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TIFF prix fixe a hit at The Drake

cafriis Sep 4, 2008 09:01 AM

I always love taking advantage of the great eats that surround the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). I caught wind of a prix fixe menu at the Drake Hotel through their e-newsletter (The Ake) and thought I might try it out. I was surprised to actually get a reservation, as I have had difficulty in the past. But it was easy enough to get one online using opentable.com -- a really great option! The price for this meal was so low that I went with somewhat lower expectations.

I sat up on the skyyard, which has been recently tarted-up and looks great. I always love a patio experience, especially with the weather we've had over the past couple of weeks. Service was prompt, attentive and quite knowledgeable. The meal started with a lobster-mushroom ragout that is exquisite. It's topped with a cauliflower mousse and caviar, adding a wonderfully creamy feel, without drowning out the other flavours of the plate. This dish was warm enough, but not hot and could have benefited from this. The main was a delightful beef short rib with beets and potato purée. The ribs were fall-off-the-bone tender and rich, but not overpoweringly so. Hints of lemon zest was a tasty touch. To top it off, it came with a full bone filled with marrow! What a treat, indeed, and tasted great once poked out of the bone and eaten alone or spread on a fork-full of potatoes. Although a lack of greens usually lets me down, the early fall theme and artful presentation this plate provided more than made up for it! The meal was finished with a nice-sized piece of apple brown Betty, like Mom used to make. It had the perfect custard -- not overpowering and an excellent compliment to the plate.

I have to say I was absolutely stuffed at the end, so go hungry! Unfortunately, I did not try the wine pairings offered at an additional cost and imagine they would have complimented the meal nicely, since I know from experience that the Drake's sommelier knows her stuff. The price without pairings is so affordable that this prix fixe is not to be missed!

Good eating and happy TIFF'ing.

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  1. c
    childofthestorm RE: cafriis Sep 4, 2008 12:00 PM

    Welcome to Chowhound.

    1 Reply
    1. re: childofthestorm
      cafriis RE: childofthestorm Sep 4, 2008 12:21 PM

      Thanks. Looks like a great site to sponge from.

    2. l
      LovesToEat RE: cafriis Sep 4, 2008 01:49 PM

      How much was the prix fixe???

      2 Replies
      1. re: LovesToEat
        cafriis RE: LovesToEat Sep 4, 2008 02:21 PM

        of course -- $45 plus tx/gratuity. I think it's $75 with the wine pairing. It was just over $100 for two with a drink each.

        1. re: cafriis
          abigllama RE: cafriis Sep 5, 2008 11:11 PM

          Thanks for the tip, this sounds great. We just to a reservation for tonight on open table.

      2. deelicious RE: cafriis Sep 4, 2008 04:35 PM

        The Drake is ALWAYS so great!

        4 Replies
        1. re: deelicious
          childofthestorm RE: deelicious Sep 5, 2008 11:19 AM

          Everyone tells me the newish chef is really good, I have to revisit.

          1. re: childofthestorm
            Davedigger RE: childofthestorm Sep 5, 2008 11:46 AM

            How new is the newish chef? I'd be hard pressed to revisit unless there was a new chef.

            1. re: Davedigger
              Herb RE: Davedigger Sep 5, 2008 12:39 PM

              2 years.

              1. re: Herb
                Davedigger RE: Herb Sep 5, 2008 01:35 PM

                Well that settles it. I'm not going to revisit.

        2. a
          abigllama RE: cafriis Sep 8, 2008 03:05 AM

          Thanks again for the tip and the open table thing. We ended up ditching the prix fixe and just ordering off the regular menu. Had a great meal with highligts being the fall off the bone BBQ pork ribs, mac and cheese, amazing cauliflower puree soup with mushrooms and white wine. Also the bread came with this really tasty rocotta with some chili flakes added, simple and worked really well.

          I hadn't been since the new chef started and seems to be pretty much an extention of what the previous chef has done. Speaking of the previous chef, we had a meal at his new place last winter in Banff that's called Bison Mountain Bistro. It was a great meal and similar concept with a foodie twist on comfort food with a focus on local, fresh ingredients. The menu actually lists where most of the ingredients come from.

          1 Reply
          1. re: abigllama
            cafriis RE: abigllama Sep 8, 2008 09:00 AM

            cool -- glad you enjoyed. Thanks for the Banff tip. I hope to be out there this winter and will try out this spot while there.

            Good munching.

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