmon appetizers. The salmon was very fresh and very tender, and for a cold appetizer, I expected the worst and thought it would be ice cold like normal cold salmon appetizers are, but it was a nice perfect cool temperature, and the garnishing really brought out the flavouring. Portions were pretty decent, too. Overall, one of the better appetizers I've had.

Creemore Springs Beer & Cheddar Chowder | Carny could taste the beer, but I couldn't. Either way, it was a very pleasant tasting soup. However, that's just it - it was more like a soup than a chowder. Although normally chowders are a little too thick, this one was a little too thin; texture was next to non-existent. If you don't think it's a chowder you're having, you'll love it.

La Ferme Organic Breast of Capon | with Pumpkin, Wheatberries & Rosemary Sherry Vinaigrette, this entree hit my taste buds just right. The capon was firm yet moist, roasted just enough so the exterior was just lightly crisp. Surprising that I would find the capon so enjoyable considering it wasn't necessarily soft and tender. The pumpkin and wheatberries with rosemary sherry vinaigrette are definitely not to be discounted - they were more than mere garnish, as they complemented the capon very, very well. Portions were normal.

Pan Seared Yarmouth Scallops | with Habitant Peas, Leeks & Olive Oil, $24. I only had one scallop, but it was enough to convince me that if I ordered the scallop instead, I would be just as happy as I was with the capon. Lightly burnt exterior and bursting full of flavour, juices flow right onto your tastebuds and I was in scallop heaven. The portion, however, was a little below average.

Caramelized Wild Rice Pudding | with Mulled Spiced Pears & Cabernet, $11. The first thought that came to my head was it looked like a chinese fish cracker. However, upon penetrating the top crispy caramel layer, I found the soft, moist pudding to be quite a deep dish, not too sweet, not too soggy, and definitely not a dessert I was really willing to trade for half of the chocolate ganache cake. You haven't had rice pudding until you've had this one. Simply an incredible dessert.

El Rey Chocolate Ganache Cake | with Pecan Brittle, Blood Orange & Pistachio Ice Cream, $11. Just the right combination of taste and aesthetics - the chocolate wasn't overbearing, and the crispy exterior was perfectly complemented by the fluffy interior. Having the Pistachio a la mode certainly helped things as well. Incredible dessert, except for one major flaw - there was tin foil in the dessert. On the last bite, too. Still, well worth getting if you don't happen to get any tin foil.

Passionate | $8.50. A rather tame drink, but still well worth getting. The passionfruit juices were very full-bodied. Served with raspberries.

Sparkling Cosmo | $14.50. The alcohol was too overwhelming, drowning out the peach juice, only an average drink. Served with raspberries as well.

Conclusion: I would've given a marginally higher rating if they had offered to refill the bread without my asking to do so, or if they had offered the coffee/tea like the winterlicious menu said was supposed to be included. The waiter blundered there by saying it wasn't included. Otherwise, service was at par with other finer dining restaurants. Even though they had said that the dinner would be capped at 1.5 hours, there was no mention of them kicking us out or anything - they let us enjoy our food at our own leisurely pace, which was really nice. Ambience was nice and cozy. Washrooms left a little to be desired considering it was the floor washroom and not the restaurant washroom (maybe I went to the wrong one?). However, with everything said and done, I went in with the highest expectations for the food and came out relatively satisfied, and presentation was very intricately laid out. The complimentary walnut bread with olive hummus was quite a nice surprise - the hummus especially was among the best I've had. Prices for normal dining cannot be argued with considering the quality, though definitely not in the student budget range unless it is for a special occasion. A restaurant worthy of a return for the winterlicious menu, but make sure you request window seating for the view; bear in mind it's a little overrated, but still worth requesting nonetheless. Parking at the TD Bank Tower is free if you get it validated at the restaurant.

4.0

Justin's out of 5.0

4.0

Renee's out of 5.0

noteworthy
service
taste


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