Summerlicious at Azure http://www.azurerestaurant.ca/ 416.597.8142 open daily breakfast, lunch & dinner
Azure restaurant, at the InterContinental has got a new look and a new seasonally inspired modern Canadian menu. Located in the hotels stunning atrium, the cool décor and welcoming staff creates a wonderfully calming ambiance. Tonight I’m here for the three course Summerlicious menu, one of the best ways sample the restaurant’s menu, for only $45 a person. Summerlicious runs every year from July 5th to the 21st and it really is the best way to go out to that spot you’ve been dying to try. Located inside the hotel Azure is sometimes overlooked even though during the Toronto film fest it’s a celebrity hot spot. Servers are engaging and courteous. Tonight I brought a friend with me so we can both sample as much of the menu as possible.
A rich and creamy sweet corn and saffron bisque is the first to arrive topped a goat cheese crouton and drizzled with tarragon oil. The broth is a knockout – our waiter told us it was made from chicken stock but I could swear I tasted shellfish. Slightly cool east coast crab cakes with lemon dill remoulade and summer fruit salsa could use a few more minutes in the fryer. A savory Caesar is my favorite way to start off the evening.
While an incredibly perfect, tender Canadian farmed beef strip loin is smartly paired with garlic potatoes, baby vegetables, chard and port jus, the organic pacific salmon is a letdown by an over-complicated orange-fennel slaw, raisins, pistachio, asparagus and pernod tomato puree. With such a gorgeous fish less is more. A red “organized crime” from Niagara and a white “Le Creme” Chardonnay from California are my two favorite picks from Azure’s thoughtfully selected wine list.
Dessert brings together a heavenly Baileys chocolate torte vanilla mousse summer berry compote sided with a nostalgic berry compote that tastes right off the farm. A silky Ice-wine strawberry panna cotta is a delight with fig compote and a caramel tuile. Liquid dessert is a golden Trius Icewine 2011 vidal closing a great evening.