04 April 2010

Origin Restaurant -- Toronto.

Last night, a group of us strolled down the street to Origin Restaurant, the new place from Claudio Aprile (of Colborne Lane).  I didn't take photos.  It was a social outing with good friends and I didn't want to mar it by snapping shots, BUT, the food was so amazing, I had to share it anyway...

The menu is divided into different parts with starters, a raw bar, a mozarella bar, hot dishes, and desserts.  I think I am missing something, but whatever.  We ordered a lot of food over the course of the 3 hours we were there... starting with a drink called a Ploughman's Cocktail or something similar.  This was very weird.  I've been reading a lot about savory cocktails and when one presented itself on the menu (featuring hickory bitters, crisp pancetta and mustard) I knew I had to try it.  And now that I've tried it, I can safely say I probably won't be trying it again... it tasted like Easter ham juice.  Mmmm.  It just SOUNDS good, doesn't it?

But from there it was all out of the ballpark. 

I can't say that I remember everything we ate, but there was an amazing beat and cheese salad, crostini with buffalo moz and preserved lemons, potatas bravas, devilled eggs, all followed by the most amazing black cod, chinois duck, manchego rice with poached egg and chorizo, and chili beef with black bean.  It's a small plates kind of place, so there was lots of sharing going on (though with one of us with a nut allergy, another celebrating passover, and two vegetarians, we had a lot of rules at our table)... which just meant more for me. 

The food was out of this world.  Everything is very straightforward, very reasonably spiced and full of flavour.  The chinois duck was tender and spicy, the manchego rice was an amazing risotto with a delicious creamy poached egg mixed in (I could eat a whole one of this all by myself), and the black cod was melt in your mouth tender and just absolutely amazing.  I really enjoyed everything so much, I can't wait to go back!  (Mom, maybe we'll go here when you visit???????)

Dessert was a delicious saffron sorbet with manchego cheesecake and marinated berries.  Sometimes, you just have to let it go and rock on with the deliciousness of it all.  I can't think of the last time I enjoyed a meal out quite so much... Claudio is a freaking genius and I am so glad we went to his 'simple' restaurant to enjoy his food!  It isn't crazily expensive, though it certainly isn't cheap.  We probably over ordered (though I couldn't have eaten more of some things) but it was worth every single penny!!!

You must go, so go go go!


Anonymous said...

Food's good, but service is terrible. We sat in the loungefor 10 min before someone took our order, then took 10 min to deliver 2 glasses of wine. Then we sat at the bar, ignored further. They didn't even deliver what we ordered! Even when we spoke to the manager, it was obvious he didn't care.

Anonymous said...

Better sevice the second time, but ATTITUDE at the door. We arrived at 6:15 on Canada Day w/o a reservation. The place was empty. We were told we could have a table "for an hour". We sat at the bar. Two hours later, the restaurant was still not full, and there were several empty tables when we finally left at 8:45. Expereince was redeemed by the wonderful service by bartender Rashim, who fully redeemed himself from the previous experience and we hope our pleasure was reflected in the tip.


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