Blu Ristorante

Tuesday, May 26, 2015
After afternoon tea last week, Cynthia and I wandered around Bloor Street for a bit (during which I succumbed to a Laura Mercier highlighter at Sephora... but didn't buy a single thing at Holt Renfrew!), and then met up with her husband later on in the evening for dinner. We were deciding on where to go and Blu Ristorante consistently came up on my Google searches for "Best Restaurants in Yorkville," so we went to check it out. It wasn't too busy when we got there (around 7:00 on a Wednesday), so we got seated immediately but it got pretty filled within half an hour of getting there, so it seems like it's a pretty popular place to go. As we perused the menu, we noticed that they offer a five-course Tasting Menu for $65. We didn't even have to think twice about it.

Amuse-bouche: Prosciutto-wrapped roasted pepper with balsamic reduction

Ahi tuna tartar, leek fonduta pistachios, truffle aioli, sweet potato chips, and sesame vinaigrette

Truffled beef carpaccio, crispy capers, parmigiano, and crostini

Tomato braised lamb and ricotta meatball, spaghettini, and fried basil

Sage & prosciutto veal saltimbocca, smoked sweet potato gnocchi, asparagus, and marsala sauce

Spiced red wine poached pear, crème anglaise, and black sesame tuille

I'm not going to go into detail with each course, but I will say that this is by far the best deal I've ever had for a tasting menu. $65 for five courses is a serious steal for the quality and quantity you get at Blu. Each course was very different, but the flavours and textures in each dish worked so beautifully together that the three of us just couldn't find fault in any of them. The ahi tuna tartar was probably my favourite course of the evening (I'd go so far as to say it's sublime), though the truffled beef carpaccio runs a close second (the crispy capers are addictive and the pickled cauliflower salad compliments the saltiness of the meat perfectly). I even thoroughly enjoyed the dessert; I don't typically like cooked fruit, but the pear somehow maintained its crispness, and the cinnamon/nutmeg flavour mingles beautifully with the mellow sweetness of the cream. What's great about the tasting menu is that all the featured dishes are available on their regular menu, too, so if you don't want to get the full tasting menu, you can order any dish on its own.

The service is nice and polite, informative, and ultra-efficient. Dishes arrived and were cleared out at a relaxed but steady pace, and our server was attentive and made sure all our needs were met, but never hovered or interrupted conversation. The environment is spacious, though dimmed lighting, candlelit tables, and gauzy curtains separating each table makes it cozy and intimate. If you find yourself in Yorkville and craving some fantastic Italian food, definitely check out Blu Ristorante and indulge in the tasting menu (and if you want booze, there's wine pairings available for an extra $50). You won't regret it.

Blu Ristorante
17 Yorkville Avenue
Toronto, ON M4W 1L1
(416) 921-1471
2 comments on "Blu Ristorante"
  1. Everything looks delicious! I love tasting menus! I love trying little bits of everything in a well-designed, thoughtful way. We used to go to our favorite restaurant for the NYE tasting menu...sigh. Seattle. LOL. I'm sure we'll find new favorite restaurants once we're in the same effing city again, but man, we had a few faves there!

    1. Haha, awww, you'll find great restaurants everywhere you go! I'm sure there are some great tasting menus where you are now. :)

      You need to visit Toronto, if only to eat all the things.


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