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Summerlicious Review - Square

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Square is the new restaurant by Peter Oliver and Michael Bonacini on Mount Pleasant Road, formerly Steakfrites.

I had an early reservation today (Sat) for 6:30 PM. Upon arrival, one of the three ladies at the front desk quickly took us to our table at the mezzanine level, where four waiters looked after ten tables for the evening. Needless to say, service was very attentive and efficient.

We were offered three kinds of bread with unsalted butter, and salt on the side, a very nice touch for those who are on a reduced sodium diet. The raisin and nuts bread was the best. Square did not offer complimentary amouse-bouche at the beginning of the meal, a nice touch at Auberge du Pommier.

I started with Sautéed Digby Scallops. The lightly curried endive provided a good base for the the thinly sliced scallops; the smoked salmon (in addition to the scallops) was a nice compliment to the endive, enhanced by the subtle hint of pineapple in the dressing. A very nice summer appetizer to open the meal.

My partner had the Local Asparagus Cappuccino with Morels, a flavourful light creamy aspargus soup with mushrooms. Another wonderful summer appetizer.

We both had the Slow Braised Boneless Beef Shortrib. After a light appetizer, this substantial main course featured a tender boneless portion of beef shortrib that was slowly braised for 24 hours, served with a dark reduction sauce that was wonderful with the thick bacon slice and truffled mashed potatoes. A samll serving of wilted spinach completed this strong but very tasty dish. I savoured every bite of it.

My partner and I shared the two dessert choices: the Citrus Panna Cotta with a hint of lemon was a surprisingly light choice with the poached strawberries; a very appropriate summer dessert. The second choice (and my favourite) was the seasonal fruit platter (peaches, strawberries, blueberries, cherries, can't remember if there were other fruits) with Grand Marnier sabayon; a yummy dessert to finish the meal with a high note. Just an observation: do not get too impressed with the "Grand Marnier sabayon", it tasted like condensed milk to me, but I enjoyed the dessert anyway.

Complimentary bite size dark chocolate bars with almond finished the meal. With wine, coffee, tax and tip, it came to $120 for two.

I would highly recommend Square. In my opinion, their Summerlicious menu offers a superior experience in terms of richness and complexity of flavour compared to the one offered at Auberge du Pommier this summer.

Happy Summerlicious!

Thom

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