I've made reservations at Veritas at King and Sherbourne for Winterlicious this Saturday. My previous posting didn't get any responses in terms of reviews. Hopefully it'll be good. If anyone is interested in hearing my review, let me know! It is supposed to be Canadiana cuisine...whatever that means :)
Well just got back from Veritas, I was a few minutes late for our reservation, but things seemed to be quite busy there and I noticed right away there didn't seem to be many staff there.
When I was seated I asked my friends if the waitress introduced herself, they said no, and we ordered some drinks, which took almost 10 minutes to arrive. The ambience of the place is quite nice, nothing too fancy, kind of casual feel to the place. It wasn't too loud, so I was glad.
When our fourth member came in a few minutes after me, the waitress walked by a few times and didn't even ask him if he wanted something to drink. It was only when she brought our drinks and I mentioned that he might like something to drink then she kind of tweaked to the fact, hey yeah, there is a new person at the table.
Three of us ordered the Sweet Potato salad with bacon for appetizers. They weren't too impressed with it, it was like a shavings of sweet potato without much flavour. "Not enough bacon" one of my friends said. I had the pressed chicken terrine with croutons. It tasted kind of like compressed canned chicken and the croutons were more like toasted baguettes.
Two of us ordered the Kerr farms steak, which they thought was a good portion and seasoned and cooked to their request. One of us ordered the lamb shank with tomato and oregano gnocchi. He said the gnocchi was ok, but the lamb came in some kind of green wrap and he said the lamb tasted kind of rubbery, even raw? He didn't finish it but took some steak from my friends (!) and said it was done well. They did not comment that it was warm, as in the review by Lister. I had the Cornish hen, which was very tasty and I really liked the blue cheese croquette, and they gave you a big portion.
For dessert, two of us had cheesecake, which was a good portion and tasty and two of us had the sticky toffee pudding, which was very tasty.
I had the Oatmeal Stout draft and my friends had the Mill St. Stock Ale, nothing really special, just your run of the mill beers.
I think the absolute worst part of the evening was right at the end. Shortly after we finished our dessert and expecting the waitress to come and ask us if we wanted anythijng else like coffee, we were shocked and somewhat dismayed when whe came by and plopped the bill on our table without saying a word and walked away!!! We were all flabbergasted, one of my friends actually wanted to fill in a comment card and made a comment to the bartender on the way out. I thought it was highly inappropriate, we speculated that they were waiting for the table, but I only saw two people waiting for a table on the way out, and even if so, I thought it very unprofessional. Has this ever happened to you? What would you have done? She was friendly enough otherwise and answered my questions regarding the dishes so I am not sure why she would have done that.
Anyways, my ratings are:
Atmosphere: 7 out of 10
Food: 8 out of 10 (my friend who didn't like the lamb gave it a 5)
Food Service: 5 out of 10 (my friend above gave it a 3)
I don't think they impressed us enough that we would go back on a regular night. The food was decent but not spectacular. I guess that's what you get with Winterlicious from some of the restaurants. Some of them unfortunately take the attitude that they need the revenue and don't think to impress you in order to get you back on a regular night. It is what it is...and 25 dollars for 3 courses, you can't expect the moon can you?
My girlfriend and I went there last night for Winterlicious. Veritas got added to our list because my girlfriend's chef took the kitchen staff to Veritas for an informal Christmas party and she liked the food. The short story is, overall it was good and we'd go back if we happen to be in the area.
The longer story... The place looks nice. Fairly dark inside. We were seated in the back with most of the other people that wandered in later. The place was understaffed but the two waitresses did their best and we were in no hurry. The only noticeable delay was between the apps and mains. Our waitress admitted she was new when she couldn't fully remember the three beers on tap (I knew two of the three) but was quite friendly throughout the meal. Speaking of which the three beers on tap are Niagara Gritstone, Mill St. Stock Ale and St. Ambroise Oatmeal Stout. Yay! No Molson's or InBev crap!
The girlfriend had:
Ostrich Paillard with winter squash flan
Grilled cornish hen with blue cheese croquette and peppercorn sauce
Sticky Toffee Pudding
Sweet Potato salad with double smoked bacon and sheep's milk fresh cheese
Grilled flank steak with potato mash
Sticky Toffee Pudding
Since the girlfriend works in the biz it's always interesting to see what she thinks about whatever restaurant we're in. She quite liked everything she had but LOVED the peppercorn sauce (a very tart reduction) and the pudding.
I was initially taken aback on the potato salad. If you have visions of a fancy version of the usual potato salad that you get out of tub, well, that's not it. This was a spring mix salad with thinly sliced sweet potatoes that looks like salmon almost. When it was dropped off (by the chef my girlfriend surmised) I was wondering if I got the wrong dish. Now I'm a picky pain-in-the-ass eater due to bitterness and texture issues of most vegetables, so I didn't have high hopes but I was surprised that I liked it.
My only criticism would be the temperature of the steak. It wasn't bone cold but I would have preferred it hotter. The mashed potatoes were good but they had skins in them which I hate but that's personal preference.
Oh, they haven't completely switched over from Eggplant. The bill and credit card receipts still say Eggplant. :-)