At the Festival of Chefs on May 22th
Tucked away in Delisle Court at Yonge and St Clair is Chef/owner Chris McDonald’s cozy restaurant CAVA. This seasoned Chef makes sure his eatery has a menu boasting a fusion of flavours from various areas such as Spain, Mexico, and even Japan. With so many exotic-sounding dishes, I was excited to dig in.
The very warm and helpful serving staff (who patiently deciphered the menu with its intriguing and unknown ingredients) seated us in a coveted corner. The location was prime as it allowed us to check out the dishes being served at nearby tables, and vice versa, opening up easy streams of epicurean conversations.
To begin, we were treated to a scrumptious glass of Cava Codorniu Cuvee Raventos. A fun and bubbly way to begin the CAVA experience, and one I highly recommend.
Next up, a salad of juicy roasted beets and watercress, topped with marcona almonds. The sweet almonds matched excellently with the sharp Valdeón Cheese:
Bouncing to another continent for inspiration, out came a bowl of deep fried Japanese eggplant with Queso Fresco (fresh cheese), honey and tomatillo sauce, sprinkled with bonito flakes (tuna):
Contrasting with the light flavor and delicate texture of the previous dish, the fun named (yet super fishy) “Supergildas” arrived. These were a duo of plump sardines on baguettes skewered with candied tomato, guindilla pepper, green olives, and anchovies. Apparently the history to the dish’s name comes from the 1946 film noir Gilda, set in Buenos Aires (we have an affinity for Argentina) and starring the ravishing Rita Hayworth.
Esparragos a la plancha (roast asparagus) with lemon-pepper aioli paired nicely with three minute skirt steak, which was thinly sliced and layed atop white puree and chimichurri. The meat was so delicious the photographer popped out of a twelve-year vegetarian run to try it (and, I might add, enjoyed it):
The roast sablefish with escarole and wild black rice may now be my new gourmet comfort food, as it almost literally melted in my mouth:
The dessert de resistance was a molten lava chocolate cake that was simply to die for! Warm chocolate cake with a luscious liquid chocolate centre left my tummy and taste buds quite content.
~Written by Brieemer, Photography by Gorgonzibla