Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Alo Restaurant

This evening I experienced what may have been the best/most refined resto meal that I have enjoyed in toronto in a long time, at the very new Alo Bistro. The ingredients were pristine and so well selected and composed in a simple but highly refined and sophisticated manner. 

The only weakness were the desserts, 2 just ok, one very good and one exceptional.

The ambiance is refined but very simple and relaxed, if one can imagine such an oxymoron.

Pommes soufflees with black pepper aoli.

Buttermilk sorbet with pea puree, pea sprouts and almond oil. The sweet elements were a perfect complement for the barely sour sorbet.

The shame was that I ate my dish before taking my photo and so I took this image at the pass of the kitchen where the fish lost its white qualities and also, the lovely colour contrasts of the dish were lost. Pristinely fresh Japanese sea bream, samphire, kombu and a yuzo/kosho/nori emulsion.

Bread and butter course.

This dish really spoke to me of such simple, rustic comfort elements of melt in the mouth textures, in a refined presentation: cockscomb, veal trotter and king oyster mushrooms over which frozen cured foie gras was shaved.

Bread crumb coated hamachi with chanterelles, chanterelle puree, kohlrabi and sherry gastrique. It was remarkable how well these flavours came together. The barely tart gastrique was the perfect complement for the fish and mushrooms.

A side view of the fish, presented just for interest. 

Another remarkable hit with a rare presentation of the main ingredient. Yorkshire rack of pork loin and cap, cooked rare, with charred mustard greens, grapes, pickled ramp mustard and black walnuts roasted in the pork fat. The charred flavour of the greens was a perfect foil for the rich flavour of the pork and pork fat.

A pre-dessert of white asparagus sorbet with puffed amarynth, a pleasantly tart lemon puree and a caramel tuile.

Chocolate stout cake, dark chocolate ganache, chocolate jam and malted meringue. 

White chocolate cream with a cucumber granite and a toasted white chocolate crumble. This was a terrific, refreshing but richly satisfying dessert. 

Dark chocolate mousse inside dark chocolate tuile with a dark chocolate sorbet, cocoa nib nougatine, sour cherry puree and black sesame espuma.

Another example of me not taking a picture of a great dish, eating before photographing!! So I took this picture at the pass which gave it its yellow tone. Strawberry bavarois, hibiscus gel, strawberry dip and shaved celery ( a wonderful complement).

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