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Mike and I came here one Friday evening after a coworker mentioned he had a really enjoyable experience here. The restaurant is located on Queen, between Church and Jarvis. Upon entering, we were greeted by a friendly hostess who brought us to our table. The dining room was dimly lit, a stark contrast to the bright open kitchen in the room next door. There was a large opening to the kitchen which had no door so we could see the chefs preparing our meals.

Amuse bouche - steak tartare with white asparagus and a papaya relish

While we were reading over the menu, our server came over to explain the menu to us. The a la carte menu is divided into several sections, where you’re supposed to order one item from each section. He also explained to us that the tasting menu ($95 for five courses/$120 for seven courses/$140 for 10 courses) is a blind tasting menu, in that we won’t know what we’ll be getting until it’s served. He also told us that we’d both be served different dishes. I was sold! I loved the fact we wouldn’t be served the exact same thing.

We were brought a basket of bread to start. It came with regular white bread, some focaccia bread and some pieces of a thin, crispy flatbread. The crispy flatbread/cracker resembled papadum which is served at Indian restaurants. The stuff was addicting! We were served several pieces of this, and after breaking off a small piece of it to try, I demolished the rest of it.

Cured trout – with an artichoke and barley slaw

After consulting the drinks menu, I ordered the Original Singapore Sling – “Tanqueray Gin, Cointreau, Benedictine, cherry brandy, fresh lime juice, home-made all-natural grenadine, dash Angostura bitters, fresh pineapple juice and a real natural maraschino cherry.” It was a nice and sweet dish drink, which was exactly what I wanted. What I like about their cocktail offerings is that they’re available in half-size. It was the perfect amount for me.

We were brought an Amuse Bouche – steak tartare with white asparagus and a papaya relish. This was a delicious bite and a great way to start off the meal. I kind of wanted more of this…

Lobster tail - served on top of a wasabi quinoa

For our first course, I was served Cured Trout – with an artichoke and barley slaw. I was impressed by how many different components and details there were to this dish. On each quarter of the plate there was a different component (artichokes, barley, egg, and a trout paste). I ate each component with a slice of the cured trout. Given how many components there were, I was impressed by how well each of them went with the trout.

Mike’s first course was a Lobster Tail – served on top of a wasabi quinoa. This was also topped with micro greens and asparagus shavings. The lobster was cooked perfectly and was really tasty! Since Mike isn’t a huge fan of wasabi, I was surprised he enjoyed the quinoa. I took a bite and noticed the wasabi flavour was quite subtle. Another great first course! I was really surprised by the sizes of our first course as I was expecting much smaller portions since we still had four more courses to go!

Foie gras with crispy sweetbreads and a barley salad

Our second courses were the foie gras. My dish was the Foie Gras with crispy sweetbreads and a barley salad. The foie gras was perfectly seared and, as usual, was delicious. I was a little worried when the server told me it was served with sweetbreads, since I’ve never had a good experience with it. It has too much of a liver taste to it, which I’m not a fan of. However, George did the sweetbreads extremely well and certainly changed my mind about it. I’m not sure what it was breaded in, but I think it made all the difference. It had a great flavour and was nice and crispy. The dish was also served with a side of fiddleheads, which I’ve never had before. They were stir fried with some preserved veggies. Loved this!

Foie gras with duck breast and fava beans

Mike’s dish was the Foie Gras – served with duck breast and fava beans. Foie gras AND duck breast! Similar to my foie gras, it was perfectly seared and delicious. The duck breast was cooked sous-vide (vacuum-sealed in an air-tight bag and cooked in a water bath). This method of cooking ensures that the meat retains its flavour and juices while cooking the meat evenly through. The duck breast was amazing – it was really flavourful and juicy. Sometimes I’m reluctant to order duck breast at a restaurant because it can often turn out really dry.

Next came the main courses. I was served a Ribeye – with sweet peas and fingerling potatoes. At first I was surprised we weren’t provided with any steak knives, however, upon cutting the meat with my butter knife, it just sliced right through. The meat was extremely tender and the rub gave it a really great taste. It’s been a while since I’ve had red meat, and boy do I miss it. Although the sides were nothing special, the ribeye was one of my favourite items of the evening.

Ribeye – with sweet peas and fingerling potatoes

Mike was served the Water Buffalo – with a cheese and asparagus potato mash. The meat was also served with a cherry reduction and mixed greens on the side. Although the meat was tender and did have a nice taste to it, we both preferred my ribeye a lot more. However, we both preferred his side dish better. The cheese and asparagus potato mash was delicious!

Our fourth courses were a Cheese Course. We were both served different types of cheeses which came with an apple chutney, apple slices, spiced pecans, a slice of bread and several crostinis. The apple chutney really complimented the cheeses and the spiced pecans were fantastic. I wish I could buy those pecans in bulk!

Water buffalo – with a cheese and asparagus potato mash

My fifth (and last) course was a Chocolate Tasting – chocolate mousse, profiteroles, panna cotta and spiced chocolate raspberry tart. The chocolate mousse was really smooth and delicious. It was my favourite item on the plate. The profiteroles (aka cream puffs) were nice too. I love cream puffs! The panna cotta was just okay for me, but I generally don’t really like panna cotta. Mike enjoyed it though. He also really enjoyed the spiced chocolate raspberry tart; I didn’t eat much of it since I don’t really like spiced chocolate.

Mike’s dessert was an Almond Passion Fruit Cake – with coconut ice cream. This was pretty disappointing. The cake was dry and crumbly. The coconut ice cream and the fruit surrounding the dish was the only part that was enjoyable. This was an unfortunate way to end his meal. Luckily there was more than enough on my chocolate tasting for him to enjoy too!

Chocolate Tasting

I was stuffed by the end of the meal. I don’t know how people can eat seven or ten courses! I don’t think I’d be able to move afterwards. Overall, the food was really enjoyable. The dishes were really creative and you could see that the chefs really took great care in putting the dishes together.

The tasting menus are definitely the way to go at George. But given the prices, save it for a special occasion!

Almond Passion Fruit Cake

At a glance:

  • The tasting menus are the way to go (I recommend the 5 course menu for $95, which was more than enough food)
  • Very creative and well put together dishes
  • Located on Queen, between Jarvis and Church
  • Ratings (out of 5):

  • Food: 4.5 stars
  • Service: 4 stars
  • Atmosphere: 4 stars
  • George on Urbanspoon

    1. Adriano Palmieri (Reply) on Tuesday 12, 2011

      Hi guys, the place is awesome, I went there with my wife (not sure if it was Valentine’s day of 2011) and we had 7 courses tasting menu with the most amazing wine pair I ever experienced.
      High price for sure but I’d say justified by the quality of the food, the service and the way they presented it to us.