What? Bestellen for dinner
Where? 972 College st w (506 streetcar from College station)
The skinny: Bestellen, which in German means “to order”, is all about having a relaxed meal, while experiencing great food. Opened by Chef Rob Rossi (former executive chef of Mercatto) and co-owner Ryan Sarfeld (former FOH manager of Mercatto), Bestellen features food with Italian, French, and of course German influences.
You may have seen Chef Rossi (@ChefRobRossi) on the first season of Top Chef Canada where he was the runner-up. Intent on opening his own restaurant, and after much planning and some delays, Bestellen (@bestellenTO) finally opened a few months back.
In Chef Rossi’s words, “I’m not screaming from the hilltops that this is a meat-centric restaurant…I’m cooking what I like to eat and I’m not going to put things on the menu just because they’re the coolest thing right now.” What you end up with is food at it’s height cooked with passion. That’s good stuff ;)
The restaurant has really clean lines and lots of natural elements. As usual...I'm looking up at the lights. Once again, simple.
The most unique feature of Bestellen, aesthetically at least, has got to be their dry-aging room / meat locker. Check it out!! No hanging pig this time…speaking of pig. If you’re a party of 8 or more and with advanced reservations, you can get an entire suckling pig!!
This restaurant may not be as much fun for vegetarians as it is for meat-lovers. I mean, sure there are some seasonal fish and seafood dishes on the menu, but not being able to appreciate this goodness right here?! Yep, the temptation may just be too much ;) haha
You can sit in the back and be closer to the action! My friend and I opted for the seating in the front of the restaurant for the better lighting. Next time I’ll sit in the back so I can also catch a glimpse at Chef Rossi and his team at work.
The menu. Everything sounds good! But we kept getting sidetracked…sorry to our server for repeatedly pulling the “can you give us a few more minutes please?”
Darian tried 2 different beers. First, the “Lawn Chair” Weisse (5.5) from Hop City and then the Amber Ale (5.5) from Flying Monkey. Both were good. :)
Charcuterie – (13/25)
All house-made charcuterie. There was pistachio mortadello, duck breast prosciutto, and a cured fennel pork sausage (not 100% about that last one) This was an awesome charcuterie board! The three meats were all very distinct in flavour. I loved the prosciutto; such a true duck taste in such a thin teeny slice.
Spot Prawns – pea shoots, sweet pea purée (15)
This is the spot prawns special that I saw a photo of on twitter. Never having had them before, I knew that we had to go for this.
Perfect. Can I describe it that way? Yeah. A bright dish—so summery and in season. The spot prawns are tucked in there. Cooked sous vide in oil, they were perectly tender and sweet. I’m craving some more right now!
Testina Tonatto – capers, lemon, arugula, parsley (11)
Qu’est-ce que c’est “testina”? Testina is from the pig’s jowl. And another piggy element, chicharron. If you’re wondering, this dish was amazing!
The testina was sliced super thin so you could not only taste everything, but you can see every part of the crosscut too. Fatty, gelatinous, slightly meaty goodness.
Bestellen Burger – caramelized onions raclette, house-made brioche & frites (18)
Sorry to turn on the cavewoman but oh how I love me a good burger! Our server said that the Bestellen Burger would be one of the best burgers we’ve ever eaten…I’ll take that as a delicious challenge! ;)
It was marvelous. Done medium-rare, the burger was so moist and perfect. I do have a propensity for sweet things, but I’m telling you, you’ll love the caramelized onions in this burger too! And the egginess of the brioche?! Gah! Nothing fancypants in your face but it’s a winning burger.
Seared Orata – creamy fregula, sea beans, fried lemon, salsa verde, radish (24)
Fish. I honestly never get a good fresh piece of fish at home so naturally, fish is scary for me. One bite can ruin a meal! D: No need to worry here because the fish was fresh and beautifully seared.
The fried lemon slices were a play on the classic garnish, often squeezed onto your fish. Fried, you get a crunch and a slight tang. So far, there’s been thought put into every single element that goes on each dish. That’s what makes it all so good! Well, that, great technique, and the freshest ingredients.
Rhubarb Pavlova – (7)
To end things off right, we thought that we’d try one dessert even though we were stuffed at this point. They no longer have the much-raved about carrot cake on their menu so we opted for the lighter option available, the rhubarb pavlova.
From the way it was described to us, we thought there would be a pile of rhubarb in a nest of meringue…Instead, we got a sort of rhubarb jelly. :( No “must-have-more-now” moments with this dessert.
Everything is quite well-priced. Of course, the more you order, the more it all adds up. It's just so hard to choose though because everything appealed to us!
Their business cards are quirky and fun! They've got rolls of these ticket stubs with their name on the front and their contact info on the back. Love the originality. :D
Verdict: I absolutely cannot wait to come back for more! The testina was narrowly my favourite dish. I’m undoubtedly returning for some of that sirloin and hopefully, the suckling pig one day as well. :D The service was great, the food was bang-on, and I’m itching for my next meal here at Bestellen.
Check ‘em out! http://bestellen.ca/
5 out of 5 NOMs