The big 3-0 Celebration!
The Oliver & Bonacini brand have been a personal favourite of mine for a long time. I love their basic flavours and they are always consistent with their standards of service and food.
I decided to visit the Bayview Village location since I haven’t been there for a long time. Since my last visit, they have renovated completely and it has a darker colour scheme from what I remembered. Still looks nice and sleek with a great open kitchen to see all the action.
We were showed into a nice round table in middle of the cozy dining room. The server was professional and introduced the menu and told us about the delicious sounding special for the evening: surf & turf! We continued to browse the menu and decided on the vegetable samosas, grilled brown butter calamari, surf and turf and the “meaty” pizza.
After a blink of the eye, the beautiful appetizers were brought out. The samosas were fried just right; golden brown and not greasy at all. The vegetables inside were not only the typical potatoes but rather an array of mix vegetables which made it taste extremely flavourful. The grilled brown butter calamari was cooked to perfection! Calamari was tender and not overdone at all. It came on top of a Tuscan bean salad with anchovies and olives. The flavours were just right so that it did not over power the fresh flavours of the calamari.
The surf and turf was the Saturday special. It included a tender 4 oz AAA tenderloin and a jumbo shrimp. The dish was served with brussel sprouts gratin which was to die for. Normally, I am not a huge fan of brussel sprouts but the way it was cooked, they still had a nice texture to it but the taste of cream and butter really complimented the brussel sprouts well. I can eat brussel sprouts like this every day! The other main course we got was the “meaty” pizza. The toppings were Montreal smoked meat, ground AAA beef, and rosemary chili porchetta. The dough was not too thick or too thin and was nice and chewy and soft. They have a gorgeous pizza oven in the front of the restaurant so you can see the chefs create your dish as you wait for your food. Even though the pizza had a variety of meat on it, the flavour meshed very well together and was not too salty as I thought it might be. The chili was a nice touch and not overpowering at all.
Even though I was getting very full, I really wanted to end the meal off with something sweet. The server brought out the dessert menu and automatically I saw my favourite dessert: Crème brulee! They also had a bunch of desserts I wanted to try so we also got the Chef’s platter which included their famous carrot cake, mini s’more, little Eton mess, and lemon posset. The crème brulee was classic and delicious as always. I have nothing bad to say about it, enjoyed it thoroughly. The carrot cake was my favourite out of the Chef’s platter. It was very delicate and the sorbet on top added great flavours. The mini s’more was very decadent and rich. I had no idea what an Eton mess was but found out it is basically strawberries, meringue and cream which is an English dessert that is usually served during the Eton college annual cricket games. The meringue’s lightness, soft strawberries and the rich cream blended so nicely when you combine all three ingredients. It just melted in your mouth. Last was the lemon posset which the server told us was made out of only three ingredients: lemon, cream and sugar. I later found out that a posset dates back to the medieval days where they would drink it as a bedtime drink. I guess it was their version of sleepy time tea! This simple dessert was fantastic. I love the simplicity of the how only three ingredients can make such an impact on flavours. It really tasted like a lemon ice cream.
Overall, Oliver & Bonacini will never disappoint and I will always come back to either this location or any of their other great concepts. If you haven’t tried their restaurants, what are you waiting for? Thanks for creating some delicious and memorable dishes for my 30th birthday! See you again soon.
- Cannot wait to come back! 8