Saturday, 22 July 2017

Marché Jean-Talon - Montreal

Amazing market with fresh local produce, prepared foods and more!

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Aqua Mare
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Fresh seafood and prepared seafood for reasonable prices. Arancini with crab and salmon (to-go)

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Huge arancini balls and they were packed with flavour! Tender flaky salmon and yummy crab meat with mashed up rice and vegetables. I liked the salmon more than the crab meat since I could get more of the flavour. A great snack and/or meal!

Update January 2018: Pâtisserie De Gascogne has closed.
Across the street from Aqua Mare was Pâtisserie De Gascogne:

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Amazing cakes, tarts, eclairs and more! 

Tartlette Guérande citron framboise and Tartlette Bourdaloue 
Raspberry Lemon tart and French pear tart - Both were delicious with flaky tasty pastry and fresh seasonal fruit. The pear tart really reminded me of Clafouti's tarts and it made me really happy!


Next on our Jean-Talon Market crawl was Juliette & Chocolat, a popular chocolate place (known for their hot chocolate):


Cup of Grandma's Style Hot Chocolate with 55% Dark $5.99
So yummy - velvety and smooth and oh so enjoyable! It's on the pricier end, but it's so worth it!

Friday, 21 July 2017

Leméac - Montreal

A fun weekend getaway to Montreal (for a friend's Bachelorette party!)
Amazing View of the City

We made reservations at Leméac, an upscale French restaurant. 

Grilled Beef Hanger Steak with salad and beurre $29
The steak was a perfect medium rare and it was very tender, flavourful and delicious! The beurre (or butter) was a really nice compliment to the steak when it melted on top. The salad was lightly dressed and the dressing added a nice acidic note.

Overall: Great service and delicious food! A fantastic start to Montreal!

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Granite Brewery

Another Summerlicious adventure!
*Items in red are what I would order again*

Soup of the Day (Vegetable) and Bruschetta
The soup portion was pretty big, but it was on the watery side. The bruschetta was interesting - it had avocado spread on the toast and then the bruschetta toppings on top. 

It was a big portion, but it looked a little strange (like a gigantic beef patty or something). It tasted okay with the mushroom gravy and the vegetables. 

Cake and a tiramisu
The portions were big, but they weren't particularly tasty - the strengths of this restaurant aren't really in the desserts. 

Overall: The Summerlicious was kind of mediocre. The brunch table looked pretty good thought and there were a lot of people were eating from the buffet - so I might come back for that. 

Friday, 14 July 2017


After coming back from Peru, I have a whole new appreciation for Peruvian cuisine. I was really excited to see a Peruvian restaurant in Toronto offering Summerlicious!

*Items in red are what I would order again*
Pisco Sour
A popular Peruvian alcoholic drink

This sashimi plate was really interesting and beautifully plated. The passionfruit was a nice compliment to the fish.

Alpaca Tartare
Alpaca meat with a quail egg, Inka bread and avocado spread. The presentation was really nice!
The alpaca was tasty and nicely seasoned and the Inka bread was great.

Alpaca A La Cuzqueña
Alpaca meat braised in a Peruvian drink with vegetables - this was pretty good. The alpaca meat was yummy and the mushroom sauce was good. 

Panqueque con majarblanco and Mazamorra morada
The panqueque were crepes with dulce de leche and they were really yummy. The Mazamorra morada is an Inca pudding with purple corn and fruits; it wasn't too sweet, but I didn't really like it.

Overall: Really interesting Peruvian food and I was happy I got to eat Alpaca meat again!

Thursday, 13 July 2017

7 Numbers (Midtown)

July 13, 2017
I was really impressed by their lasagna last time, so I couldn't wait to try their Summerlicious menu and try their other great Italian home-cooking dishes. 
*Items in red are what I would order again

Funghi - stuffed mushrooms with spinach, cheese and breadcrumbs
The tomato sauce was delicious! The mushrooms were pretty good too and the toast was a nice accompaniment.

Gamberi Shrimp with arugula, red pepper herb purée
The shrimp were perfectly cooked with a nice char from the grill and the sauce was nice.

Hunter-style braised chicken with carrot, celery, onion, tomato, olives
The chicken looked a little lonely on the plate by itself with everything piled up on top. I couldn't help thinking that there should be something accompanying it.

Lenticche con aglio
Lentil mash, roasted garlic, chilli oil
The lentils were good, but it still felt strange that they were separate from the main dish.

Zucchini alla griglia
Grilled summer zucchini
Still not knowing what to make of this.

Lasagne with fresh ricotta, organic baby spinach, mozzarella and Polpette - Mozzarella-stuffed veal meatballs, house-made sauce 
The vegetarian lasagna was okay, but I remembered their meat lasagna was much better.
The meatballs were delicious! The meat was tender and juicy and I enjoyed the nice cheesy surprise in the middle.

We were still hungry after this, so we ordered an additional portion of their meat lasagna
Lasagna - large size
I was actually kind of disappointed by this considering this was supposed to be the large portion. The lasagna was good, but it definitely wasn't really worth the price tag.

Biscotti plate and Key lime pie
The key lime pie was pretty good, not too tart and not too sweet.
Apple crumble cheesecake
The cheesecake felt a little flat to me. The crumbles weren't very crumbly and it felt a little one-dimensional.

Overall: The food is good, but the portions are really small for Summerlicious. I'm not sure I'd come back again for it.

November 18, 2014
7 Numbers on Eglinton is actually one of two restaurants owned by the Marinuzzi family. The website is great! It gives off the impression that you're going to eat real classic and homey Italian food with a friendly Italian family.

My friend and I decided to go family style for $30 per person so we get to try all these different menu items with antipasti, primi and secondi (and contorni)
Calamari with lemon on the right and beet gorgonzola almond salad, caprese salad and arugula and pepper goat cheese salad
The calamari portion was really more than I expected and it had a nice simple and clean flavour with the lemon and sauce.  I liked everything on the salad plate - very distinct and strong flavours from the two salads: the gorgonzola cheese and beets with balsamic was done quite well and the peppery arugula and goat cheese was nice too.

First pasta course: veal lasagna, farfalle with ricotta and linguine with rapini
The lasagna is one of the dishes they're known for and it was probably one of the best lasagnas I've had. I didn't know fresh pasta could make such a difference until I tasted this - I was really wowed by it - each bite just seemed to melt-in-your-mouth! The veal was the perfect meat to add into this lasagna too because it complemented the soft pasta and the lightly tangy sauce just brought it all together. So good!!! I definitely have to come back for more.
The farfalle and linguine were both cooked to a perfect al dente and were good, but I think the lasagna just eclipsed everything else on the plate.

More food! Onto the meats like the carnivores we are...
Grilled Pork Chop and Osso Buco
Top: Osso Buco, asparagus and salad and Maile (grilled pork chop)
The osso bucco was tender and covered with a onion and tomato sauce which suited it. The pork chop was a LOT of meat - especially after those other courses we had. It was seasoned and grilled perfectly with roasted red peppers on top. Everything was really well done!

Overall: Fantastic place for simple and classic Italian food (no fancy fiddleheads or stinging nettle here). It's almost rustic in its simplicity and it seems like one of those great Italian restaurants using recipes passed down through generations. The service was great and the food was even better - the best part was I didn't have to break the bank eating everything I wanted off the menu! :D

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Auberge du Pommier

July 9, 2017
Back for Summerlicious! Their $28 lunch menu seemed pretty good.
*Items in red are what I would order again

Terrine: foie gras and canard with carrot and gooseberry gastrique
The terrine was really nice and it was a great combination of flavours from the carrots, sauce and spices on top.

Saumon with asparagus, caper and corn relish, polenta and black lentils
The salmon was nice and crispy on the outside and really flaky and delicious once your fork cut into it. The corn and caper relish added a nice saltiness, but I wasn't really a fan of the polenta.

Boeuf - grilled flat iron steak with pearl onions, carrots, mashed potatoes and a watercress pesto
The steak was a perfect medium rare and very yummy. The presentation was a little strange to me with the triangles of beef, but other than that, there wasn't anything bad I could say about the dish. The watercress pesto was really interesting - I wouldn't have thought of that, but it was pretty tasty.

Crème Brûlée with muscovado, pistachio sponge, blackberries and cloudberries
This was so not what I was expecting for crème brûlée - it was different and unique. I wish there was more pistachio sponge. 

Chocolat with creme de menthe, bean brittle and hazelnut ice cream
This chocolate dessert was really good! It was rich in flavour and the hazelnut ice cream was spectacular.

Parfait with passionfruit, lime, poached pineapple and coconut glacé
This was nice at first bite, then it was really tart and a little overwhelming.

Overall: It was an okay Summerlicious experience. I think I was so wowed by my dining experience in January below that I felt like my expectations were a lot higher for summer and it didn't really live up to it in the summer. The service was great as always, but I felt like the portions were smaller and the food wasn't as yummy.

January 29, 2017
I didn't have a good experience the last time I went to Auberge du Pommier, so it's been years since I've been back. However, I couldn't help but notice that they had a really good prix fixe lunch menu for $28. Therefore, I thought I'd give it a try again. 
Auberge is an upscale restaurant that serves classic French cuisine. 

*Items in red are what I would order again

Complimentary bread
It was really warm and fluffy with delicious room temperature butter - it's the small subtle things that make a difference in the experience here. 

Soupe of shellfish and squash with yoghurt and pumpkin
The soup was really lovely and so tasty! If you love pumpkin and squash you'll really like this. 

Rabbit and Ham Terrine 
The terrine which is a fatty French forcemeat loaf (similar to a pâté) was really nicely done with nice even layers of the rabbit and ham and some nice accompaniments of apricot piccalilli, mesclun and gingerbread. 
Saumon (Salmon) with potatoes and a mustard cream
The salmon was lovely and perfectly paired with the warm mustard cream and potatoes. I would definitely eat this again, if I didn't have the boeuf (which was amazing). 

Boeuf (Beef) braised short rib with root vegetables and mashed potatoes
OMG the beef just melted in my mouth - it was perfectly braised to a super tender texture and it was so easy to eat that I could've eaten it with a spoon if I wanted to (not that they give you a spoon in a fancy restaurant like Auberge). I could eat this boeuf every day and never get sick of it. I totally understand why so many people love this restaurant now - the beef was phenomenal. 

Tartelette with lemon chamomile curd, meringue and honey
The tartelette was really nice - the lemon was a perfect balance of tart and sweet without being overwhelming and the meringues were perfect. 

Pudding with brioche, maple syrup and rum &raisin ice cream
The pudding was amazing! This was the perfect ending to the meal - it was not too sweet and it was packed with so much flavour and deliciousness. I was super impressed that the meal ended on such a high note. 

Overall: I had a great experience at Auberge du Pommier! The service was fantastic, the food was amazing and the price was really reasonable considering the quality of the food. I almost wish Winterlicious lasted longer so that I could eat the beef and the pudding over and over again. It was so good! I'll definitely be back for the summer edition! 

Auberge du Pommier Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato