What? Acadia for dinner
Where? 50C Clinton st (506 College streetcar)
Price? $39 (7-course tasting)
The skinny: Acadia is one of THE places to go eat in Toronto right now. Chef Matt Blondin creates dishes that are as they are delicious as they are unique in presentation. Cue the good cocktails/drinks (cocktail master Benjamin Deacon) + great atmosphere = winning meals.
A fuzzy photo of the man himself, Benjamin Deacon (@benjamin_deacon) mixing up cocktails. I’m not much of a drinker—the effects of alcohol hit me so fast it’s embarrassing—but I’m slowly working on it. :D
I came with one of my closest friends. Of course, excitement was running high. A 7-course tasting for $39. Not possible but that’s exactly what this and the next night at Acadia (@AcadiaToronto) offered.
Here’s the Virginia Housewife cocktail (11). Not surprisingly, this was a recommendation as I myself had no clue what to get. I really enjoyed it! Some nice layers of flavour. Thanks! (in the cocktail: prosecco, gin, wild bergamot, earl grey ice)
Course 1: Fish Skin – smoked crème fraîche, fennel & dill pollen
I was prepared for some unique plating and we see that right from the very first course.
All the listed components naturally go well together but with twists on the preparation. It was a nice introduction and prep for what was to come.
Course 2: Warm Scallop – red brassica, wild mustard, celeriac, watermelon radish
I don’t think there even needs to be mention of the execution of the dishes. Chef Matt Blondin’s signature “non-centered-one-sided” presentation is seen along with the various dollops of foams.
The scallop was so moist!
Course 3: Catfish – pumpernickel, goat’s curd, pickled egg yolk & white, onion tops
The catfish, crusted with pumpernickel reminded me of sea cucumbers so I was taken aback at first. And then I dug in. So happy! ^_^
I’d say the catfish was one of my favourite things that night.
Course 4: Oyster Soup – chicken stock aspic, black pepper, licorice, borage
(Aspic = sort of like jell-o’ed stock) Now I don’t know about you, but I’ve never had oyster soup before. My friend was most excited for this course. It was so flavourful! The soup was a little foamy and that lightened the richness just enough.
Course 5: Redfish – hedgehog mushroom, brown butter, samphire, xeres vinegar
(xeres vinegar = sherry vinegar). This course probably had the most number of visible elements on the plate. I didn’t know where to start. The dollop of mushroom purée on there really stood out for me. :)
Course 6: Pork Belly – steelcut oats, banana pudding, black sesame, peanut
With every course that passed, we got a new set of fork & knife. This tasting menu so far was very fish/seafood heavy so the pork belly changes it up a bit. Gotta love pork belly! The steelcut oats and black sesame created a great crust.
When I saw pork belly + banana + peanut, I thought “how is this going to work?!” And then I remembered the jelly doughnut from doughnutplant (which was an unexpectedly great combo). In the end, with the latter two elements presented in different forms (runny pudding + freeze dried?), it all went together nicely! Anywhos, you can never say no to good pork belly.
Course 7: Caramelized Buttermilk – white chocolate, blood orange, olives
For some reason, I just couldn’t get the right white balance for the photos of this last course. But I digress. The sauce made from olives is slightly sweetened so it balances itself. More freeze-dried/crumble action. All in all, not the usual flavours you’d find in a dessert but they complimented each other well.
And there you have it! The unbelievable $39 7-course tasting menu (March 18/19) @ Acadia. With deals like this, it’s extra important that you tip well, and perhaps get a drink or two. Below you see the open kitchen with chef de cuisine Matt Blondin (@chefmattblondin) at the helm.
Saw a lot of familiar faces that night! It was so great to finally meet some of the people I’ve been interacting with on twitter in person; Stella (@foodieyu) and Amy (@lu_amy7).
Verdict? This tasting was a completely new experience for me so I was open to anything. I loved how I wasn’t able to identify half of the elements on each plate without the menu on hand; it made for an even more exciting dinner! Besides the food being top-notch, the service was so attentive. Everyone was really welcoming and friendly. I’m definitely coming back for their regular menu!!
Check ‘em out! http://www.acadiarestaurant.com/
5 out of 5 NOMS