The Art Gallery of Ontario has a collection with over 80,000 works. With so many works, it really keeps things interesting making it a fantastic place to visit. Adult admission usually costs $19.50, but on Wednesday Nights from 6 - 8pm, admission is free (except into special exhibitions like the Picasso Masterpieces).
After a quick tour of the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO),
<Great Leap Forward by Zhang Huan, ash on linen>
I headed over to Frank for my Summerlicious reservation.
The menu - lots of Spanish influence! $35 dinner
(*Items I would recommend and/or order again)
The bread with butter and sea salt in a shell
I loved the sea salt and butter combination!
Fresh corn and shrimp cake with roasted tomato, chili salsa & sautéed shrimp*
This appetizer was tiny, but jam packed with flavour. It had the sweetness from the shrimp and roasted tomato, a little zing from the chili salsa and then there was the dense meaty shrimp cake. Yum!
Gazpacho del dia, locally & seasonally inspired, served with crisp fennel grissini
The gazpacho (cold soup) of the day was a yellow tomato and yellow pepper soup. I liked the touch of the coriander on top of the soup - it added a fresh, crisp taste to the soup which by itself tasted like a simple tomato and pepper puree. The fennel grissini tasted like a breadstick...not a fan.
Grilled king oyster mushrooms on marinated asparagus & cucumber salad
with chive & chervil vinaigrette
The salad sounded exotic, but it was rather simple and slightly forgettable.
Steak diablo: grilled spiced flat iron steak, with patatas bravas, piquillo pepper relish & picante demi-glace
We ordered a medium flat iron steak and got a medium-rare steak (which is okay), but the steak was still a little tough. It definitely sounded more Spanish-influenced than it was. The sauce was great with the potatoes.
Saffron honey roasted chicken with golden raisins & capers served with orange & almond couscous*
This entree was fantastic! The chicken was moist, juicy and bursting with flavour from the saffron and honey. Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world and very popular in Indian cuisine and Spanish cuisine - a little can go a long way and I could tell that the chefs spared no expense with the saffron in this dish because the chicken was perfectly seasoned. The couscous was great too, who knew orange, almonds, raisins and capers would work so well?
Vegetarian paella with grilled summer vegetables & saffron aioli*
Another fantastic main, the paella was so fresh and hearty that it almost made me forget that there wasn't meat in the dish. The grilled summer vegetables consisted of crisp green beans, long strips of cucumber and juicy red and yellow peppers. The rice was fluffy, a little sticky and there was a bit of a socarrat (the toasted crunchy rice) in the paella.
Churros con chocolate: cinnamon-sugared fritters with dark chocolate & caramel dipping sauces*
The churros were doughy and sweet on their own; with the slightly bitter dark chocolate dipping sauce, they were perfectly balanced. Even the caramel dipping sauce wasn't too sweet which was nice.
Chocolate sour cherry bouchon with kirsch-laced whipped cream
The cake was dark chocolate cake with cherries baked in. I found it a little too crumbly, but it worked well with the sauce.
Summer berry pudding featuring ontario raspberries, strawberries, red currants & vanilla whipped cream
This dessert was a bit of a surprise because we were expecting a pudding rather than a bread pudding. It was great (even if it was completely drenched in the summer berries)
Overall: After exploring the AGO, I think Frank Restaurant is a great place to grab lunch or dinner after. They have some really amazing food on the menu and it's a little pricey considering the portion size, but it's delicious. The only downside of the experience was the service: our waiter was ridiculously slow and slightly oblivious, so the bus boys were being completely overworked to compensate for the slow wait staff.