Running late again!! When am I not, I know, I know.
I had this meal at Sassafraz with a bunch of friends. The menu was of course eclectic and contemporary. Almost artistic and freeform in thought. It was the first time I had ever been to Sassfraz, and it has been on my list of place I must try in Toronto for a while now. Being inside Yorkville, it is of course very cute and chic (is chic still a usable word or has slang changed it to something else?). Very contemporary in decor as well as food. The waterfall (featured in the picture above), was gorgeous and my group of friends and I were very disappointed to not sit near it.
We went Sunday for lunch at 1:00 PM. Sassafraz’s Summerlicous’ menu includes 3 apps, 4 mains, and 3 desserts. I’ll be featuring only the dishes I tried myself.
The Tomatillo gazpacho had creme fraiche, chipotle saffron oil, and a basil cress. The general consensus was that the soup was interesting. I liked it a lot, but I don`t think anyone else did. One of my dining companions described it as someone putting a bunch of vegetables into a blender without cooking anything. There was of course chunks, and occasionally the chipotle saffron oil was a bit strong. I found that if the creme fraiche was mixed into the soup, it cut down the spice of the chipotle saffron oil. Overall, I liked it and the males at my table were not a fan.
My neighbouring companion (who I spent the entire time stealing food off of) had the Watermelon. That`s right, the Watermelon. This dish featured a pickle rind and radish salad, Ontario sheep feta, Vodka mint gelee, and white balsamic gastrigue (Defined by Wikipedia as Nowadays, the term is frequently used to refer to any thus-flavored sauce itself). The watermelon itself was of course very refreshing, but every person who decided to try the watermelon were disappointed the the watermelon itself was not pickled. I greatly enjoyed the radish feta salad, and was a little sad that there was so little of it. The mint gelee tasted like nothing sadly. I would’ve thought it would taste like mint at least, but sadly no. Overall, I may like the Watermelon more than my soup, but only if it were a dessert portion. My palate does not need cleaning/refreshing before I start a meal.
For my main, I had the Ontario asparagus and green pea risotto. It included marscapone, Parmigiano Reggiano, tomato emulsion. IT was very creamy and everything I looked for in a risotto. Everything was apparently locally grown. Although that did not weigh heavily on my conscience, it was still nice to know that I was eating locally. Everything was cooked perfectly and the size of it really tricked me. I thought that I wouldn’t have been full after eating it, but there was definitely more in the plate than I thought. The most impressive part of the risotto was that it arrived steaming and it stayed that way the entire time I ate it.
My companion had the Harrison Co-op artisan chicken breast. It included white quinoa pilaf, summer squash ratatouille, and natural reduction. It looks absolutely delicious of course, but sadly the chicken was dry. The flavour was all there and it could have been absolutely delicious, if it weren’t dry. The saving grace of this dish was definitely the quinoa pilaf and the ratatouille. I haven’t had much exposure to quinoa and was not sure if it would make an excellent pilaf, but to my surprise it did. I found it slightly salty towards the end, but overall the dish was a little disappointing.
For dessert, I picked the Mango and mint bavarois (Which is essentially Bavarian cream as Wikipedia told me, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bavarois). It included oat crumble and a spiced raspberry coulis (Which is, ask Wikipedia defines it: is a form of thick sauce made from puréed and strained vegetables or fruits). It reminded me (and everyone who had it at the table) strongly of mango pudding. It was an excellent dish for all of three seconds before I lost interest. The oat crumble was not memorable at all. Within the bavarois, there were pieces of mint inside, which I did not taste whatsoever. The best part of the dessert was the sugared mint leaf. It was crunchy and it melted in your mouth.
My companion had the Gotham City Cheese exclusive to Sassafraz. There was no list of cheeses that were included in the dish. One of my friends said that there may have been a Monterey Jack and most definitely Swiss cheese. It was arguably the best dessert we ordered (as a collective). The cheeses were excellent and the honey they spread on the bottom was a perfect combination. I was actually sad that I did not order this dish.
Overall I loved the ambiance, the large windows and glass features and the amount of natural light made me melt just a little inside. Everything was white/natural colours which popped the art and the food. For $25 lunch I thought it was worth almost every penny. I enjoyed the service, the waiter was lovely, as were the servers. Everything was contemporary elegant, you didn’t need to dress to the nines, but it didn’t hurt if you did. Overall, I loved the entire experience, and if prompted, I would Absolutely go again.