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June 07, 2011

Restaurant Review: Bloom Restaurant

Bloom Restaurant
2315 Bloor Street West, Toronto 416-767-1315

Last week, I was given the opportunity to sample Bloom Restaurant's new menu, showcasing the culinary talents of its new Executive Chef, Pedro Quintanilla. Quintanilla hails from Cuba, where he worked at some of Havana's best restaurants, in addition to the French Embassy. To Bloom, he brings knowledge and some Latin flair to an already diverse menu.

Amuse: Cassava Frites with a Mojo dipping sauce

I was pleasantly surprised by the cassava frites. On their own, they were sweet and firm, with a slight crunch. The creamy dipping sauce provided an extra component of tang, which was equally nice. Although fried, the cassava retained its texture, without retaining the oil.

Cassava Frites with
Mojo Dipping Sauce

Appetizer: Ceviche. Mixed Sustainable Seafood cured in lime juice, Habanero Peppers and Cilantro.

When I was given the option of Ceviche on Chef Pedro's menu, the choice was simple. This signature Peruvian dish has been a favourite of mine for a while now. The Bloom version (with Cuban influences) sat atop a sliced sweet potato and provided a refreshing mix of lime juice, onion, parsley and cilantro with and a perfect hit of habanero. The halibut used in the dish is Sustainable, another bonus for eco-conscious diners. And while other versions of ceviche I've tried have been laden with MSG, there were no traces here. (from what I could tell)

Ceviche; Paired with Malivoire Pinot Gris 2009 Beamsille, ON
Main: Sesame Crusted Ahi Tuna Fillet with Smashed Crispy Baby Potatoes, Tofu-Wasabi Dressing, Roasted Mixed Vegetables

I'm an Ahi Tuna lover. Truth be told, if I see Ahi on a menu, it's really hard for me to pull away from it, so I was eager to try it at Bloom. Despite the Latin influences on the first two courses, the tuna was accompanied by a wasabi dressing and the plate scattered with wasabi peas, which was a bit off for me. I would have liked to see a citrus pairing to maintain the fresh feeling from the Ceviche appetizer. Nonetheless, the tuna was tasty, but I didn't feel the accompaniment matched. The crispy potatoes were indeed crispy, and super tasty, but didn't really add to the dish. All in all, this main felt rustic in nature, as opposed to the breezy, Latin flavour I was expecting. 

Sesame Crusted Ahi Tuna Fillet; Paird with Malivoire, Pinot Noir, 2008 Beamsville
Dessert: Cuban Flan: Dulce de Leche & Thyme

A firmer version of the tradition Creme Caramel, this Cuban Flan was eggy and sweet with a savoury note of thyme. I especially liked the thin dulce de leche sauce that didn't overpower the flavour of the flan.

Cuban Flan, Paired with Malivoire, 2008 Icewine Riesling VQA

All in all, a fine evening out. It should be noted Bloom recently underwent a facelift and in addition to the new menu items, diners can retreat in a bright, fresh ambiance. I especially love the bright green wall and the large window overlooking Bloor West Village (this view will be nicer once the construction is complete!)

Executive Chef: Pedro Quintanilla

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