Böhmer on Ossington
Had a better experience than Thatcher, but nothing that would redeem it. All pretty okay and nothing stand-out. Wasn't sorry to have gone, but I wouldn't have missed anything by not going either, you know? My bloggery $0.02:
After a failed attempt to go to Atlantic, we decided to roll the dice along Ossington and checked out Böhmer instead. Late at night, the room is quiet with a muted buzz from the still busy bar. We get seated by one of the large windows at the entrance and check out the menu of seasonal and local ingredients. While we didn’t order very many dishes, Böhmer impressed me with the plating. Really lovely-looking.
Baby beet salad with arugula, Ontario goat cheese, Niagara cranberry plum vinaigrette. Simple and fresh.
Rabbit terrine with foie gras, wild leek purée, baby carrot and pea remoulade, balsamic reduction. Nice.
Rabbit, stuffed with blood sausage wrapped in smoked bacon, English peas, heirloom carrots, and Niagara maple-vinegar jus. Less exciting than I wanted it to be. Really nice plating.
Cheese plate with fruit and crisps. Nice platter, decent selection.
Strawberry shortcake with basil ice-cream. A typical (tasty) pairing done up with flair.
Böhmer’s an open space done up with raw wood and curved chandeliers. A long communal table runs parallel to the bar with regular tables filling out the rest of the space. A lounge-like nook toward the middle of the room looked great for groups. Overall, while Bohmer is a perfectly good place to eat, nothing really stood out to me, taste-wise. However, it was nice to try and Bohmer impressed visually, both on the plate and in the surroundings.
(blog post with) photos of the dishes: http://www.foodpr0n.com/2010/08/11/bo...
93 Ossington Ave, Toronto, ON M6J, CA
We went last night as one of our group highly recommended it. I do have to say that while it is an interesting space, it missed the mark in multiple ways. Short review of the experience. We were a group of 5:
Neat room. Atmosphere a bit schizophrenic. They couldn't quite figure out the music. Switched from old school hip hop, to oldies, to '80's, all within minutes. And not in an intentional, DJ'd way. At multiple points someone stopped the soundtrack mid song and flipped to something else. Lighting went from lit to dark in an instant (it's daytime. now it's night-time). So whoever was responsible for *mood* was pretty clumsy.
Not particularly special or memorable. And overpriced for what you get. Nice presentation but as someone mentioned, the ingredients don't seemed sourced or prepared at the level you'd expect for the price ($28-38 for a main). Like someone hinted at above, the ingredients all looked and tasted a little too supermarkety.
I had the trout starter, delivered on a mini rosti, with "salmon caviar." The trout tasted like it was from a package, the rosti cold and greasy, the caviar just gloppy and mushy roe, straight from a jar - not clean or firm; and 2 lines of Presidents Choice mustard which really didn't have any flavour tie-in as a condiment.
My main was the 10oz beef with fries. Pretty straightforward. It all came cold - very little warmth left in either the meat or the fries, so I know the meat hadn't just been "resting." Meat was ordered rare and came medium well. No juice left in it. Char wasn't that nice toothy, flavorful kind, but the chippy, flaky, tastes-like-dirty-grill-with-a-hint-of-gas kind that you get on an uncleaned BBQ. Not pleasant. Fries were good, but would have been better warm. Why didn't I send it back? Because by the time it came I was about to start eating the table...
Can't speak to other experiences in our group because I kept my mouth shut and ate, instead of being the curmudgeon who spends all night chirping about their lunchbag letdown...
Skipped dessert. And their cocktail prices are high at $12-15...
Our waitress was attentive and polite and *present,* which I thank her for, as it is a pleasant change from many of the wait-staff experiences we've had lately.
Starters came out together, but mains came out in 3 separate waves, minutes apart. So that left everyone uncomfortable about starting to eat. The wait was long enough that we had to urge people to eat.
Don't know what the other wait staff were like. I was observing the waitress serving the table across from us as she watched uncomfortably while a wasp (yes) crawled around on the shirt of one of her guests. It was on there for some time and I know that she saw it, but didn't mention it or do anything about it. At one point, she was taking their order (watching it the whole time and saying nothing) and it almost crawled down the inside of his collar. A bit irresponsible...
All in all for the price, there are lots of better choices.
I went to the opening a couple of Thursdays ago. I just had what was served to us, little bites, but all delicious.
Oysters right available on the expeditor counter, served with a mignonette or a scotch bonnet pepper sauce. Both were great. Then had a standard flank steak/aged cheddar/caramelized onion on a baguette bite. Hard to go wrong, everything was very tasty. Then had some fancified chicken wings/drumettes, overall very good!
Excited to try this out in a little while once things are going full tilt. Just be wary of the $8 Creemore pints. A bit of ouch there.
I went on Saturday night, and although I've been looking forward to the opening for a while, I left feeling a little disappointed. On that note, I am keeping in mind that the restaurant is new, and kinks probably need to be worked out still. Service was great, a few mistakes were made, but it was my server’s first night, besides I got a free glass of wine out of it. Decor is nice, (we've all seen the pictures). Although something about the layout misses and didn't sit right with us. People waiting for seats, just arriving or leaving were hovering over diners’ tables, which in most restaurants in the area is not that unusual, but Bohmer has about three times the floor space and they weren't that crowded yet. Otherwise a fun space.
The food; the reason that I came, and the reason why I won't be rushing back.
The food menu sounded really exciting, it was hard for me to make a choice.
There were about 8 to 10 items on the app menu, including Oysters, and Foie Gras which they insisted we try. About 6 items made up the mains. Prices for mains were in the 22 - 45 range. An average sized but effective wine list, (we sampled three)
We started with the Jerusalem artichoke soup with roast quail
and a baby beet salad with greens and chevre.
Salad was exactly what you'd expect. Fresh crisp greens lightly oiled and salted beets, with some really ripe and soft goats cheese. Light vinegar based dressing. No points lost here - none gained. The soup sounded great but didn't really deliver. Too salty, and if I wasn't the type that didn't mind using my hands I don't know how else I would have been able to eat the Quail wing that floated in the middle of my bowl. A side plate with this soup would be a good idea. Let's chalk that up to an oversight by the green staff.
For our mains we ordered the steak and the Veal cheeks.
Presentation and portions are good. My Wife enjoyed her steak, and I also tried it - cooked to perfection, however it didn't exactly come out of flavour country. But it did come with a bunch of fries…my wife was half kidding when she looked around for the ketchup bottle.
I had the Veal cheeks. Again, cooked to perfection - melt in your mouth!! Unfortunately it was just meat melting in my mouth, and no flavour? It came on a bed of pureed new potatoes, topped with a combination of seasonal sauteed mushrooms and framed with a generous portion of au jus. Really, all this meant was mashed potatoes and gravy a la Knorr. Sorry guys, but this meal fails. Neither meal came with any vegetable dish - maybe a roasted plum tomato or something, and of coarse their signature alfalfa sprouts on everything…really, every dish.
When we placed our order we asked the waitress if we could end our meal with the Fois Gras, which we did. This arrived shortly after diner, but long before our new wines came. But I wanted to eat it while it was still warm. It came with cooked apples, and blackberry compote - really tart - but nice. The foie gras however, was truthfully over-fried, inconsistent in texture and again, I couldn't find any real complimenting flavour to speak of. This has been a popular dish for Bohmer,, going way back – so I’m going to assume that it typically receives a better critique than mine.
I'm hoping that time will help remedy some of these ailments, and perhaps luck wasn't on my side that evening. Jayekang seemed to enjoy his experience - perhaps I ordered the wrong dishes at the wrong time. I'd like to go back again and give it another shot... perhaps in the summer when they have those great big doors in the front of the restaurant open to the street. But, I'm not rushing back, and I won’t be lining up to get in…yet.
93 Ossington Ave, Toronto, ON M6J, CA
went there for dinner on thursday after a mistake with reservations at Union down the street. Had bad taste in mouth from bad experience from there but was actually glad we ended up at Bohmer after tasting the amazing food!! food, service, decor all amazing. The pickerel is to die for as the main.....
93 Ossington Ave, Toronto, ON M6J, CA