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Jun 25, 2007 11:28 PM

Best Beef Wellington

Toronto Foodies,
Where is a good place to get a great Beef Wellington in our city?

And I must confess, I have never in my life had a Beef Wellington, and I want to try one if for nothing else, but the experience.

Thanks in advance!

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  1. I'll be surprised whether you find BW anywhere, let alone a great one. It's not on the menu at old school places like Barberian's or Carman's. You might end up of finding it Chez Poorboy, i.e., making it yourself, although, it's not really summer cuisine. One sees it rarely anymore, and too bad, because it really is a grand dish. Let us know whether you find it, and I'll be hot on your trail. Good luck.

    1. Sounds like someone is also watching "Hell's Kitchen." I've been craving one myself.

      2 Replies
      1. re: childofthestorm

        LOL I watched Hell's Kitchen and thought it sounded pretty good too. I'm on the hunt for one.

        1. re: childofthestorm

          Yes, this appears to be something that only a good Chef will prepare, and prepare well.
          A HK fan? Yes.
          But moreso a Nightmare fan to be honest.
          So... always wanting to try something different, this has caught my fancy.
          I therefore challenge any chef in Toronto to have a BW night and post it here.
          The Toronto Foodies I am sure will be out in force.

          And oh, I am contacting a couple of Executive Chefs in the area to see if they are up to a "BW Night".
          Barberian's or Carman's should be able to do a BW night given enough notice and advance reservations to be fair. Let's see if their staff are up to it .
          This "thread" remains open.

        2. Jamie Kennedy restaurant has Beef Wellington. I am not sure if it is good because I am not too fond of the Lamb and wild salmon coulibiac I had there at their price point.

          1. Four Seasons in Yorkville

            1. I've been watching this thread with some interest. Beef Wellington was the "in" special occasion dish when I began going to good restaurants many decades ago. If I was trying to impress a new girlfriend, Beef Wellington was usually on the menu. Yes, it can be a delicious dish and, no, it is not summer food.

              But difficult? Beyond most chefs? Please... It is really a simple dish - just a variant on steak - and making a steak into beef Wellington tends to diminish the inherent qualities of a really good steak. It was, in its day, a clever way to turn a mediocre tenderloin steak, canned pate, and frozen puff pastry into an expensive "gourmet" dish. Some (very few) restaurants might use high end ingredients made from scratch. Most didn't.

              I used to like it and, when I'm feeling suitably nostalgic, I'll whip one up. There is only one cooking issue: it can be tricky to bake a rare steak into a crispy, cooked through pastry shell. Tricky, but not difficult. A thick steak at fridge temperature, a hot oven, et voila. Get some PC puff pastry (contains butter) or, even better, Rahier. Get some Antoine's pate. Get some cremini and shitake mushrooms and some shallots. If you can cook, you can do it. Easily.

              I suspect that one reason we don't see it around very much is that we have many more dishes - much more interesting dishes - to choose from at even mainstream mid-range restaurants. It disappeared from menus because people didn't order it anymore. So be sure that the chef who takes on this challenge gives you something worthwhile.

              Will the meat be top quality, aged, marbled beef? Will it be a whole tenderloin that is sliced to serve or individual portions (which must be thick)? Will there be an all-butter pastry or one made with margarine/palm oil (which looks great but isn't the same)? Will there be real foie gras pate? Fresh mushrooms and shallots? How will it be sauced? (Truffles are appropriate, but not in season.)

              There's nothing difficult about this dish. "Hot Dog Wellington" was once the signature dish at Izzie Shopsowitz's deli on Bay St. A Chicago 58 dog topped with chopped liver and baked in a knish pastry shell.