On Friday, we were in the theatre district around dinner time and went to the new (to us) Oliver & Bonacini restaurant on the second floor of the TIFF Bell Lightbox called Luma. It also happened to be the start of Winterlicious and they were participating in Winterlicious, so we accidentally had a Winterlicious dinner!
Well one of did at least. I actually wanted their Pappardelle (with braised beef short rib, caramelized onions and horseradish cream) which wasn’t on their Winterlicious menu, and Pauline wanted to try the creamy semolina, chorizo and veal juice so I ordered that as a side.
The pappardelle ended up being a disappointment because it was too salty. The pasta was useful for picking up the juices, but you didn’t want to do that because you didn’t want to satisfy your daily sodium intake from one piece of pappardelle!
Since I never recalled having semolina before, nor what it is; I didn’t know what to expect. This dish seemed similar to mashed potatoes, although the semolina has a different flavour. The chorizo and veal juice were the best part of this I think.
From their $35 Winterlicious menu, we had the chicken liver & foie gras pâté (confit duck heart and braised lentils) to start. This was pretty good, and they gave a lot of pâté. The chicken liver was also quite good, but the portion was incredibly small.
For the main, we had the seared albacore tuna (braised sunchoke and heirloom bean salad, red wine rosemary vinaigrette). I liked how the tuna was prepared on those one, and it looks cool to boot! I felt this was much better than my main, but that could be because it wasn’t very salty (it’s almost like eating sashimi).
Finally, dessert was the apple & buttermilk panna cotta (maple granola and apple compote). This was an odd choice and I don’t know what to think (well at least wasn’t bad) because it wasn’t sweet! The buttermilk was too sour to eat by itself, but mixed well with the apple.
The Winterlicious dinner at Luma was decent, but I think the restaurant might have the same reputation for over-salting like the rest of the O&B chain.