Friday, June 3, 2011

Media Dinner at Bloom Restaurant - View the Vibe Vlog

I was invited by Mary Luz Mejia and Mario Stojanac from Sizzling Communications to attend "a special degustation" of Bloom Restaurant's (@BloomRestaurant) new menu items.  I'm now loving the word "degustation" (it was used in the email invite) because according to Wikipedia, degustation is "a culinary term meaning 'a careful, appreciative tasting of various foods' and focusing on the gustatory system, the senses, high culinary art and good company" and that's exactly how the dinner at Bloom went =) Thanks again Sizzling Communications for the invite! 

Bloom is located in the Bloor West area (for all you TTC riders, it is between Runnymede and Jane station). The restaurant opened back in November 2004 and has recently refreshed their look and menu. It is very modern, outside and in. Orange and green are used throughout Bloom and the colours definitely add a spring/summer-y feel to the whole venue. 

Nicki from View the Vibe, my foodie date, did a vlog at the tasting too~ Check it out! =) 

OK back to my boring blog ^_^

That's Nick Keukenmeester from Lifford Wine. Nick did an awesome job that introducing all the wines that night. He looked like he was in deep thought there.

I'm also loving the clean lines, the white walls and chairs... the effect of everything combined is ultra contemporary and fun. 

Bottles and bottles of the featured Malivoire wines at the bar. 

We were all given a choice cocktails: Blooming Buds or The Bloom Mojito. I chose the Blooming Bud and stole Stacey's (@TastingToronto) Bloom Mojito :) The flower on the right was in the middle of our table; so pretty and vibrant that I had to take a picture.

Cassava Frites with Mojo Dipping Sauce

This is the first time I've had cassava fries. Cassava, also called "yuca" or "manioc", is a woody shrub native to South America and it is the root of the cassava that we had. I think cassava frites are comparable to yam fries but less sweet and more starchy in texture. The mojo dipping sauce was what I really loved as it was creamy with a lot of garlic flavour. Had a nice kick to it. 

Bread with herbed butter, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar

Foodies unite! We had the whole restaurant to ourselves :)

Paired with Malivoire, Pinot Gris, 2009 Beamsville, Ontario

Spring Terrine - Chicken Liver and Foie Gras & Fresh Asparagus

I really liked the terrine because it was so light and smooth; very spreadable on the crostini. The taste of the liver and foie gras was very prominent and that's exactly how I like it. Cute addition with the onion rings, however I would've liked a thinner batter on them. The red wine braised onions underneath were delicious.

Ceviche - Mixed Sustainable Seafood cured in Lime Juice, Habanero Peppers and Cilantro

All the seafood options at Bloom are Ocean Wise sustainable *two thumbs up*.The tomatoes, onions, herbs, and the tangyness from the lime juice went really well with the halibut and shrimps. What was also unique was the piece of sweet potato hiding at the bottom.

Paired with Malivoire, Pinot Noir, 2008 Beamsville, Ontario

Sesame Crusted Ahi Tuna Filet - Smashed Crispy Baby Potatoes, Tofu-Wasabi Dressing, Roasted Mixed Vegetables

A generous piece of ahi tuna was crusted with sesame seeds with a clever play on the restaurant's colours (orange and green). I thought the ahi tuna was a bit overcooked for my taste, but then I do like my fish and beef really rare. I couldn't really taste the tofu in the tofu-wasabi dressing. 

Pan Seared Flank Steak - Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Chimichurri Sauce, Ginger-Glazed Carrots

I'm personally not a big fan of flank steak (I like cuts that are more tender and moist) so to me, the highlight of this dish was really Chef Pedro's chimichurri sauce; it was the perfect combination of parsley, olive oil, fresh cilantro and garlic, and what differentiates this chimichurri sauce with ones I've had before is that it was very substantial, as in, it was not chopped too fine that it is mushy and I could differentiate all the fresh herbs in it.

Before dessert, Bloom's Executive Chef Pedro Quintanilla came out to chat with us. Chef Pedro has worked in some of Havana's best restaurants and also spent a few years as Chef at the French Embassy in Havana. Ever since Chef Pedro immigrated to Toronto in the early 90's, he has worked at Xango Restaurant, Latitude Restaurant, personal chef for Bacardi Corp, and in 2004, he took over the kitchen at Focaccia Restaurant and moved to its sister restaurant Bloom in April.

Photo credit: Paula (@DragonsKitchen)

Paired with 2008 Icewine Riesling VQA

Cuban Flan - Dulce de Leche & Thyme

If you like dulce de leche then this dessert is for you. The texture of the flan was a bit too "egg-y" for my taste; I prefer flan that is smoother and softer. For dessert, I'm more of a chocolate gal anyway so I naturally prefer the dessert below =D 

Churros - Warm Chocolate Sauce & Ice Cream

What is there not to like here? Crunchy churros, warm chocolate sauce, and vanilla ice cream...all delicious things! These churros are probably the most petite and cute churros I've ever seen so far =) 

Additional info for Bloom Restaurant
Open for Service - Tuesday to Saturday, 5PM to closing
Catering & Take Out - All menu items available for take-out & catering
Special Events - Group Prix Fixe Menu available
Restaurant Capacity - 40 seated or 60 cocktail and tapas
Corkage Fee - $10 Tuesday to Thursday and $20 Friday & Saturday

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