Auberge du Pommier Review

Last Monday, my girlfriends and I went for our annual Summerlicious dinner in Toronto – this time at Auberge du Pommier, part of the Oliver and Bonnacini restaurant group.  Auberge du Pommier is located north of York Mills on Yonge St, serving french cuisine.

I’ve been to Auberge once back in 2010 for Winterlicious and it was one of the best “licious” I’ve had ever.  The “licious” tends to be a hit and miss, but mostly a miss in my opinion, as half the time I’m not overly impressed with the food and dishes that friends ordered from the regular menu end up tasting better.

The only other place where I’ve had really good food from a “licious” was at North 44, but when I went back for another “licious”, the quality was a bit disappointing.  As such, I didn’t really have high hopes for my Auberge return.

Auberge du Pommier on the outside

Once inside, there was a short wait before the server was able to seat us.  Interestingly, there were 3 greeters that directed guests to their tables, but one of them simply stays at the front to greet other guests when they come in.  My friend and I contemplated on what a nice job that would be…

The entrance waiting area

A look at their entrance, and one can see why Auberge du Pommier has been consistently rated as Toronto’s most romantic restaurants.

There is a special summerlicious drink menu alongside the food menu.  From my research, the only menu items that are different between the lunch and dinner Summerlicious menus were the shrimp in the appetizer and the filet mignon for the main, but it costs $20 more for dinner!

Dinner started with complimentary olives followed by a bread plate.  The olives were surprisingly yummy (considering I don’t normally like eating olives), and warm to taste upon arrival.  There were two flavours, with varying degrees of olive flavour.

The bread was freshly heated and hot upon arrival.  It came with a light green vegetable spread (I can’t remember the vegetable).  I wouldn’t say this was my favorite spread, but it was again complimentary and the hot bread was a nice touch.

Shrimp Brochette appetizer

For my appetizer, I chose to have the shrimp brochette, which was basically a skewer of shrimp (4), on top of a bed with marinated cucumber, a little greens on top, and flavoured with roasted red pepper, salt cured black olives and mint vinaigrette.  The combination of the shrimp with the cucumber was delicious, as the flavours of the grilled shrimp balanced the fresh refreshing taste of cucumbers.

The super soft filet mignon!

Next came the filet mignon.  It was probably one of the better steaks I’ve had in my life.  I was debating between this and the Mediterranean sea bass, but I wasn’t really in a mood for saffron sauce.  My friend got the sea bass, but I preferred the steak better – the sea bass was a bit dry and had a hint of an Indian twist.

First, the steak was a perfect medium rare that sat on top of mashed potatoes and baby bok choys.  To top it off was a yummy sauce and some baby tomatoes.  The steak was so tender that all  you need (and all that the restaurant provides) is a butter knife to cut it.  I’m not a huge meat eater, so it’s very rare for me to actually like eating a steak! All I can say is wow!  Kudos to the chef.

The ice cream sandwich that did not look like one

For my dessert, I was debating between the strawberry shortcake and the ice cream sandwich.  When I thought of ice cream sandwich, the above was not what had immediately came to mind.  It’s actually quite the fancy ice cream sandwich no?  The ice cream sits on top of a thin layer of chocolate cake, topped with cocoa nibs and caramel chunks on the side.
Surprisingly, it wasn’t very sweet and for some reason, the ice cream wasn’t very creamy.  I enjoyed it, but I would have preferred if it was a little less on the darker bitter chocolate side.

My friend's poppy seed shortcake

I sampled my friend’s poppy seed shortcake, and it was actually really good!  The poppy seeds weren’t overly evident in the cake, and the marinated fruits were just right.  Funny enough, it was sweeter than even the ice cream sandwich!  My friend’s one complaint was that she couldn’t get over the red celery-like fruit (rhubarb) in it.

Post dessert cookies

After the desserts, we received a plate of complimentary almond cookies that came with our bill.  They were quite delicious and reminded me of the Chinese style almond cookies I used to eat while growing up as a kid.
With a drink and the summerlicious 3 course dinner, my bill totaled $70 with tip and tax.  I think this is reasonable given all the extra complimentary courses we got and the impeccable service we received throughout our meal.  The servers are very attentive.  Not only do your meals come together, but clean plates are cleared at the same time. Each time you get up from your seat, the table napkin will be refolded placed before your return. I do appreciate the little details!
I never felt once that we were inferior customers became I came for a “licious”.  If I had the money, I’d love to come here for the regular dinners, but until then, I’ll stick with the “licious” for now.  I loved my second visit, and I’d definitely recommend it for those who haven’t been!
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