Both of us wanted to try something new, something fancy, something good. With over 8,000 restaurants in this fair city of ours, you think it would be easy to find a place to eat, but nothing that is worth anything is ever easy.
It took some time to find a place to eat on a Saturday night. Can you believe it? In this big bold city? It wasn’t even Valentine’s Day (but it was the all-star basketball game). We sat on the couch for hours wondering where to go. We were obviously quite stressed out about it as we lazed around in sweat pants. Our first reservation wasn’t as fancy as we hoped. The second one asked us if the bar area was ok. Kev was raging — veins were popping from his iridescent forehead (those that know him know that I am kidding). All we really wanted to do was sit, nibble and sip.
The third place we tried was a charm. Kev made an online reservation for 8:45pm at Blowfish, in the Financial District. With such a late reservation, we figured we would head to Bar Begonia first — the new part French-, part Brooklyn-inspired restaurant opened by Anthony Rose. A couple of cocktails and a foie gras-parfait later, we made our way through the arctic tundra that is a Canadian winter to 333 Bay Street, in the heart of downtown Toronto.
Inside Blowfish, a slight heating issue, of all the days, made for a less comfortable experience. With Kev’s freshly shaved head and my aversion to colder temperatures, warming up was going to take a little longer. No worries, we ordered a bottle of primitivo and 2 miso soups to start. What were we really waiting for? Truffle albacore maki.
The rock tempura shrimp was coated in a semi-sweet, semi-spicy sauce, the jalapeño hamachi had a nip of cilantro on it and the long awaited truffle albacore was slightly toasted. This was the perfect amount to satiate a man with a beast of an appetite and his lady who eats like a bird. Sadly, there was no hint of truffle oil on the albacore roll, but that is an excuse to return another time.
With half a bottle of wine left, we figured dessert was in order. It was a toss up between the sake cheesecake and the chocolate espresso mousse. We left it to chance to decide our fate with Kevin choosing the hand slated for mousse.
Creamy and topped with Skor bits, raspberry coulis and, wait for it, a physalis (ground cherry) — a small orange-coloured berry with a lantern-like pod. The chocolate scoop was tasty and went pretty well with the red wine.
A small buzz going, it was time to weather the cold and head back to our spot on Dupont. I don’t remember going to sleep.
Happy Valentine’s Day!