Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Annona Restaurant

I've always enjoyed going to Annona Restaurant, at the Park Hyatt in Toronto. Nice ambiance, seasonal cooking, all with just the correct amount of stiffness. In other words, fine dining for connoisseurs, thus avoiding the yuppie crowd that plagues other less enlightened establishments.

Dinner. Quiet dining room, unfussy decor, contemporary. We started with an arugula and bosc pear salad, and a roasted roma tomato with goat's milk cheese. Lovely flavours of late summer, fantastic balance. Continued with a pan-seared sea bass. Clean flavours, side of potato and roasted greens. The chef has the presence of mind to not treat you like an infant, and drizzle the sauce everywhere. Great. It's so hard to find a chef willing to contain their ego, but the simple fact that she allows you to decide whether you want to eat the fish with or without the sauce speaks volumes. Wonderful. Sea bass cooked perfectly.

Dessert, as often the case, was too sweet. But at least the coffee was freshly brewed. Wine for dinner was a bottle of 2006 Le Clos Jordanne Claystone Terrace Pinot Noir, VQA Twenty Mile Bench. Lovely.

Not a busy place, but the food certainly is well done. The legion of servers milling around, checking constantly to see if they can clear your plate becomes a bit aggravating. Nice, but gentlemen, take it easy. I can't relax if you're not relaxed.

Perhaps as a reflection of the economy, there's a prix fixe menu offered, focusing on summer fare. Market fish for that day was a pan-seared red snapper.

Great restaurant. The wine, in detail, at the link. What, you didn't expect me to not write about the greatest Niagara pinot noir I've ever tasted, right?

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