Canoe Restaurant & Bar

I may be a bit late, but first this first – Happy new year, 2013!
So my friends and I decided to participate in this year’s Winterlicious (see here for the full restaurant list).  We decided we wanted to go to the renowned Canoe Restaurant & Bar because we always wanted we’ve heard so many good things about it.  One quick tip for those who are interested in going during a Winterlicious/Summerlicious – there’s no way you can book any later than the first day that they start taking reservations!  Seats/tables go by super quick!

Moving forward, Canoe is found on the top floor of one of the TD Towers Downtown Toronto.  The view that the 54th floor restaurant is phenomenal.  There’s an awesome view of Lake Ontario and CN Tower.  The restaurant itself is quite fancy, so I suggest that if you’re planning to go, it might be better to dress for the occasion.

Here are some pictures of the interior:

Canoe entrance – on the 54th floor of TD Tower

Interior of Canoe. An awesome view facing Lake Ontario and the CN Tower.

This is the Winterlicious 2013 menu that they offered. What I found really neat about it was that they also included wine and cocktails that match well with the dishes:

2013 Winterlicious canoe menu along with beverages that complement the meals.

So before our 3 meal courses, we were served an appetizer of two types of bread (sorry! I forgot the types of bread) and a mushroom dipping. I think the bread was some sort of sour dough, which I am not too fond of, but the dipping was very tasty.

Pre-appetizer: two different types of bread with mushroom dipping.

And the long awaited 3 course meals:

APPETIZERS:

I ordered this one. I found it quite flavourful and creamy. There was a strong spice flavour, which I found slightly overpowering, but I liked the incorporation of yoghurt in the soup.

Roasted Squash & Parsnip Soup Birch Yoghurt & Spiced Croutons. The majority of my friends ordered this dish (mainly because we wanted something chilly since the day was so cold too)

Sheep’s Milk Quark – Baby Greens, Beet Reduction & Crisps

MAIN:

The brisket was perfectly cooked, the meat would melt in the mouth and nothing was overly chewy. What I enjoyed the most was the contrast in texture of the oats and the cabbages really complimented the meat.

Slow Cooked Ontario Brisket – Steel Cut Oats, Red Wine Cabbage & Cedar Pickled Mustard Seeds

I really liked how the pork was so soft (almost like a pulled pork). Although, I found it a bit salty at first, I eventually grew to love it and the spinach soaked in the sauce was fabulous. However, I found the crispy things on the top of the dish quite questionable…haha.

Maple Braised Willowgrove Pork – Orecchiette, Crackling, Kale & Thunder Oak Gouda

DESSERTS:

Maple Gingerbread Pudding – Cranberry Preserve & Scorched Citrus Crème Anglaise


Most of my friends ordered this one. I was afraid it was going to be too dry, but I found that the apples with the contrast of the cake blended very well together. It was all in all, probably my most preferred dessert.

Almond Cake – Niagara Apple Compote & Salted Caramel Sauce


The spice in the chocolate was subtle yet evident. I found it a bit overwhelming after taking a few bites. However, I enjoyed the marshmellows a lot. I found it refreshing in contrast to the strong spiced chocolate flavour. I found the contrast in texture also quite satisfying.

Spiced Chocolate Panna Cotta – Marshmallow Graham Cracker Crumb

The total of the lunch was a $25 price fixe + tax and tip. The atmosphere of the restaurant was very nice and higher tier. I thought it was very cute of the waiters to wait until the table was finished completely before they all gathered to retrieve our plates. They also timed the presentation of the dishes. All in all – service was extraordinary, atmosphere was very nice, and food was pretty decent. I would have to say it’s a bit overrated though compared to what it really is though..I just got so hyped up from everyone telling me its the BEST restaurant in Toronto! I still think it was a great experience and super fun and tasty, though.

Here’s my rating:
- atmosphere: 9.5/10
– value: 7/10
– food: 8.5/10

The regular priced items are slightly pricey (or so I find), so if anything just find a time to go during Winterlicious or Summerlicious!
Oh yes, and happy Chinese new year!

Canoe Restaurant & Bar on Urbanspoon

-ksdn

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