3.06.2011

Pangaea

01.29.11


the menu. Sorry that it's so blurry!!

What? Pangaea for Winterlicious dinner
Where? 1221 Bay Street (right outside Bay station)
Price? $35 (normally you’re looking at $60-$100)
The skinny: Popped up in 1996, this restaurant strives to reunite “international inspiration and regional ingredients” like its name “pangaea”. They are the recipient of a prestigious four Diamond Award. If you are a wine connoisseur, then take advantage of their sommelier.

The three of us (Mike, Phoenix, and I) decided to come here for Winterlicious since their dinner price ($35) is pretty reasonable. The meal overall was very pleasant and enjoyable. Unfortunately, I am only able to base my opinion on my Winterlicious experience, which can be deceiving.





App #1. On the right is a closer look at the components.

Appetizer #1: Ocean trout gravlax
On potato rosti, celery root remoulade, fresh horseradish crème fraiche

Great textures: soft, crunchy, chewy. Flavours were very complimentary. Good start. The potato rosti stood out because of how crispy and non-greasy it was!






App #2: Pear & Endive Salad
Roasted pear, shaved fennel, watercress, frisée, walnuts, Stilton cheese, mustard dressing

I usually don't like pear but this was GOOD. The caramelization along with the crispiness of the top of the pear contrasting the soft "meat"....damn. YES. This was the inspiration for the caramelized pear slices in my baguette topping.
 
App #3 (on the left): Arugula on a bed of super thin slices of serrano ham.   App #2 (on the right): Please excuse the horribly focused photo but you can still make out the crispy/tender pear in the background, I hope.

App #3: Serrano Ham
With olives, cracked almonds, arugula and aged balsamic dressing

Great ham with subdued flavours. It's got some smokey-ness, meaty-ness, and softness to it. The olives, arugula and balsamic announce themselves from the moment you put them in your mouth whereas the ham is more understated and its flavours builds slowly.


Soft, pillowy baguette with an aubergine dip



Of course the obligatory bread and butter/dip.
Wish there was a variety of breads to choose from (they served up individual pieces of french baguette) but at least the aubergine (eggplant) dip was smooth and subtle in flavour...it prepped us well for our meal.

It's important to keep in mind that bread/dips and appetizers are suppose to prepare you for your meal, or "main". If they're jam-packed with spices of overwhelming flavours, it could potentially wipe out your palette. 









Main #1: Mahi Mahi
Grilled, on saffron shellfish chowder with bacon, clams, mussels, shrimp, fennel, and green onions

I was super looking forward to this dish. I enjoyed the grilled mahi mahi immensely! Great flavour thanks to the cooking method (grilled). The chowder however left me hanging. It was good (creamy, full-bodied) don't get me wrong! But I wanted MORE seafood (cuz i'm asian like that).

Main #1: Mahi Mahi                                            Main #2: Farm To Table                       Main #3: Slow Braised Lamb Shank

Main #2: Farm To Table
Sous-vide winter squash cooked with thyme and olive oil, heirloom golden beets, Masala braised beluga lentils, roasted goat’s cheese, charred pearl onions and crisp ginger

You cannot possibly go wrong with goat's cheese and beets. Supposedly the crisp ginger was really delightful. Didn't get to try it though as it was dropped on the table...booo
 

All the different components of Main #3.



Main #3: Slow Braised Lamb Shank
On Lingot beans, braised shallots, sautéed curly kale, fresh herbs and braising juices

Wow. Talk about fall-off-the bone meat. So tender and juicy, this lamb wasn’t gamey at all (for some reason, I usually only have lamb in stews, hence the expectation for the odd aftertaste) but the taste was pure lamb. 











Dessert #1: Ontario Cheese Plate
Daily selection of Local Artisan cheeses, with pear-thyme compote, tear of honey

I know I like cheese. A LOT. Sprinkle some mozzarella on anything and instantly it’s more attractive. But I'm not sure how to appreciate artisan cheeses. The pear compote helped cut through the richness of the cheeses whereas the honey (soft floral notes) brought out certain flavours! Very interesting cheese plate. I've always been very reserved when it comes to blue cheese, I mean it is MOLD after all. But after trying it, I can say that I enjoy blue cheese!
So much flavour packed into a tiny cube... Very complex.

Dessert #1 (at top).   Dessert #2 (bottom right).   Dessert #3 (bottom left).

Dessert #2: Pumpkin Spice Bread Pudding
Rum caramel sauce, cranberry compote

The bread pudding was good! Not overly sweet, and had a denseness that wasn't overwhelming. Couldn't pick up the rum in the sauce though. The caramel, pumpkin seed brittle was a nice touch! Delicious.

Dessert #3: Maple-Pecan Tart
With macerated dried fruit and Bourbon whipped cream

No clue as to the taste of this dessert as I'm allergic to pecans. It was engulfed rather quickly so I'd say it was pretty darn good.


Taking a closer look at the blue cheese.
 

 
Verdict: Winterlicious gave me the chance to come here. Their regular menu sounds DIVINE. Dishes on the dinner menu include Foie Gras, Dungeness Crab, Iberico Pork Chop (Spain). Maybe I’ll return one day if I have the money to spend on a great meal. 

WARNING: Depending on where you sit, lighting can be super dim, meaning a difficult time getting good food photos.




3.5 out of 5 NOMs
nomnomnomnoh

Pangaea on Urbanspoon




2 comments:

  1. Hi, I checked out your blog post from urbanspoon and you seemed to have enjoyed your meal there. However, you noted on urbanspoon that you didn't like it? Just thought I'd mention that!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yep, you're right. I think when I rated them on urbanspoon i was thinking back to my experience in relation to other restaurants. hmmm...maybe this merits a change of rating?

    ReplyDelete