Grace Restaurant

Tuesday, July 16, 2013
I've had a really hectic couple of weeks — what with long hours of work (lots of weddings, bridal parties, engagement shoots, and baby showers this month) and generally trying to avoid the insane heat (the temperatures lately are getting unreal here, guys), I've only really had time to go to those two concerts (I apologize for the bombardment of videos; I get excited about live music). But I finally found some time to have dinner with Steph this evening, and we decided to take advantage of the Summerlicious prices at Grace:

Tuna sashimi with citrus, sprouts, and traditional garnish

During Summerlicious, all participating restaurants offer a prix fixe menu for a set price, and Grace is offering a three-course dinner for $35. For the first course, I chose the tuna sashimi, a plate consisting of five slices of fresh, fleshy white tuna, drizzled with tart citrus, and topped with fish roe and leafy sprouts. I didn't love the cilantro in it, but I can appreciate the contrast of it against the citrus. Light and refreshing — a lovely appetizer for a sweltering day like today. I was surprised that tuna sashimi was offered on the menu, though, because Grace is meant to offer "modern farmhouse cuisine." Unless that farmhouse is actually a fishing village in Japan. 

Grilled flat iron steak with ramp whipped pomme fondant, grilled summer vegetables, and bordelaise 

For the main course, both Steph and I got the grilled flat iron steak. Flat iron steaks are supposed to be flavourful but on the tougher side, but I thought it was really juicy and tender, cooked at a perfect rare. It was served with slices of Gruyère, which added a beautiful earthy contrast to the meat. To round out the meat, there was grilled beans, broccoli, and squash on a bed of "ramp whipped pomme fondant," which is basically a smoother, lighter version of garlic mashed potatoes. The portion was on the smaller side (Steph was like, "We might need to go to Sneaky Dee's for nachos after..."), but I actually preferred it so I'd have room to fully enjoy the next course.

Flourless chocolate cake with dehydrated meringue, peanut pulse, and dulce de leche

For dessert, I opted for the flourless chocolate cake, which wasn't so much a cake as it was a rich, dense mousse made of bittersweet chocolate. I normally wouldn't get something so blatantly chocolatey, but I was craving it today (as girls sometimes do, you know). I think on any other occasion, I'd think it's too much, too cloying (I am not a chocolate person), but I actually quite enjoyed that sweetness tonight, especially with the dulce de leche adding a nice creaminess and the flurry of peanuts adding a nice salty contrast. Steph ordered the parfait, a simple but addictive concoction of fresh strawberries and blueberries, honey chantilly cream, and candied granola, which was light and summery, and not as heavy or sickly as my choice; something I would definitely have preferred had I not been having a rare craving for chocolate. 

Overall, both Steph and I thought it was a solid Summerlicious meal, one that made us just full enough (no need for those nachos after all), and I definitely thought it was worth $35. Their regular menu sounds really intriguing, too, definitely enough for me to go back and try it (smoked chicken terrine and duck breast with gnocchi? — yes, please!). The service was okay, not particularly memorable, attentive, or efficient; aside from the girl who took our orders, who was very nice and sweet, everyone else who served us seemed... harried, running from table to table, like either the turnover was too fast or they were understaffed. I have found service to be like this during Summerlicious and Winterlicious, though, so it's not a make-it-or-break-it point for me. I will note, however, that I didn't think it was worth the mandatory gratuity fee that is automatically added on to the bill. I get why they do it, what with the lowered price of the Summerlicious menu, but I feel like service should be a little better than mediocre to be worth 18% gratuity, no? 

Grace Restaurant
503 College Street
Toronto, ON M6G 1A5
(416) 944-8884
4 comments on "Grace Restaurant"
  1. Cheese or buttery toppings on steak MAKE MY LIFE.

    I stopped going to these -licious events when I realized service factor was usually an issue. But it kind of depends on the restaurant - some I go purely for the food, others for the combination of food and service and ambiance. This one sounds like it might be better on a regular non-licious day.

    1. "Cheese or buttery toppings on steak MAKE MY LIFE." -- I HEAR YA, GIRL.

      I like going to the -licious events 'cause it lets me try out new restaurants and food and go to areas of the city I would never otherwise go to, ya know? It gets me out of my comfort zone. And, agree, this one does sound better on a regular day. I will have to return at some point to investigate. :)

  2. OMG I almost got jealous of this post then I realized I was there with you. How do you make food look so good?

    1. LMAO, you kill me, girl. It's just the art of altering the lighting in Photoshop. ;)


Klik the button below to show emoticons and the its code
Hide Emoticon
Show Emoticon