December 30, 2012 § 3 Comments
Liz and I almost walked right past the restaurant on our way there…why? Well, it was dark and we were expecting a typical restaurant facade with wide windows…but Toroli was subtle and hole in the wall like or it resembles some of the small French BYOW restaurants on the Plateau, the ones that look like someone’s home as opposed to a restaurant. What’s funny though is that we only noticed the cow print facade when we left…I guess not so inconspicuous afterall!
Anyhow, I opened the door, I looked inside and boy is it a cute restaurant! What I saw was a home-like visible kitchen with a few small tables. We were given the choice of two tables and of course we had to get the one with the window view (even though there wasn’t much to look at besides slushy snow). Our waitress was adorable too! The menus were given to us and they were beautifully designed. The table d’hôte definitely caught our eye; it involved 5 dishes ranging between $43 and $48, depending on which main you decided on. That price is pretty damn good for a 5-course meal.
Anyways, first up! Salad! It was colorful and it tasted colorful. There was dill, tomatoes, seaweed, a good balance of greens, topped with a delicious sesame dressing. All in all, it did not taste too sweet or too sour.
Second! Soup! It was a special kind of miso soup we’ve never had before which had carrots, fried and soft tofu, chopped chives and sesame seeds. The broth was VERY unique. We definitely enjoyed this soup.
Third in line was the toro & butterfish sashimi. Holy…holy, crazy delicious sashimi! Extremely fresh, and with a hint of sweet. The butterfish was on the smoky end and it was heavenly. I think the only criticism I have for this dish was I couldn’t really visually tell the difference between the butterfish and the toro. The sauce that was doused over them made both fish seem the same.
For my main I decided on Paradis de la mer which was a maki on some kind of steroid…in a good way. It was seafood wrapped in nori with some tempura and teriyaki sauce, which explains its sweetish taste. I was getting full, but I finished the plate anyways because it was just too good to leave there, uneaten.
Liz chose the white tuna and the portion was on par with the Paradis de la mer. Three pieces of tuna were served on a bed of wheat tabbouleh with a medley of yellow beets and zucchinis. Liz was slowing down when came to the third piece but the flavors kept her going and she eventually finished her plate. We just couldn’t leave our food unfinished!
Our last course was either a choice between two ice cream flavors or a small glass of sake . I chose green tea ice cream and it was topped with ground cherry, raspberry, and blackberry. It was good ice cream. No complaints. Liz had the sake. No complaints there either.
There is nothing to say but that this restaurant deserves 4.5 forks! The service was up to par, the atmosphere…totally inviting, the food? Nothing but quality and full on tastiness. Our only complaint, which is the reason why this restaurant did not get a 5, relate to the main dishes. Liz’s tuna was just a tad dry and my main was incredibly heavy on the sauce, and just heavy in general. Don’t get me wrong it was delicious, I just thought they emphasized too much on sauce and it overpowered the maki itself. Other than that, the food was close to perfection. As for pricing? The table d’hôte is definitely more worth it,especially if you have a big appetite. I say this because our table d’hôte included five dishes for $46, whereas à la carte, just an entree ($10 and up) and a main ($24 and up) can hover around $40. Basically, the better deal is the table d’hôte : more dishes, more variety. All in all, Toroli deserves greater exposure and is definitely worth checking out; Liz and I are happy to have discovered this hidden gem!
421 Marie-Anne Est