Saturday, January 10, 2009
On 92 Ossington Avenue, a block and a half north of Queen Street, (right before you get to the T -intersection where there's the infamous psycho ward of Toronto), is a sign-less restaurant called Delux. Well, almost nearly sign-less. If you consider an outdoor lighted sign with an arrow pointing to the door with the number 92 a sign, well, then I guess there is some sort of signage. :) Props goes out to my friend, Janice -- her advice and food critique is always bang on. She knows her stuff, and when she told me this place has cookies and warm milk on their menu for dessert, somewhere in the back of my mind, I knew I had to go check it out. Fortunately for me and my husband, it was date night, and I chose to go check this place out. We were both so pleasantly surprised. We had a dinner seating for 6 PM, and we arrived a couple minutes early and found the front door locked. Delux opens at 6 PM. Someone promptly came to unlock the door and we were seated in a cozy little corner booth where I was facing a brightly lit alphabet display hung on the wall. Coats were checked. Water was promptly poured. Menus were given and the menu was surprisingly short and sweet. It makes choosing an appetizer and entree much more efficient for someone who already has Type A personality. I'm not talking about myself here. At my first glance, I saw there was a rib meat bourguignon, which omg...I love a beef bourguignon. Who doesn't like melt in your mouth braised beef? But, then I saw the steak frites and thought, omg...steak frites. Who doesn't love steak and french fries? But then I saw and made up my mind when there it was: bouillabaisse. I'm not a big seafood cooker at home, so to see that on a menu just made me get shivers down my spine. I love a good bouillabaisse (saffron broth with clams, mussels, fish and shrimp) and I haven't had it in I don't know how long. It has been a long time. As an appetizer, today's special was this terrine made of pork on one end of the plate and on the other end was a pate made of rabbit/pork/foie gras. There were toasted points, grainy mustard, candied plums or something and cornichons aka: gherkin. It was unbelievably yummy. What complimented the meal was the wine my husband chose. A rose, in honor of our dear friend, Peter Greene, who introduced us to rose wine in Santa Fe at Casa Sena Restaurant. It really brought out all the textures and flavors in the pate and terrine. It also was a perfect compliment to our bouillabaisse main course. The wine disappeared by the time we finished our meal. So, what else was there to order? Dessert! Tonight, there was a special of a tasting of all 4 desserts listed on the menu. Duh. Total no brainer. The four desserts were chocolate cake (had a molten chocolate center, whipped cream and creme anglaise), 2 chocolate chip cookies (the reason why I came here in the first place), apple galette, and a Cuban coffee infused creme brulee. I'm not a creme brulee girl, my husband loves the stuff, but I could honestly say it made me weak to my knees to tastes something so smooth like that. Even the drip coffee they served was delicious. What a rare gem, pleasant surprise of a find we had tonight. Service was excellent, totally unpretentious, food was outstanding, the decor is understated so you don't feel under or over dressed, and of course, my company was out of this world. Delux is our new favorite restaurant in town and for the price point, (dinner for 2 including a generous tip was approximately $145.00), you can't go wrong.