Loire Restaurant Review
We had the pleasure of having dinner at Loire this week.
The dining room has a fresh and airy feel about it. Nicely balanced table set up (not too close, not too sparse) and even when it filled up about an hour after our arrival it had a pleasant buzz and hum. No shouting to be heard, and no overbearing music (I can't remember music at all actually).
We were greeted and seated rapidly, and were attended by a knowledgable and very professional server who listed the prize features of the paper menu, and went off to fetch a bottle of Chablis (well, when in Loire...)
Unfortunately, genetic predisposition being what it is, both my father and I ordered the exact same appetizers and mains, so this will make for a boring review.
We began with the selection of Charcuterie. First up on the wood platter was the pork rillette, covered in a thin creamy layer of fat, served in a tiny pot. The pork was moist and flavourful, eaten lustily on baguette slices smeared with the housemade maple and tarragon mustard. Superb. The French picnic continued with the chicken liver parfait; a creamy, decadent spread. The texture was delicate, bordering on mousse, and there was so much of it to eat that a second bread basket was asked for and received. A crunchy pork skin puff was a little chewier than expected, making for interesting eating. Cornichon and beet rounded out the richness of the meats.
We followed up with the confit duck leg and muscovy duck Magret, with mini Ontario potato and Gruyère cheese gratin, on top of spinach in a citrus pepper sauce. The duck leg was incredible...the salted crisp skin was reminiscent of peking duck, and hid a moist, dark, and very generous portion of leg. The flesh was the tiniest bit dry around the edge, but incredible tasty. It was gobbled up.
The duck breast was seared to medium rare, with a beautiful pink red centre. The citrus pepper sauce was very refreshing when compared to the richness of the meat. The potato was the only "miss" on the plate. While it was gooey and cheesy, it lacked punch. It was very comforting stodge nonetheless.
Desserts didn't tempt until a bread and butter pudding special was mentioned. Shared between us, it was a generous portion. Shamefully dry though. The custardy outer layer gave way to a bready interior which would have benefitted from more liquidy goodness seeping through.
Nevertheless, I can't wait to go again. What a lovely find!
wait staff: we were still standing when water options were thrust in our face; had to ask to order other beverages, as they weren't offered. sometimes poor communication between servers. This was early in the evening, before the restaurant got busy. Dunno, just didn't feel smooth.
appy: carrot and fennel soup - tasted neither of carrot or of fennel, more of a split pea pottage; oysters were delish (can't remember what they were, however).
mains: duck was fantastic as reported elsewhere in this thread; scallops sweet and fennel nice, but accompanying pesto and olive tapenade sauces were thought ill matched by some at the table.
desserts: pecan tart rather eggy but accompanying gelato and pear were lovely; the lemongrass/ginger creme brulee was well executed.
I too have had a wonderful meal at Loire. Probably THE best mussels I've had in Toronto - simple and wonderful. My husband had the celeriac soup and raved. Our mains were both fish and they were both divine.
The staff were lovely and yes...the wine paring was superb.
Even after apps and mains....we were both still hungry. While Loire serves fantastic food.....they don't serve much of it.
So, my advice is go....just don't go too hungry!
Thanks for the review. I really enjoyed my recent meal at Loire and can't wait to go back! I started with the pork belly, had the duck dish you did, then finally a black pepper and pear crumble to finish. Delicious!
Not to be a stickler for the wine or anything, but Chablis is in Burgundy. :) If you wanted to stay in Loire, you would have gone with a Vouvray or Savennieres.
Haha... I was about to say the same.
Sommelier/Owner Sylvan (ex of Langdon Hall) seriously knows his wines (and service for that matter)
Putting yourself in his hands is a must... and I myself am a "man of the cloth".
Last time I was there he was more than gracious when I showed up seriously late to join a party of 4... at a table for four... Sorry!
He proceeded to serve us a KILLER Chenas Beaujolais from Christophe Pacalet...
Being an utter glutton for lighter wine styles (Oxymoron?) I think I drank the majority of the bottle before the rest of the table had time to catch up with me.
Two ginger thumbs up for Loire.