winterlicious at bloom
Along with culinary events, Winterlicious sets up prix fixe menus with restaurants all around the city. Most of these restaurants offer a three-course menu for lunch and dinner at a reasonable price.
In France almost every restaurant offers a set menu, and I always miss the indulgence of three courses while I'm back in North America. Without the option, or the funds to pay for each course seperately, I always settle on a main, and leave without the taste of dessert lingering in my mouth.
My friend Ashleigh, who I met in Paris, has been enjoying winterlicious at several restaurants and suggested we do lunch.
Never saying no to a meal, I suggested Bloom, a restaurant I've had my eye on since I moved to Bloor West village.
The decor at Bloom is modern, clean, and sweet, with a subtle flower theme and a couple of rounded tables with sheer curtains draped around them.
I met Ashleigh at 1 p.m. in the back booth. Armed with a cold, but never without an appetite, I ordered hot lemon tea from our waiter with a charming accent. I would've succombed to wine, but I'm a walking cough and sneeze right now, so I decided to be good.
I started with salad of blonde frisee lettuce, bosc pear, blue cheese and a honey vinaigrette. I have always believed blue cheese and pear to be a killer combination, and they made me proud with this dish. The honey vinaigrette was laced with poppyseeds, and the cheese bit my tongue before melting into it.
Next up I had the quartet of barbequed white shrimp with wild rice salsa. From what I saw on my plate, I believe they were actually prawns. These were good, and nicely barbecued, but there was no flavour that left me salivating and wishing for more. I was also surprised that the wild rice salsa was cold, and although I would love to re-create this at home, a hot rice salsa would've impressed me more.
For dessert I ordered the passion fruit chocolate tart, because Ashleigh had ordered the rosemary creme brulee and I wanted to try as much as possible.
The tart was good, but the passion fruit was overwhelming and slightly reminiscent of fruit juice. I liked the texture of the chocolate, but the fruit taste really took away from the richness of it. The rosemary however, was strong and beautiful in the creme brulee, and Ashleigh was more than pleased with her dessert.
I was happy to have the luxury of a three-course lunch in such good company, as well as a chance to finally check Bloom off of my list of restaurants to visit.
Winterlicious is now over at most restaurants, but runs until February 24th at Bloom, if anyone in the area is interested in checking it out.