Two weeks ago I turned 30, and my incredibly sweet boyfriend spoiled me beyond belief. Before I went to meet him downtown for dinner via the subway, I dropped my car and things at his place. When I opened the door I found his place fully decorated with a banner, ceiling decorations and multiple bunches of balloons. I immediately called him to express my awe and appreciation for the gesture. When I called him he directed my attention to a box on the counter, which I had seen but was unsure if I should open it without him. He directed me to open it, and I opened it to find carrots. He followed by saying, “because bunnies love carrots.” I burst out laughing because this was a reference to an inside joke and it was wildly creative.
Bunny holding box
Carrots in the box on the counter
Bunny eating carrots
After I met him downtown, he refused to tell me where we were goin
g until we reached our destination in the heart of Toronto’s financial district, Canoe. I have asked him to go to Canoe during Summer/Winterlicious on multiple occasions, this year included – and now I realize why this years advanced reminders were “ignored.” We were seated along the windows with a view of the south side of the city. It was a nice view being able to eat dinner atop of Toronto amidst the dark sky and city lights.
After we placed our order, Dw handed me a card. While I read the card he placed another white box on the table. I opened this box to find diamond earrings, and again he said, “because bunnies love carats.” I was astounded as I started putting it altogether. This was the box that was supposed to be in the original box on the counter and the carrots and carats play on words was ingenious. An amazing start and this was only the beginning of the evening, we hadn’t even got to the food yet. A full review of what we ordered can be found below:
To drink, I debated between the cranberry spice and an olde fashioned winter. I opted for the cranberry spice as our server described the other as having a more boozy taste. The cranberry spice cocktail reminded me of a sweet cider.
Starter: maple salmon candy
The presentation of this dish was exquisite. It looked like a work of art. The salmon pieces were placed on a bed of wild ginger sushi rice adorned with sturgeon caviar, kohlrabi, smoked avocado mousse and fixtures of nori tapioca to add some height and crunch. I can’t recall the exact number of hours our server said the salmon was sous-vide for, but I remember being impressed by the length of time. Whatever length it was, it was well worth it. The maple glaze and taste was present but not overly sweet and the remaining components of the dish were packed with complimenting flavours.
My Main: wagyu tri-tip
Another artistic expression of food on the plate. The beef was framed by the accompanying veggies and popped against the potato puree. I found the tri-tip which I requested medium rare to be cooked perfectly. It was melt in your mouth good and I savoured every single bite. For me, the braised short rib did not hold a candle when compared to the tri-tip. It did not stand out as special, or any better than other braised short ribs I had. In fact I found the sauce to be salty and over powering that I was looking to pair each bite with vegetables. The molasses onions were a nice touch, I just would have preferred a if it were cooked through a little more. The base which was a little thicker still was quite firm and I have a preference towards cooked and caramelized over raw onions. It was a good dish, the tri-tip was amazing – however at that price point I would want to enjoy all components of the dish so I am unsure if I would order this dish again.
Dw’s main: Ontario lamb saddle
I only had a bite of the lamb, but of the bite that I had was absolutely delicious. The lamb saddle had a thin layer of fat that was not chewy and added a burst of flavour.
My dessert: 64% chocolate mousse
An interesting dessert with unique flavour combinations. The mousse was made with dark chocolate so it wasn’t overly sweet. Dw wasn’t a big fan of it, but I have a preference for dark chocolate so I didn’t mind. I didn’t know what to expect with the spruce tip ice cream but I enjoyed it.
Dw’s dessert: classic canoe butter tart
I personally haven’t been a big fan of butter tarts, but I was pleasantly surprised with the bite that I had of Dw’s. I found the rye ice cream to have an odd taste, however, if I were to choose between the two desserts I would choose to have this one again.
I can finally say I ate at Canoe, and after much anticipation I was not disappointed. All in all I had an incredible birthday. Special thanks to Dw for all of his planning and surprises.