I get you need a credit card to make a reservation, sometimes. But at Alo, even when you get to the door you need to give them your credit card again. This is the only restaurant I’ve ever been to in my life that they ask you for a credit card when you are actually standing IN THE RESTAURANT!? I mean you have to take an elevator to get to the restaurant! Did they really think we could escape without paying!?! We would have to jump out of the second floor window!
Upstairs the bar looks super cool, but I guess it has to be to get over the ridiculousness at the door. We patiently wait at the bar for a table. We could have eaten here, however it’s rather dark…
The main room has 20 foot ceilings and looks very similar to an old loft with leather seating. Oh, I must mention the staff told us we had to wait for a table BUT when we finally got to the back there was only one table occupying the space! Like WTF?! The kitchen is open, flowing into the dining room, serving 12 courses, a “chefs table” menu to patrons seating around the pass. So this is supposed to be the best new restaurant in the city? Named by Toronto Life? Yeah right! I guess the rumors are true about magazine critics getting paid off to write positive reviews.
I hated the lighting – super dark (my apologies) – but I guess that’s how it has to be to hide the pretentious food…
Canapés start the evening: fermented jalapeño and fontina cheese and a fois gras terrine with coconuts – this one was (suprisingly) quite tasty, smooth and sweet. House-made bread is good, along with cultured butter.
Next English peas sided with buttermilk and crisp chicken skin. Not a fan due to the temperature differences, it’s waxy. The palate cleanser is ok: hamachi, zucchini preserved lemon and pine nuts.
Amberjack fish to those who are unaware. It’s good. Though I’m not impressed with over-the-top amberjack which arrives next. Yes, I like the technique, but the flavours don’t really work. I feel like I’m saying BUT a lot… Anyway, the Nova Scotia lobster with avocado, vandouvan and fingerling limes is tasty.
Sour tasting toasted pretzel is lovingly sprinkled with salt.
The dungeness crab is to die for creamy butter and Carolina golden rice rounds out the different levels of creaminess and texture – all working together. Morel mushrooms shallot, potato, Isigny Creme Fraiche is a misstep – way too sour and unbalanced.
Pacific Halibut is a tad dry with baby artichokes – the dish was underachieved by lack of skill.
Duck is noteworthy. The pork is divine. Once must try each ingredients on it’s own and then together to create intense flavours. I’m not sure if the chef though these dishes through but the result tasted alright.
The dessert’s were okay: Sheep’s milk yogurt, tomatillo, rye berries; Rhubarb, almond black pepper
And then dark chocolate and mint – happy birthday!