Saturday, February 5, 2011

WINTERLICIOUS: Quality Food, Service and Ambiance at Auberge du Pommier

We were most excited about our Winterlicious reservation at Auberge du Pommier, a lovely French restaurant in North York. Although minutes from my office, it has always been a bit far to trek on the weekend. This year, we got an early reservation to drop in right after work with our friends Al and Gloria...perfect!

I think Auberge is one of those restaurants that really takes pride on delivering a great Winterlicious/Summerlicious experience, which can't be said about all participating restaurants. When you make a reservation at Auberge, you know it will be a quality experience. It was our first time at the restaurant so we were eager to start eating.

To start, Tony and I were both most interested in the puff pastry with goat cheese...but since we always want to try as much as possible, we also ordered the sweet shrimp cocktail salad. The puff pastry did not disappoint - it was a simple dish (not to understate the actual complexity to make!), delicious, and served beautifully accompanied by delicate. The shrimp cocktail salad was a VERY good choice, it came as a tower of shrimp served with dill and tarragon and was super tasty! I felt like I could have had a whole second plate and was eager to sweep up the remaining sauce with bread. It always pays off to try more items on the menu! In the end, I think this was my favourite dish of the night.

Choosing mains was tough, all 3 options sounded good. We ultimately settled on peppered Wellington County beef and baked pickerel, giving up the coq au vin. The beef was very good, had great "beef" flavour, which is always hard to find. The flavour was almost baked into the meat, it was slightly dry but great flavour made it for me. My fish was prepared just perfect, although not outstanding in any particular way, I still really enjoyed it. It's not always easy to serve baked fish with just the right texture, tenderness and flavour.

For dessert, I opted for the cheese plate with "Le Blackburn" and
Tony salted caramel mousse with caramelized white chocolate torte and banana chocolate sorbet. My cheese plate was good, but a little disappointing. I was expecting an assortment of cheeses - simply my misunderstanding. The cheese was actually quite good, but as I prefer soft cheeses, I think I "under" enjoyed it. Tony's dessert, on the other hand, was wonderful. Everything on the plate was good! I was initially hesitant because I am not in love with caramel, but the salted caramel mousse was really tasty along with the torte and the all came together beautifully. Having chocolate banana sorbet is just awesome - who doesn't like chocolate and banana??

We had a great experience at Auberge - it is a solid French restaurant, a rustic house adding to the simple and understated charm. I also appreciated the exceptional attention to service, our plates always came with two servers at a time...these small details matter. I always feel a tad rushed for Winterlicious meals, but and although our food came quickly Auberge did not compromise quality or service.

Auberge du Pommier - guaranteed for a good Winterlicious experience!

Auberge du Pommier
4150 Yonge Street

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