Upon a suggestion of a friend who told me about Nota Bene on Queen Street, I decided that I would have a taste of it for the first time when I was in Toronto. Based on my prior research, they had an offering of a 6 course meal for their “Taste of August” special, so that’s exactly what I ordered when I got there!
In this dining experience, the service was exquisite and I thoroughly enjoyed being treated like royalty at Nota Bene – each round of courses servers would give us a fresh pair of cutlery and always took opportunities to come to our assistance if we needed it. Talk about A+ service!
To start, the waitress came out with a starter, compliments of the chef, to clear the palette. This was a duck confit with truffles on top of a crisp apple slice according to the waitress. A delightful little snack to munch on before our course meals came out for sure!
Next up is Vicky’s Heirloom Tomato and Thai Coconut Ceviche – this first course was served extremely fresh and the different flavors really tied well together. From the sweetness of the coconut to the smoothness of the avocado, up to the delicacy of the ceviche sauce, this plate in front of me that night proved to be very refreshing.
Then came the dish that I was looking forward to having for the night – the Quebec Foie Gras, Niagara Peaches and Almond & Pecan Granola. Making frequent visits to the City of Lights, Paris , I’ve become a huge fan of the beloved specialty of the French known as Foie Gras. As a result, I set some pretty high expectations for the foie gras that night, and Nota Bene met those expectations with this beautiful dish. The foie gras was smooth, and the taste was creamy and strong. I thoroughly enjoyed the Niagara Peaches on top of a slice of bread which helped clear the palette of the foie gras. Personally however, I could have lived without consuming the granola pieces, however it did provide some points on presentation of the dish.
If the foie gras was not enough to impress me for the night, next came the Wild Pickerel & Local Cauliflower. The pickerel that night had a beautiful, buttery and crispy skin which I had pleasure in eating, however the meat of the pickerel was a bit bland and personally hard to eat because of its flakiness. The cauliflower was cooked nicely – I ate these with the given sauces on my plate. The red sauce turned out to be a bit spicy in taste, so non spicy lovers like me, beware!
The Smoked Pork & Leek Sausage, Rapini, Peppers, and Dandylion was personally only okay for me – it could have been a result of starting to get full from the previous dishes (I’m a pretty light eater!). I wasn’t quite sure what the green sauce was, however it was once again spicy, so watch out non spicy lovers! The sausage itself wasn’t too bad – the meat was tender and easy to eat, but the taste wasn’t anything too special (tasted like your standard sausage from the hot dog stand, but on a gourmet plate). Perhaps it was because I didn’t have full appreciation on the sauce so I ate the sausage alone. Maybe your experience will be different!
I thought that my stomach would be too full at this point for any more food, but when the YU Ranch Grass-Fed Texas Longhorn Striploin and Chanterelles arrived at my table, I was in awe and ready to eat some more! This was probably the best dish of the night, the striploin was cooked medium rare, and though it was a bit chewy, the marination of the meat was perfection. Moreover, the sweetness of the mushrooms in the sauce was spectacular and gave some balance to the meat on the dish. I also enjoyed the stir fried green vegetables which packed in the sauce in itself, so when I bit into it the sauce exploded phenomenally into my mouth and onto the taste buds. A stellar dish this was!
Of course to end a beautiful 6 course meal, you cannot turn down some dessert! On the menu for dessert at Nota Bene was the Ontario Strawberries and Pistachio Cake. I was expecting more cake and less strawberries, however what was served was bits of pistachio cake with strawberries and lemon sorbet. I started off eating them individually, however I realized combining the sweetness of the strawberries to the sour of the sorbet and the texture of the pistachio cake made dessert much more enjoyable.
Nota Bene is a restaurant on the higher end of dining, and I was honoured to have a 6 course meal for one evening with them. A huge thank you to them for having me for the night and trying their “Taste of August”. It’s unfortunate that the end of August is coming, but if you do get the chance and you are feeling fancy in the night, Nota Bene will provide you with only the greatest dining experience, whether you’re on a date, with friends or with family. Nota Bene caters to all who have a pleasure in fine dining and only the most quality dishes.
For more information on Nota Bene, do visit their site for information on location and their menu selections: http://notabenerestaurant.com/
Plating – ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡
Ambiance – ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡
Taste – ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡
Service – ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡