iEat at Biff’s Bistro – Summerlicious Edition.

This weekend I had the absolute pleasure of going to Biff’s Bistro with some very good friends for some great food and great stories.  This was my last Summerlicious meal for the season, and I was determined to end it with a bang!

House-cured atlantic salmon with mimosa, sauce verte & crème fraîche

Biff’s is another Oliver and Bonacini restaurant so once again, my expectations were high.  I started my meal with their house-cured atlantic salmon with mimosa, sauce verte and crème fraîche.  Okay, I’ll admit it.  I’m absolutely a sucker for cured meats, especially fish!  Whenever I see it on the menu, I’m immediately drawn to it, and Saturday was no exception.  The salmon had such a great colour and a wonderful salty texture.  It was plump and delicious.  Part of me wished there was more crème fraîche to balance out some of the saltiness, but the dish overall was a treat.

$1 a Shuck

The best part of my meal was that I was with some of my other foodie friends.  It was no question as to whether or not we would also order a serving of freshly shucked oyesters – and at $1 a shuck it was a total win.  It was a nice little treat to accompany our meal.  I know this might be completely inappropriate, but the only thing that I wished was that I had a couple drops of Frank’s Red Hot to top it off with.  Sometimes that $#!& goes on everything.

Roasted pork tenderloin with Alsatian spätzle, boudin sausage, caramelized apples & calvados

Given the option, I usually order the fish when I go out, but I was drawn to the pork entree simply because I’d never had spätzle before and I really wanted to try it.  The entree consisted of roasted pork tenderloin with Alsatian spätzle, boudin sausage, caramelized apples & calvados.  The pork was wonderfully cooked and flavourful.  A great, hearty piece of meat.  The accompanying mustard was also delicious, and I believe it is also made in-house.  I was a little disappointed with the spätzle.  I obviously don’t have a basis for comparison, but I did find it a bit doughy and underseasoned.

For dessert, I ordered the cheese platter.  I don’t have an overly sweet tooth, so the cheese was a great alternative with slight sweet contrast in the artisan honey and fruit and nut loaf.  The cheese was nicely aged with a bite at the end.  The combination of the loaf, honey and cheese was just heaven.  The only thing that soured it slighly was that we had to wait a long time inbetween finishing our entree and receiving our dessert.  It wasn’t until we were obviously annoyed by the wait did our server come and check on us.  I completely understand that with Summerlicious, restaurants get a rush of people at a time, it would have been nice if our meal could have been wrapped up a little quicker.

I think the best way to determine if a Summerlicious restaurant is good or not is whether you would go back on a regular service night.  I would definitely like to return, because I can tell that Biff’s has more up their sleeves in addition to what we ate.  The atmosphere is classy but relaxed, and you’re sure to have a great time no matter how big your group is.

4 Front Street East
Toronto, Ontario Canada M5E 1G4



iEat at Luma – Summerlicious Edition.

One of the benefits to working where I do in Toronto is the number of restaurants close by.  There’s something at every price point to soothe your cravings.  This week and next also happen to be Summerlicious, where a number of eateries create prix fixe lunch and dinner menus for the public to try.  It’s an extremely popular event with a winter session as well.

Today, a few coworkers and I went to Luma for lunch – $20 for an appetizer, entree and dessert.  Luma is one of Oliver and Bonacini’s restaurants, and it is located on the 2nd floor of the TIFF Lightbox building.  O&B has a reputation for great restaurants and food, so I was excited to try it.  I was not disappointed.  My entire party was extremely happy with our meals.

Cured albacore tuna, radish salad, pea gremolata, ramp pickle

I started with the cured albacore tuna.  For some reason, I thought it was going to be a tuna salad (chalk that up to a long week!), and I was happily surprised to see a pile of plump, cured tuna morsels arrive on my plate.  The tuna was succulent and melted in my mouth and had the perfect amount of salt and acidity.  The pea gremolata tasted fresh and clean – a perfect balance with the fish.  This meal was starting out well!

Chilled poached wild salmon, salad of egg, tomato, green beans, anchovy, potato

For my entree, I ordered the poached wild salmon.  I don’t usually order salmon as it’s not one of my favourite fish, but I figured the other two options (pork loin or truffle lasagna) would be too heavy for lunch.  The salmon was delicious and perfectly cooked.  It flaked just as expected and had great flavour.  The accompanying salad had egg, tomato , green beans, anchovy and potato and was a wonderful combination of texture and flavour.  Everything tasted extremely fresh and summery – a great dish for a hot and humid day.

Citrus custard, candied zest, pine nut biscotti

To end everything, I had a citrus custard and pine nut biscotti.  The custard was a tad heavier than I anticipated, but the flavour was spot on.  The candied zest was a great textural balance and provided some sweetness to the dish.  The biscotti was also the perfect match with it’s muted sweet flavour and crunch.

Overall a great meal, and a great chance to hang out with my fellow foodie friends.  I have a couple more Summerlicious reservations booked next week. I might gain a pound or two, but  if they’re all like today’s lunch, I’ll regret nothing!

TIFF Bell Lightbox, 2nd Floor
350 King St. West, Reitman Square
Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5V 3X5