Acadia 416-792-6002 www.acadiarestaurant.com Wed to Mon 5:30pm-close closed Tuesdays
Where do I start? It was ten to nine as we walked into Acadia, the aromas were intoxicating. Our table wasn’t ready, so we waited at the bar. As I waited I honestly thought that if I closed my eyes I could have been at my parents’ house on Thanksgiving, mom had been cooking all day, happiness and nostalgia washed over me. It was five after nine – my table was ready and I was already enchanted with this quaint restaurant. The menu is simple but complex at the same time. You either love or hate the pickled cauliflower, french beans, and cucumbers that amuse you while you wait for your real sustenance; the okra is outstanding, the peanuts – neat. Cornbread made fresh and served piping hot with sweet potato butter, super fresh but give me some salt please! Anson Mills grits and shrimps stole the show. Anson mills uses artisan organic heirloom grains. I’m not the biggest fan of grits but these are the best I’ve ever tasted. Oyster mushrooms, pimento cheese, ham hock consommé and parsley make up a smoky, delicate dish that knocks you off your chair, such bold flavours coming out of such a small portion in a small dish. Besides being served lukewarm, the Black Angus flat iron steak was hard to cut with my table knife, the waiter did not even ask if I needed a steak knife. The red grouper served with gulf prawn étouffée (Cajun dish typically served with shellfish over rice), sea island red peas, andouille sausage, and chlorophyll works only if eaten independently. Together the flavours are a mess, overlap and do not complement each other – strangely on their own they shine. The one thing that needs great improvement is the service, its slow, disorganized, and I don’t think my server has a clue as to how the food tastes.
Lallier, Grand Reserve champagne is a gem along with a ’09 Brun, Bourgogne from France. An interesting menu definitely geared towards the beer lover. I can see why Acadia stands out among a sea of trendy restaurants in Toronto, its different, it’s exciting, and it’s just what the doctor ordered now that we’re heading into autumn. Southern style comfort food that hugs your soul – warms your heart.