The first of my Winterlicious reservations this year ($35 for dinner):
I really like the Wellington & Front Street area with Berczy Park and the Flatiron building because it's so close to the Financial District and the area has such great character with the St. Lawrence market and these cute boutique-y restaurants.
(*Items I would recommend and/or order again)
*Albacore Tuna Crudo with rye crisp, smoked quail egg with Russian dressing
This was really nicely done. The tuna crudo is almost like tuna sashimi but lightly seared and crusted on the outside. It was meaty and delicious with the Russian dressing and chopped pickles on the side. I wasn't too sure where the smoked quail egg went...but it was still a fantastic appetizer.
*Perth County Pork slow cooked with sauerkraut, navy beans and steamed prune cake
Since eating the Perth pork chop at the Drake Hotel, I have been obsessed with Perth pork and I was super excited to see it on the menu at Lucien. The pork definitely did not disappoint me here. It was tender and succulent and oh so good! The portion was not as small as it looked in the picture, rather it was pretty filling and the navy beans, sauerkraut and steamed prunes were a nice complement to the pork.
Duck Breast a L'Orange with wild rice and braised rutabaga
I'm not as big a fan of duck a l'orange, but the duck was done nicely (I wasn't a big fan of the orange sauce though).
Banana Chocolate Parfait with peanut cookie
The parfait was really interesting; the pastry chef managed to make a smoky chocolate sauce which was really good! However, the ice cream, banana and peanut butter cookie combination didn't really wow me.
Pot de Creme with cumin essence with honey and carrot gelee
Apparently a pot de creme is similar to a crème brûlée, but a little looser and it was topped with a cumin, honey and carrot gelee. The waiter did give us a warning: if you don't like cumin, you probably will not enjoy this dessert because it is heavily scented with cumin. We weren't that experienced with the flavour of cumin, so we decided to give it a shot. After eating it, I don't think I'd recommend it unless you really like cumin and jello. It's definitely a warming spice and has a fragrant flavour, but it's quite distinctive and if you're not used to strong and hot scents - then it's probably not for you.
Overall: It was a nice Winterlicious meal: food was nice, the service was really good and the restaurant has a lovely and intimate atmosphere.