TOCA by tom brodi  at the Ritz-Carlton Toronto     416-585-2500   Lunch Mon-Sun 11:30am-2:30pm,  Dinner Mon-Sat 5:30-1030pm

Chef Tom Brodis’ Canadian inspired menu  is loaded with interesting and seasonal dishes.  Today my family joined me in celebrating my sisters birthday.  The five of us brought our appetites.  I was able to try a little of everything and since this is my review, you’re going to hear about my favorites.  Naturally Raised Cumbrae farm beef tartar with a Yukon pomme pont neuf  is pure genius.  Cute house-made pickled onions and peppers flirt with the tartare on a crisp toast making magic.  Another notable mention is the fancy fish and chips.  Mill Street beer battered yarmouth lobster fries with espelette tartare is so unbelievably good that words cannot describe it.  The featherlike batter being so light and so crisp angels must be in kitchen. Now dip the lobster into the crunchy espelette tartare and you’re on a rocket straight to heaven.  Get the entrée size because its hands down the best fish and chips in the city!  Pan Seared East Coast Scallops were surprising dull, served with blue potatoes, sour cream and salmon caviar.  Scallops were old and rubbery.  Can you believe its lobster season again?  A special risotto with fresh peas, moral mushrooms, and half a yarmouth lobster topped in its own foam was exquisite.  On the opposite end of the spectrum my baked organic rock hen looked like a dried out cow-pie with rock hard beets scattered all over my plate.  Sigh.  Last but not least was the Bone-In Wellington County Beef Tenderloin 16oz.   Aged 45 days to pure perfection.  Aged meat is more complex in flavour and richer in taste, like sweet butter. Just a marvelous way to end my meal.

Bravo Taylor Thompson, the wine director of The Ritz-Carlton for making our evening so memorable.  Our celebration began with aromas of pear and honeysuckle in Gosset Brut Excellence; this is a beautifully balanced champagne with a long, expressive finish.  Mr. Thompson recommended  Belle Glos Meiomi Pinot Noir 2008 with my hen;  intensely fruity  effusive scents of ripe dark berries and notes of  sandalwood, toasty oak and cigar. This smooth wine caresses my mouth and relaxes my spirit.  That was beautiful.   Encore!

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