Last Saturday, I attended Summerlicious with friends at Jump Cafe and Bar, in the heart of downtown Toronto's financial district. I was hesitant when I found out that our reservations were here. Jump is the type of yuppie, faux-classy establishment that somehow manages to attract the city's biggest douches (male and female).
I should preface by saying that restaurant reviews are restricted to the food and wine. My judgement is not affected by the service we were given, nor the restaurant's ambience and environment. Just the food and wine.
Summerlicious isn't exactly known for providing profound cuisine. Nevertheless, it's a snapshot of a restaurant's flair and style, and should entice you to return once the promotion ends.
To start, we began with an asparagus/endive/bacon salad and oven roasted parmesan crusted oyster mushrooms. Greasy and cold on both fronts. Why would you serve whole strips of bacon cold? It becomes leathery, instead of crispy as intended. Mushrooms turn soapy and greasy when they cool as well.
We then moved onto grilled lamb sirloin and plantain crusted cherry snapper. The lamb was cold, over-cooked, and had an odd tabasco type sauce on it. Tabasco sauce with the lamb and sautéed greens? Odd. The snapper was pan seared, and then smothered in a crumble. Greasy, and uninspired. And sticking to the theme, both dishes came out cold.
Really, is there any more point for dessert? Our coffees were the highlight of the meal. The tiramisu was not really a tiramisu. Cream and sponge don't exactly represent the taste of Italy. The chocolate mousse was a diabetic-stroke inducing mess of sugary confection.
For wine, I wanted a 2007 Lailey Unoaked Chardonnay. Of course, it was unavailable. The restaurant is called Jump Cafe and Bar right? So we went with a 2006 13th Street Sandstone Estate Chardonnay. In the typical style of this producer, a completely overblown, over-alcoholic chardonnay. Aging it on the lees until you lose all nuance does not represent terroir! If I want to drink yeast and oak, I'm not paying $45 for it!!!!!
We should have stuck to water. Waterlicious right? So that was the food. Uninspired, poorly executed, and a theft. You're charging money for this? I understand these promotions aren't exactly fun and money makers, but you need to attract customers to your food. The chef clearly doesn't care. That's what happens when these people are on salary. Why should the chef care about offering the best effort to patrons? Just uninspired. If you don't take pride in your food, change your profession.
You might be able to appease the camera-clicking slobs who fancy themselves as downtown sophisticates, but people who are serious about food are not impressed.
Our server was fantastic. But, there's an aspect about service here that greatly upset and disturbed me. To be elaborated on, in the next post.