Bannock – Summerlicious Review

Summerlicious (July 4 – 20, 2014) is an annual event in Toronto that highlights the city’s top restaurants over the course of two weeks.

You can choose a prix fixe menu from over 200 restaurants. Lunch prices are $15, $20 or $25 and dinner varies from $25, $35 or $45 per person.

This was our first visit to Bannock.

We were intrigued as the restaurant, which is part of the Oliver & Bonacini group is described as offering Canadian comfort food in a casual fine dining atmosphere. Bannock is located in downtown Toronto, across the street from the infamous Eaton Center.

Bannock

I actually had a craving to make bannock bread just from the name alone.

I thought the restaurant had a good ambience; dark lighting, simple, clean lines with Canadian décor throughout. I always like an open concept kitchen.

Bannock   Bannock

One of their popular menu items is the roast duck poutine pizza. It certainly is decadent from what I read in terms of nutrition. The Toronto Star lists the pizza at over 2,000 calories, more than 100 grams of fat and 4000 + grams of sodium! Perhaps a good idea would be to share this with a group.

We decided to order from the Summerlicious menu, so we could review it as such. Our server Marcel was very gracious and attentive, explaining the menu items in detail.

THREE-COURSE DINNER

25.00

excludes taxes + gratuity

APPETIZERS

iced bloody caesar soup
MONTREAL STEAK SPICE, CLAMS, CELERY

smashed cucumber and head cabbage salad
PICKLED WATERMELON, RUTABAGA, MINT, GREEN CURRY

smoked salmon + salt-baked beets
SPLIT AND SWEET PEA HUMMUS, GRAPEFRUIT, GRENADINE

MAINS

dredgeman’s fish pie
PACIFIC COD, SCALLOPS, SHRIMP, CRÈME FRAÎCHE, TARRAGON

roast beef bulgogi hawaiian pizza
PINEAPPLE, GOCHUJANG, GREEN ONION

mama kyle’s meatloaf
GROUND BRISKET, BACON, CHICHARRÓNES, BIRCH TOMATO CATSUP

buckwheat soba noodle bowl
MUSHROOM FAUXLOGNESE, GARLIC MUSTARD GREENS, CHILI PONZU

DESSERTS

cortland apple fritter
MAPLE AND CIDER DULCE DE LECHE

o&b artisan croissant bread pudding
SPICED CHOCOLATE, PEANUT BUTTER, KAFFIR LIME

bannock ices

For our appetizers, we ordered the smoked salmon with salt-baked beets and the smashed cucumber and head cabbage salad. We love beets, and these were deliciously prepared with a blend of unique ingredients.

Smoked Salmon and Salt-Baked Beets

The cucumber and cabbage salad had a refreshing crunch, but I found it too salty. I tasted more of the soya sauce and sesame oil than I did of green curry.

Smashed Cucumber and Head Cabbage Salad

For our entrees, we tried Mama Kyle’s Meatloaf and the Dredgeman’s Fish Pie. The meatloaf plate had three kinds of pork: within the meatloaf, as well as bacon wrapped, and topped with fried pork rinds. Again, salt was at the forefront of the seasonings. A kick of spice was added to the meatloaf which was very moist, but the bacon could have been crispier. The pork rind was chewy and stale, quite disappointing.

Mama Kyle’s Meatloaf

The crust on the Dredgeman’s Fish Pie was flaky and rich.  The filling was merely a heavy cream sauce with very little seafood to be found. I did bite into “one” lonely bay scallop.  It would have been satisfying to have chunks of seafood, even small chunks, rather than flakes, which were very difficult to find!

Dredgeman’s Fish Pie

The Oliver & Bonnacini Artisan Croissant Bread Pudding was good, but nothing out of the ordinary. The chocolate peanut butter sauce was a nice change from a regular Crème Anglaise.

O&B Artisan Croissant Bread Pudding
I almost cried when I saw the Cortland Apple Fritters.  Okay, that’s a bit dramatic … but two of the tiniest bite-sized fritters were placed in front of me. I simply stared at them. I concur with most reviews I read; they were indeed, dense, chewy and dry 😦 😦 😦

Cortland Apple Fritters

As this was Bannock’s Summerlicious menu, perhaps the regular items would fare better. We may give Bannock another try at a later date.

After our dinner, we walked across the street to the food court at Eaton Center!

On to our next craving …

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