Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Toronto: Nota Bene

worth the wait
:Queen + University:

It took me forever to get to Nota Bene, probably because I was never in the "right" company.  Then my BFF flew in.  He was just the extravagance I needed.  Note that he is also a food enigma who eats microwaved chicken fingers (ewww) with as much enjoyment as he does a $400 tasting menu. What a nut. 

I love Toronto when he and his fiancé are here. It puts me in a good mood!  Woot woot.  I decided to take them to a nice dinner on Friday, so I booked a table at Nota. I knew what I was going to order before I even walked in. The female counterpart of the fashionable duo I often dined with had recommended the crisp duck salad. She insisted I would love it. I did. Like hard.

I was impressed with everything about Nota from the dining room to the service. All the dishes were extravagantly plated and delicious, save and except the hangar steak. It was a bit of a miss for all three of us. It was far too chewy and very reminiscent of the chimichurri steak we had at Foxley (the latter’s was better).

Refreshing and crispy, with so many flavours and textures.

The special of the day was the swordfish. I’m not a fan of the fish itself so it’s hard to say whether I liked it or not, but if I were to be objective, I'd say it was good.

A beautiful plate with well-seasoned chanterelle mushrooms and rapini.

I loved the fries with pecorino and my BFF loved the salt cod fritters with iberico chorizo, quail eggs and fries. We also appreciated the additional sides we got courtesy of the kitchen.

As I am writing this blog, I just realized that the chef, David Lee, is the David Lee of Splendido pre-2009. Splendido pre-2009 was one of my absolute favourite restaurants. I will have to go back and see how it is now. I suppose it makes complete sense then that I loved Nota. I’m not sure I loved it as much as I did Splendido, but they are very different. Can’t compare apples and kumquats.

Salt cod fritters
 I am craving that duck salad again. It’s seriously perfect. Sumac-dusted green papaya slaw, cashews and some chilli flakes. It’s listed as an appetizer ($15), but I highly recommend you ask them to make it an entrée (add $7). You can thank me later.

Nota Bene on Urbanspoon

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