I’ve always wanted to go to LUMA (@OliverBonacini), located at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. Finally, the perfect excuse came along, Summerlicious + Scartans girls’ night out!
Executive Chef Jason Bangerter (@chefbangerter) is classically French trained. Having worked at very notable restaurants around the world, you know standards here are high!
Chef de Cuisine Brent Maxwell (@BrentMaxwell) has staged at the 3-starred Maison Pic and hopped from one O&B restaurant to the next, before finally finding his place here just last year.
LUMA is located upstairs on the second floor and there’s patio space overlooking John st. It would’ve been super relaxing to sit outside that evening since it the weather was mild. :D
I’m sure you’ve all noticed by now that not only do I take photos of the décor/table setting, but there’s always a photo of the light fixtures that pops up on each post as well. Thought goes into everything at restaurants!
Here's the Summerlicious dinner menu at LUMA ($35)
Two of the girls got the Stratus “Wildass” Rosé (11). It’s a bolder, heartier rosé so it worked well for the mains too.
Bread to start. They get it right here. Sourdough rolls I believe with an artichoke dip. YUM!
APPETIZER: SPICY GAZPACHO SOUP
Spicy chimichurri and spot prawn tartare. Did someone say spot prawn?! I LOVE spot prawn! This soup was really light and perfect.
Cold, it’s perfect considering the summer weather, and the heat was just enough to give it a kick without killing the sweetness of the spot prawn. This and the other option, the testa really reminded me of Bestellen (mmm, I had such a fantastic meal there!)
APPETIZER: ROMAINE SALAD
w/ double smoked bacon, parmesan and croutons. The bacon looks more like lardons. The two friends that got this were very satisfied. Simple, but well executed.
MAIN: GRILLED FLAT IRON STEAK
w/ butter-whipped potatoes, grilled zucchini and salsa verde. As soon as our server mentioned zucchini, Ramya’s eyes lit up, “zucchini!?” She’s the first person I know who enjoys zucchini.
Mmm everything on this plate was good. From the jus to the potatoes and the doneness on the flat iron! I took my sweet time eating this.
MAIN: ROASTED CHICKEN BREAST
w/ quinoa, heirloom carrots and tarragon. Only one of us got this. She loved it. Having chicken at a restaurant is a safe choice I’d say, but if it’s good it’s good! No denying that. ;D
We were originally supposed to be a group of 9 but unfortunately, things happened and only 4 of us could make it. I’m so glad we still went though because we talked about A LOT! Mostly gossiping, lots of dragonboat…I miss relaxing with just girls.
Dessert time! This was such a surprise! Our server came out with complimentary pairings for our desserts (offered on the Summerlicious menu). There was a sparkling rosé for the rhubarb crumble and a port for the pudding.
Taylor Fladgate. Psst! I’ve never had port before!! So I was and am very appreciative for this! Thank you!
DESSERT: CHOCOLATE BREAD + BUTTER PUDDING
w/ butterscotch and shaved white chocolate. Can a dessert get any more perfect than this? That’s all I gotta say.
Another first, gold leaf. Now I get to say I ate GOLD! No taste, but holy crap that’s a luxurious dessert right?! The nibs gave you a great crunch that compliments the soft pudding. White chocolate? YUM.
And then….you got something that pops. Pop rocks!! This is very “nouveau” of the chefs. I’m surprised but it works so well. It makes this dessert come alive and it’s fun. The pop rocks aren’t the kind you find in those black pouches with the neon letters, it’s actually imported from Germany and pops for a considerable amount of time! (think several minutes).
DESSERT: STRAWBERRY + RHUBARB CRUMBLE
w/ lemon balm and whipped cream. This came in a ridiculously giant, superfluous carved wooden bowl. I guess it’s different? This dessert is classic. Using fresh ingredients, it’s lovely. Add mint, lemon and whipped cream to that? The bomb.
After all the eating and laughs, we got a visit from someone. Chef Jason Bangerter! He came back from cooking offsite. I hope he doesn’t read this…but yes, I was a bit (very) chefstruck. Hey, it’s not everyday that a chef you greatly admire sits down and chats with you and your friends! I’ve had his offerings before at a Death Row Meals event back in April (it was amazing! And belt-busting…)
Thanks a lot for taking the time to stop and chat!!
The bill. Once again, they gladly split the bill for us.
Here’s a shot of the dining room; very classy!
So much vino!
Awesome night out with the ladies, Venus (@vip755), Ramya (@rayledchumanan) and Pam! We stumbled upon two of the PanAm, Play Me I’m Yours pianos; one just downstairs (at TIFF), and the other outside CIBC on King. Amazing art installation by Luke Jerram.
|At TIFF Bell Lightbox|
|Near King station, outside CIBC|
Verdict: Needless to say, we all had a fantastic meal here! I’d say the experience was pretty top-notch. Lots of fun, very attentive service and we didn’t feel rushed at all. A great Summerlicious (lunch $20, dinner $35) experience and I look forward to coming here again!!
Check ‘em out! http://www.oliverbonacini.com/Luma.aspx
5 out of 5 NOMs