Food Friday Logo

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Every year, Toronto hosts two food festivals called Summerlicious and Winterlicious.  It’s where Toronto’s top restaurants offer three-course prix fixe menus at affordable rates ranging from $15 to $45 per person.  It’s a great opportunity to try new restaurants at a lower cost.  Also, you can browse the menus prior to making reservations as they are all posted online.

One restaurant that seems to have the most buzz and where Facebook photos just invade my News Feed is Canoe.  So here is this week’s Food Friday!

[custom_box width=”60%” bgcolor=”#D5F2B6″ border_color=”#3F9F29″ text_color=”#3F9F29″ icon_url=”http://www.fionaman.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/knife-fork.jpg”]RESTAURANT: Canoe
ADDRESS: 66 Wellington St W, 54th Floor, Toronto Dominion Bank Tower Toronto, ON M5K 1H6
CUISINE: Canadian
PHONE: (416) 364-0054
WEBSITE: http://oliverbonacini.com/Canoe.aspx[/custom_box]

One of the major highlights is that Canoe is located on the 54th floor of the TD Bank Tower.  Situated in the heart of Toronto, it has a miraculous view of the city, Harbourfront, and Toronto Islands.  As the sun was setting, you couldn’t see where the water ended and where the sky started. When making reservations, I actually asked the server to make a note that we would prefer to sit by the window. It was definitely the right choice.

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Generally, when food festivals or deals occur, there is a major influx of customers resulting in sub-par service.  This was not the case.  Our waitress was absolutely splendid, personable, and attentive to our every need.

To start off the meal, my boyfriend and I ordered Strawberry, Watermelon, and Sparkling Lemonade and Summer Splash.  They are pretty much the same drink except Summer Splash has rum in it making it not as sweet.  They were both refreshing and I loved the idea of putting chunks of watermelon with the ice.

Strawberry, Watermelon, and Sparkling Lemonade

Strawberry, Watermelon, and Sparkling Lemonade

Summer Splash Barceló Añejo Rum, Strawberry, Watermelon, and Lemonade

Summer Splash
Barceló Añejo Rum, Strawberry, Watermelon, and Lemonade

We both chose the New Farms Chilled Cucumber Soup as our appetizer and it was definitely the right choice.  Even with the buttermilk, it was super light and refreshing…perfect for summer!  They definitely didn’t skimp on the lobster in this soup.  My favourite part of the soup was actually the cucumber.  There were bits of cucumber that were pickled in the soup.  It truly was the star on the plate.

New Farms Chilled Cucumber Soup Yarmouth Lobster, Dill & Hewitt’s Buttermilk

New Farms Chilled Cucumber Soup
Yarmouth Lobster, Dill & Hewitt’s Buttermilk

Next up was the entrée. The Rock Cornish Hen was definitely my favourite.  The skin was crispy and the meat was so moist.  The green tomato chutney was sweet but also spicy, which was added a great flavour profile.

Rock Cornish Hen Zucchini, Three Grain Salad & Green Tomato Chutney

Rock Cornish Hen
Zucchini, Three Grain Salad & Green Tomato Chutney

We also got the Albacore Tuna.  I loved all the components on the plate but only had two complaints.  I wish the fish was a bit more rare and the corn jalapeño chutney was a bit more spicy.  The green tomato chutney in the Rock Cornish Hen was definitely the spicier of the two.  I never had succotash before but this dish definitely made me love it.

Albacore Tuna Succotash, Corn Jalapeño Chutney & Tomato Fennel Broth

Albacore Tuna
Succotash, Corn Jalapeño Chutney & Tomato Fennel Broth

It was a no brainer to order the Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse. I love chocolate and hazelnut!  This cake was moist, rich, and had lots of hazelnut flavour infused in it.  By adding the crushed hazelnuts on top, it contrasted the smooth texture of the cake and mousse.

Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse Devil’s Food Cake, Coco Caramel & Nutella Pastry Cream

Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse
Devil’s Food Cake, Coco Caramel & Nutella Pastry Cream

The Frozen Yoghurt definitely rivals the Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse. The yoghurt and raspberry soda paired so well together.  But adding the milk crumble was genius!

Frozen Yoghurt Raspberry Soda, Milk Crumble & Vanilla Oil

Frozen Yoghurt
Raspberry Soda, Milk Crumble & Vanilla Oil

There is only one inherent problem with Canoe and it’s parking.  There is free underground parking at the building, but you’re required to get a voucher from the restaurant.  Once you get the voucher, you need to maneuver your way to the Parking Office.  There are several exits in the complex but only one Parking Office.  We had to ask a security guard so we could navigate out since there weren’t clear signs.

I would definitely go to Canoe again even if it wasn’t a Summerlicious or Winterlicious. The food and service were spectacular. It definitely lives up to its hype and proves on how it’s one of the more popular choices for these food festivals. I was fortunate enough to get a reservation as Canoe was sold out!

If you’re interested in Summerlicious, check out participating restaurants as it is still on until Sunday, July 21st.

Canoe Restaurant & Bar on Urbanspoon