July 7: One ★★★★★
The apex of pretention, in the fabled Hazelton, that regularly caters to the likes of Conrad Black and Justin Bieber, makes way for the summerlicious crowd. In its inaugural summerlicious bent, the restaurant goes far despite the margin pressure (though nothing less is expected of restauranteur Mark McEwen). The dimly lit dining room is shrouded in the rain; otherwise the patio opens to a sea of well-to-do patrons and less-well-to-do onlookers. The waitress is inaudible but clearly courteous. The food doesn’t require a decomposition or a critic’s introspection to enjoy. At its heart, it is simple food, cooked confidently, boldly. Take the three gargantuan prawns, laid out in perfect order, atop a bed of al-dente couscous, held together by a tarty yogurt. The blushing pork tenderloin loves the sweet and sour compote of cherries and apples and the polenta acts as the yogurt did in the appetizer. The chestnuts provided an unexpected sweetness that pork could always use. Finally, flourless chocolate cake was topped with burnt almonds. The nuts taste like an uncanny memory of campfires or fireplaces. It is only flakes but punches through a bitterness that counteracts all the sweet. The warmth of the crackling nuts are then balanced by a chilled espresso ice cream. After both Bymark and North 44 missed the five-star standard, it is One that picks it up.
Iceberg salad, tomato, bacon, salted pecans, buttered croutons, ricotta, ranch dressing
Grilled prawns, couscous salad, cumin vinaigrette, pomegranate yogurt, garlic chips
House made ricotta gnocchi, marinara, buffalo mozzarella, basil (vegetarian)
Pork tenderloin, rosemary polenta, apple and cherry compote, shaved chestnuts
Vanilla panna cotta, strawberry compote, brown butter crumble, basil (vegetarian)
Flourless chocolate cake, espresso ice cream, salted caramel sauce, almonds (vegetarian)