I have been counting down to the Taste of Toronto festival since leaving the gates of Historic Fort York last year. After being in attendance for their successful inaugural year, the date for 2015 was one I knew I had to save and for good reason; this summer food festival is feast for the senses. On a spectacular summer weekend, in a picturesque setting, 26 of Toronto’s finest eateries prepared an array of dishes that were visually stunning, perfuming the night air with their delectable aromas and pleasing the palettes of the thousands who attended over the course of 4 days.
With the music of Macarthur Clark acting as a soundtrack I tasted my way through Toronto enjoying: sensational oysters with a spicy sweet apple, jalapeno mignonette from Splendido; succulent pork buns and mouthwatering lobster chow mein from R&D (the restaurant of MasterChef Canada winner Eric Chong); smoky sweet barbecue chicken thigh with Cuban corn from Barque; tostada de Pulpo (grilled octopus, basil, jalapeno and coriander oil) from El Caballito & Los Colibris; compressed watermelon and cucumber salad with sambal vinaigrette, along with the dish that took home second place in the Taste competition by Little Sister Babi Panggang (roasted pork belly with fresh chili sauce, bean sprout and red onion pickle); the chopped salad and indulgent truffle gnudi from Rasa; grilled summer squash with Za’atar, pumpkin seeds, pomegranate, feta and herbs from The Harbord Room along with their cheesy slow cooked lobster grits, white shrimp and andouille sausage soffrito; ahi tuna poke cocktail with pineapple, macadamia nuts, coffee and coconut from Oliver& Bonacini’s America; and to end off on a sweet note, poached peaches , Darjeeling cream, bourbon syrup brown butter almond crumble from Bosk.
In addition to those delectable offerings, I also sampled the featured canapé at the Nespresso pop up shop highlight the savory side of coffee with coffee braised beef cheek served over chick pea fritters. And I could not leave the event without another taste of the maple taffy cheese from Ninutik (a sensational combination of maple syrup and Canadian cheese that I thoroughly enjoyed last year).
After salivating of the second year of this restaurant festival I can say that it is now a summer favorite. Buon Appetito!
Photography courtesy of Vanessa Galle Photography & Design Inc.
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