Foodsy is taking a short leave of absence while tending my other loves; design and travel. Still, my taste buds are always on a hunt and were thrilled to find a nearly perfect culinary thrill in Toronto, CA.
The restaurant was suggested by our gracious hosts; Nick, Mark, and Colin of Kolody – a men of impeccable taste and wicked sense of humor.
Colborne Lane happened to be a short stroll away from our hotel. A narrow, cobble stone street filed with the spirit of old Europe led us it. The space was both – utterly contemporary yet classically chic with Radiohead and Singur Ros humming in the background. We bravely chose the 10 course Tasting Menu which was an entire surprise. “It’s like having ten birthdays” – said the waiter. Sold!
We were presented with a wide array (certainly more than 10) of lovely small compositions – from the scallop, through fois gras, an outstanding Kobe beef with a shot of Bloody Mary, the venison with sweet potato puree, to the chocolate bomb which explodes in your mouth, and topped off by the lemon ice cream made at the table in a fog of nitrogen. Despite the molecular “pyrotechnics”, the ice cream tasted as rich and authentic as the homemade frozen custard I used to stand in line for when I was 5 years old. The atmosphere was lively and relaxed – a perfect counter-balance to the exquisite and surprising dishes. After all, who wants to be intimidated by the dining experience? It’s bad for digestion!
Chef Claudio Aprile rewarded our “ohhhs” and “ahhhs” with a lovely cognac and even came out to accept the somewhat blurry compliments. For Chicagoans: he apprenticed at “Charlie Trotter’s” and “Alinea” years ago but now seems to be doing just fine on his own. Colborne Lane has been voted one of the most exciting new restaurants in the world by the 2008 Food & Wine Magazine and Conde Nast Traveler.
To make things more fun for us, digital geeks, here is a feature on Claudio Aprile from the WIRED mag.
ideaCity: Claudio Aprile
By Brad Moon EmailJune 20, 2008 | 7:00:00 AMCategories: Culture, Event
“I enjoy cooking, but I like simple things. I spend as much time as possible with my BBQ (including in 3 feet of snow in the winter) and generally consider sauces as suspicious attempts to camouflage something unpleasant. Needless to say, when I hear that a chef is going to speak, I prepare to tune out…”read more
* images courtesy of Colborne Lane photo gallery http://www.colbornelane.com/gallery