Colborne Lane - 45 Colborne St.
Accomplished would be tautological in its self-evidence. Fabulous would be to chi-chi in that it would be expected.Confident, well one can easily imagine in the taste and flavours why that would be.
One should not be surprised by the rather engaging Claudio Aprile, with hands so large in his gregarious welcome that I am reminded of Mike Bonancini Welsh and rugby playing roots. A ready smile and food that mixes flavours and ingredients in such a way that the smile is whimsically broken out into a broad grin at the fare presented.
One naturally acknowledges a staff well trained, a kitchen that's very young, and like the man in charge eerily creative! I think I will return very soon to refresh my palate which I thought was becoming a tad jaded until last night's meal.
An interesting menu that is conveyed to us as being one that should be ordered in 3 parts. While all well and good, my too often simple mind wanders, even as the knowledgeable young server provides guidance on ordering.
Great spot in what is looking like an almost crowded street for restaurant and bars. Early days, yet wonderfully creative food, beautifully executed and exquisitely presented at a price point that equates to substantial value
I started with the lobster ceviche on a bed of sliced saffron new potatoes and herbs, followed by a rare tuna with wasabi foam and iced soy. One of my dining partners shared his crispy wokked squid (yumm) and I must admit this will be my first dish on the next occasion....
In fact I think I could easily go for 3 appetizers; but the main courses are also wonderfully
appealing. My triple seared tenderloin ( apparently seared then dipped in soy, followed by a second sear dipped in sake possibly and the final sear) with braised beef rib and a blueberry and parsnip sauce was quite wonderful.
However when a quality and inventive chef as Mr. Aprile beams with enthusiasm as he discusses the hoisen braised pork belly that accompanies his pork tenderloin, that's been braised for 36 hrs you got to know you have to try some.
I did and I will tell you next visit, this will be one of my dishes.
The food was sublime, the pricing ridiculously reasonable for what one was receiving, the portions of appropriate size that even a chap of my estimable bulk and appetite did not find wanting. My rather jaded taste buds were livened last evening and so I must applaud
the young man and his wonderful staff, front of house and back.
I am thinking of going this weekend. What were the prices like? Wine prices? Let us know what you spent.
Dishes were around $15-$25 each. They recommend 3 each, and they're similarly sized to dishes at Lee. Bottles start at around $50 or so.
Claudio has indeed trained his staff very well (with the exception of a server not knowing that one of the desserts existed on the menu). The menu is not really divided between appetizers and entrees but they will offer recommendations on which dishes would be good to begin with depending on what you want to order.
The entire menu is an adventure in molecular gastronomy, and from what I hear, there is more to come. I was lucky enough to have gone with a few people and was able to sample 11 different dishes. There were some I prefer over others (squab, tenderloin, sea bass) but everything was at least somewhat interesting.