Thursday, November 4, 2010

Oliver & Bonancini Café Grill - Yonge & Front

This post is way overdue, and I mean WAY overdue. The first half of this post is from my friend, Adrienne's birthday back in July. I honestly don't know why I didn't blog about the dinner sooner; really no reason at all so don't be bias when you're reading this, it's not like I was dreading it because the food was bad hehe. Maybe at the back of my mind I knew I was going to come back to this O&B for another friend's birthday? So that the two events can be combined into one "Duo Birthday O&B" post? Whatever the case may be, my second time at this O&B location was indeed for my friend Jenn's birthday party several weeks ago.

This is O&B's entrance from the inside. They have another entrance beside their patio.

By the way, the majority of the pictures in this post will be from my first visit to O&B since thats the time I brought along my SLR; the pictures from the second dinner was taken with my iPhone. 

Why the difference in gear? Well for Adrienne's birthday, it was an intimate small dinner with only me, the birthday girl, and my foodie friend Cindy - my dear friends who are already used to my foodie tendencies of taking pictures before they are allowed to eat anything on the table. For Jenn's party, it was a big party with a lot of new faces so I didn't want to seem like a weirdo by taking pictures of food like a mad woman. I like to make friends too.

Moving on. I really liked the decor at O&B. I love the huge wine rack at the entrance. It had a casual vibe but not TOO casual.

Bread was warm and soft, and so was the butter.

Bruschetta - Ciabatta Bread Drizzled with Extra Virgin Olive Oil - Toasted Mushroom, Garlic & Goat Cheese

I think I can have these all night. Order two plates of these and call it my entree? I don't see why not.

Provimi Calf's Liver - On Creamy Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes with Crispy Bacon & Caramelized Onions (I got the fries instead)

This was my main course. I don't usually order liver, actually I never do, but that night I wanted to try something different. I gotta say I may start ordering liver more now because I really enjoyed this. Of course it helped that there was bacon on top =D Also, the plate had two pieces of liver. Not bad at all.

Oliver & Bonacini's Signature Thai Red Curry - Poached in Coconut Milk, Ginger, Lemongrass, Spicy Red Curry Paste & Cilantro, Served with Asian Vegetables & Basmati Rice (with Sliced Chicken Breast) - Cindy was hesitant in trying a curry at a non-Asian restaurant, but I guess something was in the air that night that made both of us adventurous in terms of trying things that we usually do not order. Anyway, she ended up really enjoying the curry.

Strozzapreti with Rosemary Lamb Ragout - Short Hand-Rolled Pasta, Spinach & Parmigiano-ReggianoThe birthday girl loved this pasta. It had lots of lamb in it. She orders pasta often so she knows her pasta!

Sour Cream Cheesecake - Macadamia Nut & Graham Cracker Crust & Wild Blueberry Preserve - Got this on the house since I told them it was a birthday occasion.The waiter actually asked for the spelling of "Adrienne" too - I thought that was above and beyond because he could've easily done just "Happy Birthday".

Strawberry & Rhubarb Crumble - Madagascar Vanilla Gelato - Ordered this as a second dessert to share amongst the three of us. Wasn't too crazy about this crumble; it was a too thin and watery, and the crumble wasn't thick and crunchy enough. Was not impressed at all with this dessert. The cheesecake was way better, we had no complaints about that.

And with dessert, that concludes Adrienne's birthday dinner =)

For Jenn's birthday dinner, my boyfriend and I were the first to arrive, so I ordered a Caesar while we waited for the others. 

Caesar is my all-time favorite drink, and I can say that O&B has by far, the best Caesar that I've ever had. It was PERFECT in every way - the spiciness, the pickle garnish, the salt, the flavor of the Clamato juice and alcohol combo...SO GOOD! Apparently I'm not the only one who thinks so because a few foodies share my view as well =)

I've only taken pictures - what my boyfriend had, and what I had.

Chorizo Pizza - Roasted Red Peppers, Goat Cheese, Pesto, Mozzarella & Tomato Sauce - This pizza was disappointing. It was soooo oily! When I lifted up a  piece, I could see all the oil on the plate. Not appealing at all. The flavor was mediocre; the chorizo was also hard, making it hard to chew.

Beer Battered Atlantic Haddock - Yukon Gold Fries & Creamy Coleslaw - My boyfriend had this and he said it was "good". I guess my interpretation of that would be "it's nothing special".

Besides the pizza, I really liked the food at this O&B location at Yonge & Front. I've been to the O&B location at Bayview Village a couple of times and I didn't think the food there was that great. Since they have different menus for each location I guess that would be a factor. I also like the fact that O&B has reasonable prices given their downtown location.

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