When researching high end cuisine in Toronto, George Restaurant appears prominently on most lists. Chef Lorenzo Loseto won the gold medal in the 2014 Canadian Culinary Championship in Ottawa for his "innovative 'Toronto cuisine' devoted to making everything from scratch using fresh, seasonal and local ingredients where possible."
Loseto strives to create high end seasonal foods which draw on local farmer's markets, relationships with local farmers and collaboration with the Green Industries curriculum for 11th and 12th graders at Don Mills Collegiate Institute. The seasonal and year-round produce, meats, seafood and cheeses procured by George's kitchen shine in the innovative presentations brought to the table.
Due to a delayed flight, Paul and I missed dining at George on our first night in Toronto. Fortunately, we were able to reserve a table for two on the following Saturday evening.
George presented a standard a la carte menu, but the unspecified prix fixe menus du jour of five, seven or ten courses offered an element of surprise dependent on the latest seasonal ingredients procured by the kitchen. The menu also offered vegetarian and wine pairing options with the five and seven course selections.
Paul and I choose the five course menu with wine pairings. To our surprise, the servers and sommelier brought totally different plates and wine pairings to us for each course. This prix fixe twist maximized the variety of creations we could sample, so we exchanged plates and glasses halfway through each course.
The first course included flutes of a Crémant du Jura and amuse bouche of roasted tomato and pork sausage.
The next course featured cool seafood salads with colorful produce and grains: Ocean Trout Tataki, quinoa, and avocado with a 2016 Meinklang Grüner Veltliner and lobster, carrot wasabi, and sea asparagus with a 2015 Tawse, Quarry Road Riesling
Rich organ meat featured prominently in the next course. The first plate included foie pork, sweet potato pave, and English peas wrapped in a crisp shell with a 2014 Suertes del Marques, La Sobra Listan Negro from the Canary Islands with a peppery nose similar to Grenache (a first for us). The second plate in this course included foie sweet bread, mint yogurt, and carrots with a lovely 2015 Vietti, Tre Vigne Barbera D'Asti.
For the third course, the kitchen sent veal tenderloin, white lasagna, and tomato gel with a 2008 Clos del Rey for the first plate. The thin layer of lasagna with delicate fresh pasta beautifully complemented the tenderloin. The second plate presented a classic preparation of rack of lamb, marsala reduction, and sweet potato maple pie with a 2012 Buil + Gine, Joan Giné.
Our servers brought dessert to us right after the sommelier poured the wines for our cheese course, but our sommelier caught the error before we commenced with dessert. The snafu delayed the arrival of our cheese course which called attention to Quebec producers: La Madeleine Sheep Cheese, Quebec paired with a 2015 Dr. Bürklin-Wolf Wachenheimer Riesling, Auslese and a lovely and sticky Le Pied-De-Vent Cow Cheese with former Parisian sommelier Eric Bordelet's Poiré Authentique (pear wine!). Parmesan puff, baguette toast points and fresh raspberry jam accompanied both cheeses.
For dessert, the kitchen sent a chocolate mousse paired with a delicious 1986 Toro Albala Pedro Ximénez which spent at least 20 years aging in a barrel. The mousse was tasty but the sweet PX dominated this dessert. The second dessert featured fruity and flaky cherry tart with an unusual varietal for ice wine – a 2014 Tawse, Cabernet Sauvignon.
My favorite part of table service included the detailed descriptions of wine from the sommelier with each pour. She chose interesting and difficult to source varietals from different regions and wine making styles to pair with the creative dishes from Chef Loseto's kitchen.
Be sure to include George Restaurant in your fine dining plans in Toronto.
111C Queen Street East
Toronto, ON M5C 1S2, Canada