Smith

On a quiet Sunday in September, we headed down to Church Street to check out Smith. The restaurant is in an old Victorian-row house on Church Street, slightly hidden from view. The only hint of the restaurant is a red marquee sign in the window spelling out the name. There is bar seating just outside the restaurant on the sidewalk. The restaurant is narrow, with twists and turns leading to the back patio which is one of the most romantic, cozy spaces in the city.

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The gate opens to overlook a park off Church Street. The benches are decorated with mismatched pillows of varying sizes and fabrics. The exposed brick wall is painted in sections and natural in others, giving a very industrial feel to the space. The tables are rough and rustic, reminiscent of barn doors. On our table there was an antique porcelain cabinet knob that was turn upside down holding a single sprig of lavender. It is simple and cute.

GC ordered the Benedict.

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The Benedict with poached eggs, parmesan leek fondue and home fries.

Yes. Fondue should always be a topping not a dipping sauce. The parmesan leek fondue is nutty with the garlicky freshness from the leeks. It is thick and rich but does not overwhelm the eggs. This is an adult version of an already adult breakfast item. It is fancy without being stuffy and pretentious. It is fresh and tastes of spring. This would be the perfect addition to an Easter brunch.

I ordered the Huevos Rancheros.IMG_1446 IMG_1447The Huevos Rancheros with tortillas, poached eggs, black beans, guacamole, sour cream and salsa.

Another perfect dish. This huevos rancheros is fresh and light but is packed with protein and flavour. The guacamole is creamy, as if it is blended with sour cream but maintains the lightness of a sauce. The salsa is chunky and fresh, allowing the fruitiness of the tomato shine through, with hints of spice. The tortilla is toasted and a strong support for the pile of food mounded on top but is still tender enough to slice through perfect bites of Mexican yumminess.

The brunch was a bit pricey, but it is definitely worth it as a treat. I returned a few weeks ago for a Winterlicious dinner with a friend and it delivered just as much as the brunch did. I can’t wait for the return of warm weather so that I can return to this patio and enjoy a delicious brunch once again.

Happy munching!

Valentine’s Day – O & B Café & Grill

Valentine’s Day is one of those holidays that I have always liked but not because I expect to be showered with flowers and chocolates. I like it because it’s a day to tell everyone I care about how much I love and appreciate them. Although it was over a month ago (what is wrong me lately – blogger angst) I just want to say I love you to all of those who are close to me and those who are reading this and I hope you all had a great Valentine’s Day filled with love and smiles. If not, there is always next year!

IMG_3311Valentine’s Day found me and GC at O & B Café and Grill for dinner followed by a concert at the Air Canada Centre. The food was divine and the concert was The Arkells and The Tragically Hip – an amazing way to spend a Valentine’s Day. But you don’t read my blog to hear how I love everyone or to read what type of music I am into, you read it for the food!

Because of the overindulgence experienced on our anniversary, we decided to keep it simple for VD and just order mains and share dessert. GC ordered the Egg Fettuccine Carbonara.

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Egg Fettuccine Carbonara with smoked speck ham, Parmigiano-Reggiano and black pepper. Romantic candlelight makes for poor conditions for taking pictures of food. GC loved this, it was rich but still light, smoky and nutty from the ham and the cheese. A simple pasta with classic toppings to round out the dish perfectly.

I ordered the Sea Scallops and Risotto.

IMG_3315Roasted Sea Scallops & Risotto with wild mushrooms, San Marzano tomato jam and wilted winter greens. This dish had far too much going on with it. The individual components were delicious but when put together it was overwhelming chaos. The scallops were tender, fleshy and had a crunchy sear on them. The risotto was creamy and earthy from the mushrooms. These two elements should have been separate and left simply like that – they are perfect and don’t need to be paired together.  The tomato jam, and wilted greens were completely unnecessary and made the plate messy and again, chaotic. Sorry O & B, this was a big miss for me but dessert more than made up for it.

For dessert we ordered the Fondue for Two.

IMG_3318Fondue for two with Mayan spiced chocolate, long stem strawberries, fruit kabob, sponge sugar and marshmallows served with 1 chocolate raspberry shot and 1 chocolate cherry shots. I cannot get behind the trend of spiced chocolate. It is an off putting flavour – hot from cayenne pepper and cinnamon but then rich? It is too much flavour to deal with. The fruit was perfectly ripe and I loved the sponge toffee. The marshmallows were easily the best part – homemade, fluffy, light and super sugary! I just wanted a giant bag of them to put in cups of hot chocolate. I want to make my own marshmallows but this seems unnecessarily labour intensive. The shots were great – I love the idea of having shots with dessert in a classy, adult way rather than dirty and frat boy-like. We both preferred the cherry shot, it tasted more like a cocktail than a strong kick of alcohol.

A romantic meal, a fun concert and all with my best friend and love of my life; a perfect Valentine’s Day in my books! I hope yours was just as good! Happy munching!