Sunday, January 24, 2016

Toronto's EDULIS is excellent (1-22-16)

My first night in Toronto was at a small spot in an old house with no more than 16 tables. EDULIS is a homey warm spot right in town that has a bistro feel with marble tables and wooden floors as well as a small tiled bar in the corner, which is for service only as there are no seats. They only offer two tasting menus of 5 courses for $65 and 7 courses for $85, but you need to remember that the US$ is so strong that in US$ these two amounts are $45 & $59US!!
I even splurged for TWO extra optional courses, but more on that later.
Edulis charges a whopping :-)) $2(1.40US) for unlimited Q filtered water and the sparkling was quite nice. I was also warmly welcomed by my server Sean with a nice glass of Cava Cordoniu "Anne de Cordoniu."
Nice crusty bread and cultured butter arrived (it was not singing opera!) as well as toothpicks with soft breadcrumbs and pepper-stuffed olives.
The first course was a true novelty for me: Seaweed cured shima aji (a Bluefin varietal from New Zealand also called trevali) with radish, hemp heart and sesame. The dish was a superb sushi grade fish with a pickled radish base and seaweed that I loved!! I asked Sean for wine pairings and received an Albadia Albarino de San Campio 2014 from Riax Baixas which was quite nice.
Next came a Sake Daijingo Onikoroshi paired with an amazing Surf Clam on roasted rice loaf with a Boshi (or salt cured sour cherry) broth and sake butter which was another revelation in the mouth.
The third course was my additional course of Just Shucked Scallop with Crosnes(a thick interesting tuber that was akin to a Jerusalem artichoke), Brioche and shaves of Black Perigord Truffles. It was paired with one of my favorite winemaker's Marcel Deiss 2012 Pinot d'Alsace blend of Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc & Auxerrois.
Cider from Brittany came (Coat-Albert Brut) which was quite nice, but I would not drink it as a habit and it was paired with Black Trumpet Mushrooms cooked over Cedar wood with a Pine Nut Chowder. This was the only total vegetarian dish on the menu, but they do them superbly. The guy at the next table was thrilled to find out they have veggie dishes, but upset they won't do a veggie tasting!
John Dory was cooked perfectly over Japanese Charcoal with Parsley Root Puree, Onion Petals and a lemony sauce made from the fish bones that I adored. A Heus Blanc Macabeo blend from La Vinyeta 2014 in Emporda Spain made from Zarello, Garnacha Blanc, Malvaxia and Muscat was quite tasty as well.
Lagar de robla 2012 was a red from Castille y Leon Spain made from Mencia grapes that was also quite wonderful and paired with a very salty Salt-cured  Bonito also cooked over Japanese Charcoal with Last Summer (lima-like)beans which were preserved and yummy as well as mild chorizo which was breaded.
The main course was Milkfed Pork Belly with Salsify, Pistachio Sausage and Leek Puree in Cider Sauce. The belly was crispy and tasty (the table next to me said theirs was a bit fatty and not crispy, so I lucked out) and the sausage was superb. The Givry 1er Cru Burgundy from Domaine Thenard was delish as well.
This came with a very tasty side of Kale & Sundried Apple Salad that I loved but it was quite spicy dressing.
Cheese was next and for a mere $15Canadian you get 3(that's $10) and I chose two from Canada and one US:
Baluchon from Fromagerie Pichet in Quebec was a washed rind cow that was creamy and sweet as well as earthy
Aged Lankaaster rom Glengarry in Ontario was a hard cow that Sam would have loved as it is akin to aged Gouda.
I could not resist the Rogue River Blue from Oregon and aged in grape leaves washed in pear eau de vie!!
There was yummy quince paste and unique local Heartnuts from Ontario which are like walnuts but better.
Belem's Madeira 10 year Malmsey was a nice pairing and the end of my wine for the night.
Little did I know that two desserts would follow:
An amazing Blood Orange Sorbet on Citrus Mousse which was a hot mousse with citrus segments in it below and even a crispy edge. WOW!
Baba au rhum had extra rum poured on it tableside and Chantilly cream. I had two bites and had to stp after this truly amazing dining experience!