Pauline has always wanted to go to North 44, the restaurant by Mark McEwan near Yonge/Eglinton. North 44 has appeared on Winter/Summerlicious a couple of times, but we never ended up going then. When we did want to go, it didn’t participate in those events. Well, we decided to forgo the waiting and just visit it at a normal time.

(Pan seared Quebec foie gras with toasted brioche, braised leeks, spiced apple, praline and chocolate reduction)

We shared the foie gras to start. It was a bit different in that the edges were “glazed” (?) and had a strong duck flavor. Being of Chinese origin, it strongly hinted of Chinese duck; but of course once you got past the edges, the foie gras was smooth. I’m not sure whether my background influenced my taste, or whether the style of the restaurant was just a mixture of various cultures. The butter for the bread also had a Middle Eastern taste and the walls were decorated in a Japanese style amidst the otherwise non-denominational decor.

For my main, I had the special, which from my memory was a 6oz Beef Tenderloin with truffle risotto done medium. It was not bad, and actually came medium (well I would certainly hope so at this quality). With this I had a glass of Arresti Cabernet Sauvignon “Estate Selection” 2009, Curico Valley, Chile.

Pauline ordered the scallops which were also fine. The ravioli was a bit of a disappointment as there wasn’t much ox tail flavour – or again we could be conditioned by over-flavouring of the tomato sauce from the typical HK ox tail dish. She had a glass of Cave Spring Riesling 2009, Niagara as well.

(Seared sea scallops with oxtail ravioli, sunchoke puree, and crispy celery hearts)

While this dinner was not bad, and the quality was certainly “fine dining”, I don’t think it was special. Actually dinner at North 44 reminds me a lot of Coldplay, good but forgettable. I’d probably try another one of Toronto’s fine restaurants instead of visiting here again.