July 12: Epic Restaurant ★★★
The sprawling dining room fit for galas and weddings is well attended by a clearly non-summerlicious crowd. The furnishings are conservatively worn-out, much like the Fairmont Royal York that houses it. Service is quick and thorough though nippy at times (we got out in 30 minutes this time…quite the record). We started with the seven leaf salad, the creative way to say ‘house salad’. The highlight was the aromatic and punchy Niagara Ice Wine, which shows well in the hallmark hotel of Toronto, Canada. Unfortunately, the slimy artichokes jutted out like a sore thumb. Next was the Soft Shell Crab, perhaps imported from the neighboring Benihana (which is also doing a $45 dinner Summerlicious menu but too institutionalized for this blog – NasdaqGS: BNHN), felt misplaced and a little too contemporary. Kudos for the pairing with risotto though; the Japanese never thought of that. Unfortunately, the risotto was unflavored and the grapefruit delivered the much needed acid in incoherent bursts. And while the dessert was interesting, the strawberries were sour and I am still not sure if the rhubarb added anything.
New Farm Composition
Seven Leaf Blend, ‘Sovereign Farms’ Tomato, Watermelon Radishes, Roasted Artichoke, Niagara Ice Wine & ‘Rooftop’ Honey Vinaigrette
Tempura Soft Shell Crab
Wasabi Cucumber Risotto, Tender Young Rocket, Grapefruit Segments
Strawberry & Rhubarb
‘Barrie Hill Farms’ Strawberry & White Chocolate Mousse, Vanilla Rhubarb Jelly, ‘Rooftop’ Lavender Cress