Monday, May 21, 2012

A Great Meal with Unique Touches at Table 17

It was a lovely long weekend to stay in town - fantastic weather made for some inspired outings.  We spent Sunday in the Beaches area, a nice getaway from our usual downtown life, walking along the boardwalk and strolling through the neighbourhood shops on Queen East.  After spending an entire day in the sun, we were ready for a nice meal to cap off our day and I immediately thought of Table 17 in Leslieville, on our way back into downtown.  Table 17 has an ever-changing menu, inspired by local and seasonal ingredients.  Sunday and Mondays feature table d'hote menu, a 3 course prix fix for $35 with 5 options each for appetizers and mains and 3 choices for dessert - plenty for any dining party!  Some items have additional cost but we were not swayed away and led our taste buds lead the way.  Not that the delicious 3 courses were not enough, but we also wanted to try the polenta with braised lamb shoulder, something for the table to share.  It was DELICIOUS, very fresh and not too creamy as is often my issue with polenta.  It was a nice way to start off our meal.

Now on to the prix fix:  to start, I had the pan roasted scallops served with fennel puree and candied orange.  Every bite was tasty, the scallops prepared just perfect, and the candied orange a surprisingly nice flavour accent.  Tony opted for an "off-menu" item, soft shell crab, fried in a light batter, seasoned and served in a fresh ramp soup/sauce (our server told us the ramps were picked at a local farm, picked and used at various restaurants in Leslieville!).  I thought my scallops were amazing but the special soft shell crab was definitely one of the highlights of the night!  It was prepared oh-so-lightly and I savoured every meaty bite.

For our mains, I was immediately sold on the trout served with Barrie farm asparagus with ricotta gnudi (I had never had gnudi before yesterday - it is like a "nude" ravioli, pasta filling without the pasta wrapping!  And sort of like a gnocchi but not so chewy and doughy...was GREAT!).  My trout was done well, and I loved the thick and delicious asparagus, it was a nice light meal for a hot day.  Tony had the cider braised pork with dijon spaetzle (another unique item, a soft egg noodle) which was also very satisfying, every bite was satisfying.  Our meals were incredibly well made and delicious.  Great food comes from simple flavours and fresh ingredients!

Dessert was also a treat, I opted for the apple bread pudding, served with this AMAZING apple butter.  I was extremely full but basically inhaled the dessert.  Tony was sold by the chocolate brownie served with a black sesame brittle.  It surprised us that the brownie was not too sweet, but very satisfying for a chocolate craving, and the sesame brittle was a unique touch.

We really enjoyed our meal at Table 17, it has been a little while since we've had such a great meal (hence the low posting activity...sorry!)  I have been following Table 17 for some time and regret not visiting earlier...but it's never too late to add a new favourite in the city.  It is a nice restaurant for a casual night out, intimate and warm with that neighbourly feel, or visit for a special occasion - the great food deserves some celebration, and you will be welcomed with great service.  The menu offers familiar favourites for a comfort meal along with some unique tastes and accompaniments.  Table 17 opened my eyes to several new foods and flavours, can't beat that for a good food experience.              

Table 17
782 Queen Street East
416-519-1851 (reservations available on OpenTable)