Wednesday, April 18, 2012


After quitting his position as Executive Chef at Mercatto, Rob Rossi and Ryan Sarfeld opened Bestellen on College. Bestellenwhich means "to order" in German, is focused on "simple food". In Rossi's interview with Acquired Taste Magazine (@acqtaste), he explained exactly what he means by that:

"Simple is hard to explain because it doesn't just mean one or two ingredients. I guess what it would mean though is keeping things manageable. I'm not going to put three sauces on a plate. I'm not going to do duos of stuff. I just want to focus on the ingredients and cook them properly. To me that is the most important thing. You order a nice piece of ribeye, bone marrow or sausage and the most important thing are those ingredients. Before I do anything else the focus of the fodd is to do it properly."

Rossi (@ChefRobRossiwas one of the three finalist on Season One's Top Chef Canada along with Connie DeSousa (CHARCUT) and Dale Mackay (Ensemble), with MacKay ultimately winning the inaugural competition (note: I've had the opportunity to visit CHARCUT a month ago, read about it here). Rossi described the experience as "challenging in the best sense" and it ultimately gave him the push to go and do his own thing.

My friend and I went to Bestellen (@BestellenTO) last Saturday. Its dry age room across the bar separates the front and the back of the restaurant. 

Pretty eye catching, huh? =P

Aging steaks and house-cured meats on display.

Designed by Rossi and Sarfeld (@RyanSarfeld), they wanted an industrial farm feel to the restaurant. The wood tables, wood paneled ceiling, steel and exposed brick really acheive this effect.

House White ($45)

We shared the following:

Pork Belly Croquette, Sauce Gribiche, Celery, Radish, Lemon Fried Egg ($12)

Fried Quebec Cheese Curds ($7)

Traditional Steak Tartare, Espelette Aioli, Olives Crispy Quail's Egg ($12)

Bestellen Burger, Caramelized Onion Raclette, House-Made Brioche & Frites ($18)

House-Made Smoked Ketchup

Chocolate Pot de Crème

Coconut Brioche Doughnuts

All in all, our dinner at Bestellen was good. What I personally enjoyed the most was the steak tartare, the Bestellen burger and the desserts. The steak tartare was well seasoned and refreshing with the creamy espelette aioli giving a mild kick. The lightly deep fried quail's egg was a nice touch. The brioche bun on the Bestellen burger was light and puffy, just perfect. The burger was done medium rare and exceptionally juicy with fries that were decent but not great. Personally, I would have preferred the addition of something savoury (bacon perhaps? =D) to contrast the sweetness of the caramelized onions. The desserts were stellar. The pot de crème was so decadent and its rich smooth chocolate rendered me speechless. As for the brioche doughnuts sprinkled with coconut? I would hate you if you passed that up; my friend claimed that it is one of the best desserts he has had in a long time. The most disappointing plate that night was the fried Quebec cheese curds. Already on the hard side when served, the cheese curds just got harder and harder. The batter was anything but crispy. Even ketchup couldn't save it.

Seeing how much I enjoyed their burger, I'm definitely going to go to Bestellen next time I'm craving steak!

Bestellen on Urbanspoon 

 Bestellen at