Summerlicious Part I: Sassafraz

Today GC and I went to our first Summerlicious location, Sassafraz, in Yorkville.

The yellow house on the corner. Sassafraz is so welcoming from the street with its yellow walls and striped awnings. I sit outside Sassafraz every afternoon at work and I’m always jealous of all the people sitting on the patio and going into the restaurant. Today I was one of those people.

The inside is light and airy with a water feature and a living plant wall on the back wall. It feels very French with its muted colours, plush arm chairs and simplistic decor.

We started off with the Vichyssoise with lobster and truffle essence.

A vichyssoise is a chilled potato and leek soup. It can be served warm but traditionally, and properly it is served chilled. This was both of our first tastes of vichyssoise and it was delicious. It was thick and creamy, with the perfect hint of onion. The lobster was delicate, buttery and absorbed the flavours of the soup but still maintained its lobster flavour. The truffle essence was subtle, nutty and woody without overpowering the entire dish. My only complaint with this dish was the fact that I only had one piece of lobster.

GC had the Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Garlic Sweet Potato Mash, Asparagus and Sweet Apple Cider Glaze.

The pork was tender and juicy. The asparagus was crunchy, yet thoroughly cooked. The sweet potato mash – unreal. It tasted like Thanksgiving on a plate and I don’t ever want to eat regular mashed potatoes again. They were sweet, salty, with a touch of garlic and a hint of maple. I could have eaten an entire plate of these potatoes. This was the response from only two bites of these potatoes.

I had the Grilled Atlantic Salmon with Lemon Caper Orzo, Green Beans and Blood Orange Emulsion.

The salmon fell apart at the touch of a fork. It was perfectly grilled and a gorgeous pink, fleshy colour. The green beans had a hint of citrus to them and were both crunchy and tender. The orzo. Oh dear. The orzo was my favourite part. Orzo is one of my favourite pastas and I really should buy it more often. I love that you can eat it hot, warm or cold. This orzo was al dente with the strongest touch of citrus. It tasted like biting into a lemon without the sour face. The capers were overpowered by the citrus quality of the pasta but that’s ok – they may have added too much saltiness to a well balanced and seasoned meal.

To finish off his meal, GC had the Banana Cream Tart, Toasted Coconut Mousse and Mango Sherbet.

As a person who makes desserts often, I forget the many uses of bananas. Whenever there are rotting bananas on my counter they go into my freezer for banana bread BUT NOW there is the possibility of making banana tarts. This was creamy, sweet and a beautiful blend of tropical flavours. It tasted like a pina colada in a dessert. The mango sherbet was an odd choice but it was to round out the tropical palate of flavours.

I finished my meal with the Gotham City Cheese, exclusive to Sassafraz, served with flatbread and assorted dried fruit. The cheese is made by Afrim Pristine of Cheese Boutique.

I love cheese plate as dessert. It is one of my favourite things. This cheese was creamy and smoky like a gouda but had a strong flavour akin to a bleu cheese. This is a very good cheese. I would like it on crackers, on bread, in salad and on most things. I don’t like dried apricots , they are too fleshy and brittle. The dried prunes on the other hand were great. They were like sweeter, larger raisins. The flatbread was salty and earthy, the right compliment for such a creamy, strong cheese.

Sassafraz is a Toronto institution. It is a favourite of celebrities during TIFF and a go-to for Toronto’s business elite. The menu is nothing new or revolutionary but it is classic, French cuisine done perfectly. Everything we ate was perfectly cooked, seasoned and plated.

Summerlicious continues until July 22nd and I would highly recommend visiting this restaurant.

Happy classy munching.


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