I know people have their opinions about Summerlicious, and believe me I have my own. I’ve had some really great experiences and others that make me think “why did this restaurant even bother to participate?”. The concept is enticing because it allows you to try a restaurant you may not have otherwise based off a special ‘prix-fixed menu”, and in all honesty, it becomes an excuse to get together – not that I ever need one 😉
This year, just like past ones, I went through the massive list of participating restaurants, made my short list and emailed it out to my nearest and dearest. Summerlicious runs for about a month and of course it ends up being the busiest month of the year for me so I only ended up with two bookings. The first was a lunch at Auberge du Pommier on a perfect summer afternoon.
Auberge du Pommier falls under the Oliver & Bonancini umbrella of restaurants and has been at the top of every “best of” list you could name. A staple in the dining community, Auberge has been around since 1987 and is built around cottages that were constructed in the 1800s. They serve modern French cuisine with over 500 wines from around the world. From the second I walked in I felt like I was in a special place, almost like you were walking into someone’s home. The decor and construction is authentically French and there is a feeling of warmth and coziness throughout the space. To add to the ambience there is French music playing and I swear all of the waiters had French accents.
Because it was such a beautiful day we asked to be seated outside. Their patio was GORGEOUS – again, just the feeling that you are sitting in a beautiful garden at someone’s home. It honestly felt like we could shut the hustle and bustle of the city out for a little while.
I know it may sound silly but in my opinion, the table bread always signals to me the kind of meal I’m about to have. So note to those who bring the bread out half way through the meal, you’ve lost me! Fresh bread and an artichoke dip to pair it with – points for Auberge! My two lovelies that I was lunching with were both vegetarian so between the three of us we almost tasted everything on the menu.
Appetizers (we got all three):
– Spinach Salad (pickled strawberries, pine nuts, goat cheese mousse, balsamic vinaigrette)
– Watermelon Gazpacho (feta cheese, mint, marinated cucumber, focaccia crouton)
– Shrimp Salad Crostini (pickled green tomato, arugula, chili aioli)
– Chicken Cordon Bleu (French bean salad, sweet onion soubise, mustard-caper vinaigrette, smoked bacon jus)
– Provencal Stuffed Pepper (saffron rice, summer squash, eggplant, basil vinaigrette)
Dessert (we got all three obviously!):
– Cheese Plate (tasting of Ontario cheeses, fennel pollen, local honey)
– Olive Oil Cake (lemon curd, macerated blueberries, candied lemon)
– Ice Cream Sandwich (chocolate chip cookie, vanilla bean ice cream, nutella, candied hazelnuts)
I honestly cannot say anything bad about the food. Everything tasted fresh, flavourful and there were definitely some things that I probably wouldn’t have tried before. Even trying a classic dish like the Chicken Cordon Blu was a first time for me and not disappointing. One of the biggest complaints I hear about Summerlicious is that the food isn’t as good because its made in bulk. Everything during this lunch tasted amazing and not a detail was spared. Would I come back to Auberge? of course. Would it be for any old dinner? Probably not. I do hope that for whatever special or big occasion is in my future that I do get to come back to Auberge to celebrate it.