For GC’s birthday we went for a celebratory dinner at Luma.
Luma is another installment from Oliver & Bonacini. It is upscale, but very comfortable. Not quite as casual as Bannock, but not quite as fancy as Canoe, this is a perfect restaurant for a young, but classy birthday celebration.
My favourite feature of the interior of this restaurant was the wallpaper on the back wall surrounding the mirrors – the wallpaper featured Renaissance style theatre boxes with men and women watching a play. It looked like a scene out of the Globe Theatre.
The menu is a more traditional take on new cuisine – not quite as innovative and unique as Canoe, but more adventurous than you find at most restaurants. The menu gives a nod to film as the restaurant in the TIFF Bell Lightbox. This is especially seen in the cocktail menu where almost every cocktail is named after a movie.
GC ordered the War Horse.
I ordered the Lazy Caprese – which I think should be renamed The Godfather.
Classic caesar, basil purée, bocconcini garnish, balsamic drizzle and lemon-pepper rim. Oh, so this is why people like Caesars. This was spicy, thick, fruity and tasted like a Roman garden. The balsamic drizzle added a sweetness and the bocconcini was creamy and light. Mega yums.
We started off by sharing the Steak Tartar.
Do not be scared to eat steak tartar – it is moist, juicy and tender. It isn’t served as cold as I thought it would be. The egg was creamy and added such a smooth, lusciousness to the tartar. To the right of the steak tartar is a chicken liver paté which was silky and fatty.
I ordered the Scallops for dinner.
Pan seared scallop served with fois gras butter over beluga lentils. These scallops were thick and meaty. They were perfectly seared – crispy on the outside but still fleshy, and tender on the inside. The fois gras butter gently melted over the entire dish, giving the whole plate a ridiculous decadence. I could have done without the lentils but this is a classic pairing and the dish needed a lentil, or other base to tie the whole dish together.
GC ordered the Steak Frites.
Topped with summer herb butter, and served with truffle and Parmesan fries. This is a beautiful steak and those mushrooms are perfectly sautéed. The fries weren’t greasy, but were perfectly crispy and seasoned with the nuttiness of the truffle oil and the creaminess of the cheese.
GC didn’t partake in dessert but I just couldn’t say no. Our server also agreed with the sentiment that when you go out, you should go all out.
I ordered the Café Nanaimo.
Cappuccino, lamb’s spiced rum, and Godiva white chocolate liqueur. This is the best cup of coffee I have ever had. It is excessively luxurious with it’s cream, and alcohol, oh, and it’s random gold flakes.I love when desserts make their way into beverages.
And for dessert I ordered the Lemon Tart.
Lemon tart with sour cream ice cream, wild blueberries and maple sugar. This is the best lemon dessert I have ever eaten. It was lemon flavour in it’s most pure and natural state. It was tart, sweet and creamy. The top was perfectly brûléed and the crispy top worked in tandeem with the creaminess of the tart. A visit to Luma is worth it just for this dessert.
And the sour cream ice cream. Who would have thought this was an amazing idea?! Creamy, a little tart and all the goodness of sour cream. I don’t know if other people love sour cream as much as me, but I’m not going to lie, sometimes I do want to eat whole spoonfuls of sour cream and this ice cream would allow me to do so.
I ate way too much but it was worth it. If you are ever in doubt about where to eat in the city, choose an Oliver & Bonacini restaurant. They always use quality ingredients to make creative menu items and the atmosphere of the restaurant is always cohesive for fine dining and a delightful meal.
I loved everything about this evening and I can’t wait to go back. We are already planning on going back, taking in a movie and then visiting the Luma bar for cocktails, ceviche and lobster rolls.
Happy birthday again, GC and happy munching!