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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Globe Bistro :: Summerlicious 2010

Outside, bar & front dining area, main dining area

I was excited to try Globe Bistro, my last Summerlicious romp of 2010. As a huge fan of Ontario produce, a meal that emphasized local and seasonal ingredients sounded great.Globe Bistro is my Summerlicious 2010 winner!

Globe Bistro
Verdict: Go! Great meal, great service, great atmosphere
Meal: Lunch (Summerlicious Prix Fixe) 
Price: $20 Prix Fixe + tax & tip + drinks
Location: 124 Danforth Avenue

I love the Danforth. Riddled with a great variety of restaurants ranging from quick and delicious eats to upscale bistros, it's a fun area to wander and satisfy your appetite. Messini's savoury gyros, Danforth Pizza House's mouthwatering House Special pie, Walima's Morrocan seafood couscous, Mezes' saganaki, Athen bakery's spanakopita...just to name a few favourites. My only regret is not taking pictures of these eats to share with you (...yet!)

Spiced chutney & warm, crusty bread
I've come to appreciate a good spread that accompanies a nice bread basket. The spiced chutney was a pleasant start to the meal while my friend and I waited for the rest of our party to arrive. The bistro was quite empty when we first arrived, but quickly filled with people over the lunch hour.

Bowling alley panelling
I loved the interior - it was pleasant and inviting while maintaining an upscale feel. The interesting, unobtrusive artwork and warm lighting was perfect for the main dining area. The original wood panelling was kept from the space's bowling alley days, which was a neat touch to the decor. The waiter explained that the restaurant has quite the colourful past: A Nickelodeon silent theatre, a successful cocktail bar, 2 crummy bars, and a bowling alley.

Service was quick, friendly, and talkative. I liked the relaxed environment, with soft cushioned seats lining the main dining area. The restaurant is quite large, with several dining areas and a rooftop patio that opens past 5pm. The meal was great, so I think that the patio is definitely worth checking out if you're looking for a good dinner on a nice summer evening.

There were some interesting a la carte items, including a pork belly dish with kimchi, an Ontario rib eye burger, and a BC Albacore tuna salad. While they were definitely intriguing, we decided to stick with the Summerlicious menu. 

Tom Collins Cucumber Gazpacho
Lake Erie farms cucumber, lemon cress, preserved lemon, Canadian gin

I enjoyed this version quite a bit. Never having tried a non-tomato gazpacho before, this was my first pick for lunch. I was very pleased with the light, refreshing flavour and great consistency. Unlike Biff's gazpacho, it was neither too creamy nor smooth. I prefer it with texture, and this one definitely rivals Boulevard Cafe's tomato-based gazpacho. I did not notice the gin, which is a good thing since I'm not a fan and I'd have to do a blind taste test to see if it made a difference. This was my favourite starter.

Smoked Black Cod Brandade
Crispy shallot rings, smoked paprika essence, confit garlic crostini
The crispy shallot rings were great with the paprika essence topped with a generous helping of the brandade. The texture was similar to very thick mashed potatoes, and the cod flavour was not too strong. This was the overall favourite appetizer of the table (but not mine!)

Shaved Fennel & Purple Basil Cress Salad
Spiced pistachio, taggiashi olive dust, orange gelée
I enjoyed this salad - the fennel had a good bite, the pistachios were great, and I enjoyed the orange gelée quite a bit. The gelée was sweet with a firm texture, which paired well with the vegetables.

Lake Erie Pickerel 
Wild rice coriander salad, Millbank green peas, marjoram cress, earth chardonnay vinaigrette
In spite of my typical hesitation to order fish, I have tried it at all of my Summerlicious outings this year. I was very glad that I did not miss out on this dish! The pickerel was cooked with the skin, which was nice and crispy and the wild rice salad was wonderful. The fish was seared very well, and was neither dry nor oily and was my favourite entree. I would order the fish at Globe Bistro again based on this!
Swiss Chard Torte Verde
Best Baa Farm feta, charred tomato coulis, blonde frisée, chives
The warm, baked feta on top of tomato coulis was quite savoury without an overpowering feta flavour. The tomato coulis had a cheesy taste and thick texture - I personally would have preferred a stronger charred tomato flavour instead but it was a great sauce to swirl the torte around before each bite.

Seared Cumbrae’s Flank Steak
Duck fat Yukon chips, vine ripe tomato, scallion, Triple Crunch aioli
Carefully cooked, the steak was wonderfully pink and juicy. The aioli was a great accompaniment and steak's usual partner in crime - the fries - were quite tasty. Thickly cut and cooked in duck fat, they were enjoyed with each tender slice of steak. This was the overall favourite.

Callebaut Dark Chocolate Torte
Espresso mousse, Cherry Lane Farms black cherry sugar
Torte, torte, torte! Topped with mousse, this thick treat was a nice way to end the meal. I liked the torte at Biff's a bit more, as it was a more moist and was served with a fruity sauce but this was a nice, satisfying variation as well. I love the density of torte, and the flavour of dark chocolate is something that I'll never tire of. I wasn't a huge fan of the espresso mousse - while good, I would prefer something a little sweeter/fruity/saucy for this dense dessert.

Globe Summer Berry "Mess"
Vanilla spiced meringue, bacon infused whiskey, Ontario berries
Yum! I'm not usually a fan of meringue or vanilla but this dessert was light and pleasant. The meringue was airy and sweet, and a great combination with the Ontario strawberries. The stiff peaks were lightly browned and the vanilla flavour was very pleasant with the sweet berries.

Ewenity Crème Fraiche Panna Cotta 
Candied lemon zest, wild blueberry soup
This is the first panna cotta that I've enjoyed at a Summerlicious meal. I usually find it too creamy in taste, however joined with the blueberry soup and candied lemon this was great. I particularly enjoyed the lemon zest! The blueberry soup was akin to syrup and I'll admit that I took some torte and gave it a good swirl - it was fantastic. 

Overall, I was very pleased with my experience at Globe Bistro - definitely a nice way to end this year's Summerlicious escapades. Great service, good food made with local ingredients, and wonderful decor - a surefire recipe for a nice lunch or dinner. A pleasant bistro to go with friends or clients and it has a rooftop patio!

Globe Bistro
Verdict: Go! Great meal, great service, great atmosphere
Meal: Lunch (Summerlicious Prix Fixe) 
Price: $20 Prix Fixe + tax & tip + drinks
Location: 124 Danforth Avenue
Globe Bistro on UrbanspoonGlobe Bistro on Restaurantica


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