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Jan 26, 2007 07:42 PM

Auberge de Pommier Review (non-Winterlicious)

Went to Auberge tonight for a group dinner for 8 and was more than happy with the results. Dinner was superb from start to finish and was much better then our previous (Summerlicious 2005) experience. To start I had the foie gras (pan seared on a warm potato salad with poached quail egg and truffle jus) which was outstanding. Also sampled the 'creme de homard' which was equally as good, a healthy amount of lobster meat under a rich and creamy lobster soup. My main was the butter poached lobster served under a light and frothy tarragon cream sauce and a braised endive/citrus salad... perfectly executed if a bit on the rich side, to be expected though. The beef tenderloin with wild mushroom croquette, roasted lamb loin, and roast chicken were also thoroughly enjoyed by all. Desserts were also excellent with the 'chocolat' of warm chocolate cake with creme fraiche ice cream and coconut cream crepe being favourites. The wine list also impressed and our choices (a viognier and cab sauv from California, both around $50) were a definite hit.

I must say I was surprised by the overall quality of the dishes/flavours, presentation, execution, and service given it was the first night of Winterlicious. I expected a rushed experience and a packed house, but the service was excellent from start to finish and the food definitely impressed. I haven't heard much in the way of reviews on Auberge of late but it was noticeably better then our dinner at Scaramouche two weeks ago (which itself was also quite good). I guess it goes to show that a great dining experience can be had at a Winterlicious venue if you stick with the regular menu... there is definitely some life left after all the years at Auberge.

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  1. Thank you for the review! I was definitely considering this restaurant for Winterlicious (probably booked now), but maybe for Summerlicious!

    1. I went to AdP last night for Winterlicious. Had a rez for 915 pm (which was the earliest timeslot for that evening when we called on the Amex members only day) There were many people sardined in the foyer so we were relieved when we were promptly seated. Our hostess and waitress were very warm and friendly. The place was packed when we arrived but most of the patrons were almost though when we started which made our stay quite pleasant, not at all stressed. Food was good although the Salmon plate was very hot which made me think they had the dishes ready to go and under the warming device, We brought our two daughters (late teens) and they thought it was just great. All in all, service was excellent.Poor service was our biggest fear after reading a lot of the Winterlicious postings and from past experience - Hemispheres last year, unfriendly and food was bland, Brasserie Aix a few years ago which was the worst place we had every been to.

      I was surprised by the number of young orientals doing Winterlicious last night and how many of them took digital pics of their food.!!! My daughter said its probably for their Facebook blogs?? Any CHounders witnessed this or partake of this activity?

      12 Replies
      1. re: mellie

        LOL on the "young orientals" and their pictures.

        I totally love to see food pictures online, but I have never understood how those pics got taken without looking quite obvious. Never seen it myself, but given how many food pics are online, I can only assume it happens a lot.

        I have always had good service at AdP, glad it stands up.

        1. re: orangewasabi

          It's funny- I guess I embarassed the people I was dining with at Sushi Kaji when I pulled out my camera to take a picture of the first course for my blog. Just as I was focusing on the plate, one of the individuals I was dining with told me it was forbidden to take pictures and that I should put my camera away. For the first time ever, I became aware that some people might not think it was appropriate for me to be taking pictures of food, even when it was strikingly beautiful. It hadn't occured to me that it could be offensive to anyone or forbidden by the chef. Since he was making such a fuss, I put the camera away, and never ended up finding out whether it was forbidden by the management.

          1. re: spaetzle

            It's not forbidden, I've taken pics at Kaji before w/ no problems. Kaji san is a very friendly guy if you talk w/ him, he is not snooty at all.

            Whereas it is indeed forbidden at Hashimoto.

            1. re: aser

              Ok, thanks for letting me know. Next time I visit Kaji, I'll remember to bring my camera ;)

              Haven't visited Hashimoto yet. But I will remember the etiquette if I do.

        2. re: mellie

          the photo part is funny because a) I take pics often, and b) I'm asian.

          I think the term "oriental" is rather antiquated. Funny indeed, but a bit out of place in our age.

          1. re: aser

            aser, orientals imho refer to people of chinese,japanese, korean heritage. Asians in my mind would include Philipinos, Indians, Sri Lankans, Malays,Thais etc.
            But I had a good laugh that you found the term antiquated. As my daughter likes to tell me (too often) - Mum you're so old!! Now I can say aser thinks so too :)

            1. re: mellie


              you might want to give that a read and rethink your stance.

              I personally don't really care too much, but I know it certainly offends people. Whether you choose to use it is at your discretion.

              Regardless, this is getting sidetracked. No doubt the GLARING mods will descend if we continue on this train of thought.

            2. re: aser

              Re photographing food.

              I'm Asian and there have only been a few times when I have photographed food. These situations always happen FAR AWAY from my hometown because it is such a touristy thing to do and my dining companions would be very self-conscious.

              Oriental is not a term that I particularly like either. It's not a full on slur but it is indeed antiquated as aser has stated.

              Now back to the discussion of food. I think that all restos can have an off night and they can have moments of perfection. I've noticed an inconsistency of raves and pans for Auberge as well as some other 'licious spots that I have eaten at. I say give a spot two tries and if it still isn't up to your standards and expectations, move on.

              1. re: Zengarden

                I'm a WASP so technically I'm an occidental funny sounding isn't it?

            3. re: mellie

              I had the opposite winterlicious experience there last night.

              Service was terrible and started with us observing our waitress snubbing a poor tip left by the people at the table next to us and we overheard her make a snide remark about it. The food was alright, but nothing special. Yes, it is a winterlicious menu, so I understand not to expect the regular menu items, but there is no excuse for a Kobe beef brisket to be dry and chewey. The waitress made a comment about how nice it was with the winterlicious menu that the food was more homestyle and the ingredients more recognizable as opposed to the fancy food that they normally serve. "Kinda like a Sunday dinner, comforting." Unfortunately a night where I probably could have overlooked either poor service or overcooked food, but the service was so bad that it just ruined the whole experience. Some places just aren't meant to run winterlicious.

              1. re: jodisarah

                Well, if you read my original review you'll notice that we ordered off the regular menu and did not take part in Winterlicious. Doesn't make your experience excusable but must say it is somewhat understandable.

                As a side note, we imposed permanent ban on all things 'licious and are much happier for it. Say what you will about the intentions behind the events etc... but if you're looking for a nice meal a 'licious event is not the time/place to find it IMO.

                1. re: jodisarah

                  I also went there for winterlicious last year with a friend. The food was not good. The service was terrible. I ordered a coffee, and the waiter put the coffee on the opposite side of the table, as far away from me as possible....
                  I almost had to stand up from my seat to get the coffee. Never had service this bad from a restaurant.

              2. I always recommend Auberge. The food and service is great and it is consistent. I have yet to go there during an off night.

                RE: Mellie and Asians - that is pretty funny because someone just mentioned that to me today...(ps. this is the first year I am not partaking in winterlicious).

                1. I went there in March and found the service, and decor superb but the food terribly fussy and just not that tasty. Its set in an old mill with heavy beams and lots of French country fabrics. I had the Prix Fixe with wine ($149 for one), the Charles Baker Reisling was superb. The rest were poor choices and did not go with the dishes. The Charcuterie was good but not as good as Splendido, Spruce Beer did go well with it though. Langoustines in a white sauce was tasty but tiny. The Mushroom soup with veal shank cream was earthy and like a consumme. Green apple sorbet with Calvados lacked Calvados. Raw marinated scallops were metallic and inedible and were sent back nothing was sent to replace it. Crepe Suzette with scorched pineapple was poorly done. The waiter was apologetic and he actually agreed with me about the food he served. He recommended Pizza Libretto and the Black Hoof as alternatives for the rest of my trip. Note bring cash the underground parking garage will not accept their validated parking receipt.
                  The Black Hoof
                  928 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6J, CA Remove

                  88 Harbord Street, Toronto, ON M5S 1G5, CA

                  The Black Hoof
                  928 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6J, CA