Auberge du Pommier
4150 Yonge St.
I finally had a chance to visit the French restaurant, Auberge du Pommier, for Winterlicious (Jan 29 – Feb 11) this year.
I’ve seen Auberge on several ‘Best Restaurants for Winterlicious’-type lists so when my high school friends wanted to meet up in February this year, I thought, ‘Let’s do it!’
We had to push the meeting back a week to meet here because the reservations had filled up very quickly! Luckily we were able to get a spot for an early lunch (11:30 a.m.) on a weekend.
The French restaurant looks like a quaint European cottage from the outside, complete with a little walkway and arch leading up to the main doors (which, in retrospect, makes sense as it’s apparently situated in a 19th century cottage!). In the spring and summer it must be surrounded by a beautiful garden, too.
On the inside, it’s all warm lights, fancy flower centerpieces and white linen tablecloths. It was still a little too cold to sit out by the gardens, but it still has that warm, romantic atmosphere inside.
The service is impeccable.
A server is waiting to take our coats by the door, and another pulls out the chair for me as I sit down then even puts the napkin on my lap.
To be honest, I feel a little awkward from all the extra attention. On the other hand, it’s good to see that the waiters are professional and attentive despite the increased traffic due to Winterlicious crowds!
I’m too distracted by the lovely interior and great service to take good a photo of the menu, so here it is in text:
Winterlicious 2016 Lunch Menu
Plus taxes and gratuity
Potage à la Courge (vegetarian/local)
winter squash soup, espelette & sheep’s milk cheese, pumpkin seeds
Salade Composée (vegetarian/local)
100km greens, hearts of palm, treviso, caramelized shallot vinaigrette, tarragon
Pâté de Campagne (local)
pork pâté, beet gelée, country bread, mustard
atlantic salmon, braised tomato & fennel, pearl couscous, spinach
pan-seared chicken breast, lentil stew, leeks à la vinaigrette, mustard jus
Boeuf Bourguignon (local)
red wine braised beef cheek, pearl onions, bacon lardons, winter root vegetables
Ravioles à la Ricotta (vegetarian/local)
herbed ricotta ravioli, northern woods mushrooms, green peppercorn cream, toasted walnuts
Vacherin aux Grenade (local)
maple semifreddo, meringue, pomegranate chantilly
Gâteaux aux Amandes (vegetarian/local)
apple & almond cake, vanilla crème glacée
selection of french cheese, pain d’épices, orange & kumquat marmalade
Here’s my first order, Salade Composée. According to the menu it is comprised of 100km greens, hearts of palm, treviso, caramelized shallot vinaigrette, tarragon.
The salad was fresh and interesting. The white amongst the all the green is the hearts of palm. It’s flavourful and adds a good punch to the dish.
I’m a salad junkie. I would probably eat this every single day if I could.
My main dish of the day was Boeuf Bourguignon.
It’s red-wine-braised beef cheek, pearl onions, bacon lardons, winter root vegetables.
The portion looks small because of the huge bowl it was served in, but it’s actually a fair portion. Here’s a better photo.
The meat was so soft it fell easily off the bone and it’s sitting on top of well-cooked garden vegetables, with the broth/sauce pooling around it. Flavour is packed into every part of the dish. It can get a little heavy after a while, but by the time I noticed that the food was getting a bit greasy, I was finished.
For dessert, I ordered the Gâteaux aux Amandes, which is apple & almond cake, vanilla crème glacée. Loved the ice cream, loved the almond flavour and subtle apple scent. No complaints!
I also got to try the Vacherin aux Grenade (back right), which is maple semifreddo, meringue, pomegranate chantilly, and the Fromage (back left), a selection of french cheese, pain d’épices, orange and kumquat marmalade, which my friends ordered.
I honestly can’t get used to the cheese plates at any restaurant. But this one was slightly less over-bearing and more friendly to those who aren’t used to cheese (other than cheddar and mozzerella) than the ones I’ve tried at other restaurants.
But the Vacherin aux Grenade would be the one I’d order again if I could go back. The texture of the sweet, flakey meringue and combination with the tangy pomegrenate was very interesting.
All in all a wonderful dining experience. It will be quite pricey to go back for a regular meal, but they’ve convinced me it’s a great pick for a special occasion!
*Traveler’s Tip: There’s a paid parking system here. It’s not crazy expensive, but it can rack up if you and your table-buddies are all coming by separate cars. Consider car-pooling. And make sure to pay for 1hr30+ for parking if you want to enjoy your dining experience without being rushed to make the time.