Since we travel up to Toronto fairly often, people often ask us what we think about Canadian cuisine. More specifically, they want to know what is Canadian cuisine. We've talked about poutine and Timbits, but we think the best way to explain local cuisine is to showcase dishes that use local products.
We recently dined with a group of friends at Globe Bistro, a restaurant in Toronto that features inventive dishes made with local meats, produce, and cheese.
The friendly staff show us around the beautiful dining area, and then up to intimate rooftop patio for a pre-dinner drink.
Strawberry infused gin and tonic: Not too sweet and quite refreshing, we enjoyed this summery pre-dinner drink. We then headed down to the private dining room for our dinner.
Cumbrae's Pork Belly ($13 CAD = approx $11 USD)
Served with local field rhubarb (nice and sweet!), Rosewood mead, smoked yellow pepper mustard, and mustard greens, the pork belly had a Red Fife crust. It was rich and cooked perfectly.
Meat and Pickles ($14 CAD = approx $12 USD)
Local meats include juniper cured duck, smoked lamb, and elk ham. This was served with wild leeks, fiddlehead pickles, and a grainy mustard. We were excited to see elk on the menu so we had to order this dish! It was earthy and gamey - and tasty!
Ontario Asparagus Salad ($12 CAD = approx $10.50 USD)
We love the crispy hazelnut hen's egg on top of this salad. The salad itself also contained wild candied morels, fennel, hempseed oil emulsion, and Ewenity creme fraiche. The asparagus was nice and fresh and the salad itself was flavorful.
Quebec Magret Duck Breast ($29 CAD = approx $25 USD)
The duck came with a confit cherry ravioli, organic baby carrots, black cardamom butter, espresso gastrique, and lamb's lettuce. All of the flavors worked well together and the duck was not overcooked. It was a nice rustic dish.
50 Day Dry-Aged Cumbrae Farms Ribeye ($35 CAD = approx $30 USD)
The steak came with Yukon gold drites, alderwood smoked salt, Northern Woods oyster mushrooms, golden beets, and horseradish. This steak was huge!
Smoked Ricotta Gnocchi ($19 CAD = approx $16.50 USD)
The gnocchi came with ratatouille, garlic confit, cherry tomatoes, watercress, local yogurt, and rosemary salt. The gnocchi was good its richness was nice constrasted against the fresh vegetables.
Slow Roasted Haldimaid County Lamb ($32 CAD = approx $28 USD)
As you can see, this was prepared the way we love our meats - on the rarer side. The meat (roast loin, cuit sous vide shoulder) was tender. Our meat came with apricot mint couscous, local New Zealand spinach, and pine nuts.
Yarmouth Sea Scallops ($32 CAD = approx $28 USD)
We ordered this because it came with sweetbreads. These sweetbreads had fennel pollen and were nicely prepared. Our dish also came with sugar snap peas, orange fennel soubise, rainbow Swiss chard, and bacon whisky sabayon.
Maple Creme Brulee ($8 CAD = approx $7 USD)
Bacon for dessert? We had to try this dessert because it came with Cumbrae bacon doughnut and bacon brittle. The bacon flavour was actually fairly subtle so we did not mind it in our dessert.
Housemade sorbets and ice cream ($8 CAD = approx $7 USD)
These sorbets and ice cream, which included pear and blueberry, came with a homemade chocolate chip cookie.
Ontario Apple Crisp ($8 CAD = approx $7 USD)
This was the most controversial dessert of the night - people either liked it or hated it. Why? In addition to candied walnut streusel, apple gelee, and ice wine foam, this also came with aged white cheddar ice cream. Yes, the ice cream tasted exactly like cheese. It was weird having ice-cold, creamy cheese.
Epoisses Affidelice de Chablis Cheese
A slightly stinky, runny cheese accompanied by walnuts, apricots and bread and paired with a late harvest riesling from Ontario (below).
Globe Bistro is located at 124 Danforth Ave (east of Broadview) in Toronto, Canada.