Oliver and Bonacini & Barchef

The post has been lying around in draft for ages, partly because the meal consisted of a one time only tasting menu with dishes far from the typical Oliver & Bonacini fare. At the request of A, Chef Markus Bestig created a dinner full of interesting new flavours, including kangaroo and horse!

Oliver & Bonacini Café Grill
Kangaroo Terrine with Currant Grapes – pickled black walnuts & grainy mustard
The night began with a kangaroo terrine with currant grapes, served simply with a crostini and slice of pickled black walnut. Unfortunately the kangaroo terrine wasn’t particularly noteworthy (to me) and could have been made of pork. However, the walnut had a really interesting taste and texture.

Oliver & Bonacini Café Grill
Charcuterie Plate – Coppa, Lux Schinken, Rosette De Lyonne, Berkshine Chobai, Jambon De Bayonne, white anchovy crostini & various garnishes
On the charcuterie plate, fancy cured meats were presented with a selection of breads, pickles and fruit. After experimenting with nibbles of each component, my favourite was the classic combination of ham and fig, providing some sweet to balance out the otherwise savoury plate.

Oliver & Bonacini Café Grill
Truffle Burrata – vine ripened tomato, quick pickled beets & pine nut emulsion
The Truffle Burrata was a simple, well done Caprese salad. The buttery burrata and creamy pine nut emulsion complimented the fresh tomatoes and beet.

Oliver & Bonacini Café Grill
Ricotta & Porcini Ravioli – wild BC Morels, buttered leeks & Pecorino Moliterno
Leeks, cheese, pasta, and morels! I was excited to finally try the morels, which brought an earthy richness to the dish.

Oliver & Bonacini Café Grill
Campari Soda Ice
After so many rich dishes, the Campari soda ice was a refreshing sorbet-like palate cleanser.

Oliver & Bonacini Café Grill
Salisbury Horse Steak – mushy peas, smash fried red skin potatoes & Pepper Sauce
Horse meat is very lean, so the salisbury steak was mixed with beef. Topped with a slice of bacon, over mushy peas and with smashed potatoes, the mostly horse steak tasted… different. Not bad, not particularly notable, but not quite like beef.

Oliver & Bonacini Café Grill
Chocolate Marquise – hazelnut praline & macerated strawberries
To end the meal, the chocolate hazelnut marquise appealed to our inner Nutella addicts. Sitting on an impossibly thin feuilletine like base, the semicircular dessert left us wishing we had the other half as well.

To continue the night of excess, we went to Barchef for cocktails. Though all of the cocktails I’ve tried at Barchef were delicious, the molecular mixology cocktails are worth the splurge.

Barchef
Sailor’s Mojito: beach essence, sailor jerry rum. mint, fresh lime, vanilla syrup. Mojito ravioli, fresh lime and vanilla air 25
We tried the Sailor’s Mojito, which was presented three ways – as a liquid cocktail, a fruit-gusher like “ravioli”, and as a foam. However, the $45 Vanilla Hickory Smoked Manhattan is the most visually impressive, presented in a bell jar of hickory smoke.


Saturday evening, June 25, 2011
Oliver & Bonacini
33 Yonge St, Toronto
Oliver & Bonacini Café Grill  on Urbanspoon
Barchef
472 Queen St W, Toronto
Barchef on Urbanspoon

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