Seated at a cozy booth between an elegant fireplace and a grand piano, the pianist’s melody resonated throughout the high ceilings of lobby lounge, providing subtle background music for the busy crowd. Welcome to Bosk at the Shangri-La Hotel, Toronto. Our server immediately greeted us with robust cocktail lists and tempting menus, but we opted to preserve our appetites and went straight for the cocktails.
Browsing through their small library of wines, beers, and handcrafted cocktails, we finally managed to decide on our pre-dinner aperitifs. An understated vodka martini: Grey Goose with lavender and raspberry
While studying the menu to make the toughest decision of the evening, our server mentioned the chef’s lesser known 10-course tasting menu, inadvertently making our decision for us; Anticipation mounting as we patiently awaited the arrival of the first course.
Following his suggestion, we started with the Avonlea PEI oysters with an Asian-inspired house dressing.
Readying ourselves for the second course, we were caught off guard by small, delicate tea cups as our server made his way to our table. A little late for afternoon tea, and slightly too early for an amuse-bouche, our suspicions were all wrong.
The exquisite tea cups presented a unique dish neither of us had considered—cold tomato consommé. The crystal clear liquid was adorned with bright zucchini flowers and gold flakes, because, in the words of our server, “Why not?”
The next dish was an experimental take on Nicoise salad— pomme puree, cucumber gelee, sturgeon caviar, beet-dyed scallions, and crispy sourdough.
The dish presented a unique combination of flavours to balance the heavier dishes headed our way.
Intrigued by the light ingredients and unique flavours of the first few dishes, we were eager to experience the chef’s take on seafood and meat. This next course was exactly what we were waiting for.
Giant seared scallops accompanied by apple cubes, fennel ribbon & water, plum, and basil-infused oil.
Although the previous dishes were absolutely outstanding, they were dwarfed in comparison to the next dish.
Sous and pan-seared foie gras, crispy duck skin, white bean cassoulet, and pickled kohlrabi.
Despite the small portions (after all this is a tasting menu), the richness of the preceding dishes left us to question how we were going to get through the remaining courses. Luckily the next dish offered a short interlude between the heavier fare.
Leg and Claw of Nova Scotia lobster with 4 ways of beet, veiled by a paper-thin squid ink cracker.
This next course was probably my personal favourite, but I’ve always loved duck so I may be a bit biased.
The dish featured seared duck breast, parsnip 2-ways, scallions, black cherry, and truffle au jus. The elegant plating was second only to the chef’s effortless fusion of flavours.
Modest in presentation, but complex in flavor, the final (savory) dish was 40-day aged beef, pomme pave, roasted onion, broccolini, and black truffle.
Executed flawlessly, the dish was even better than it sounds.
Despite our impending food comas, we were pining to try one of their desserts before we departed. Luckily, there was still one last course left: Dessert!
The dish consisted of an airy banana sponge, topped with a brûléed pineapple, all accompanied by a coconut rum sorbet, meringue, and passionfruit and apple compote.
Always available by foot and Uber, but should you take the Bentley, complimentary valet parking is available.