Thursday, April 30, 2009


Thursday nights are date nights, but instead I had a nice and wonderful meal, curtesy of the Firm, at Oliver Bonacini (the Cafe Grill), located at the heart of Bayview/Sheppard, to celebrate the end of a very busy season. I guess it's true when they say we work hard but we also play hard. From their menu, I had the:

  • Beef Carpaccio (with wild and tame mushrooms, shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano and truffle oil)
  • Seared Sea Scallops with artichoke and asiago Spread
  • Poached Pear in vanilla rice pudding

I must say that O&B Cafe Grill is one of the best semi-fine dining restaurants I've been to. I'm anticipating Summerlicious now to try Canoe, one of their best known fine dining restaurants. For an appetizer, the Beef Capaccio was decent. It reminded me of mushrooms wrapped in a piece of Prosciutto. The beef was not as salty as I expected, but the wild and tame mushrooms were so succulent that I actually wish there was more.

The seared scallops were a little undercooked; maybe it's because I like my food well done most of the time. But this is an exception since it's seafood and under cooking the scallops probably helped maintain the fresh taste. The scallops was layered in a soup base like film of artichokes lama beans and various other types of beans.

Finally, I was highly anticipating their dessert. I wanted the oreo sour cream cheesecake, but it was not available on the menu at the restaurant so I decided to try the poached pear, which was simply scrumptious. The vanilla rice pudding was so creamy and the poached pear completely absorbed the flavor.

The service was decent. We had two waiter/waitress waiting for us the entire night. I have to admit that the male waiter was rather hot because he reminded me of a Japanese yakuza. He could be Chinese or Korean for all I cared, but he had a tiny, but cute pony tail. Not giving any ideas to guys out there that I dig this stuff, but I simply thought he looked polished and, should I say, dangerous, resulting in a combination of smithering hotness.

Though it's a rather casual restaurant, a three course meal would definitely put a dent to one's pocket at $40-$50+ per person. However, I think the quality of the food is good enough to render a visit, but would, of course, not be a daily staple. I would definitely visit again and take my friends with me since it's still afforable for special occasions since restaurants like Canoe, Auberge or North 44 will definitely mean eating leftovers for quite awhile. But, if you don't like stuffy/snobby people (usually those past 45 years of age), then I would not recommend this restaurant since it's located in an area notorious for this.

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