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Toque!

On a random weekday, I was on my opentable app searching for where I wanted to eat and blog about next, when the best thing ever happened, Toque! had a 1000 point reservation!! I couldn't believe it and immediately called my favourite dining partner and close friend to see if she was up for yet another of my crazy food adventures. As soon as she said yes I hit the confirm button and shrieked with excitement.





The next evening I jumped into my friend's car and we were off. We arrived on time and parked literally in front of the restaurant, very convenient but on busier nights, parking might be an issue. As we entered the almost empty restaurant, we were very nicely greeted by the hostess and shown to our table. The restaurant has an elegant yet laid back feel to it and the front of the house staff really go the extra mile to make sure your experience is a good one - at least that’s how we felt of our evening.









As we were seated, our waiter arrived promptly and offered us one of their cocktail du jour; a lemonade and gin cocktail with a fresh blueberry puree. Before he could continue to describe the other cocktail their mixologist had created that evening, we both stopped him and said we would each have the gin lemonade.








As we waited for our drinks, we couldn't help but sneak a few peeks at the table next to us. They had clearly ordered the tasting menu, with wine, and seemed to be really enjoying each bite. Our waiter returned with our beautiful and delicious drinks quite quickly. The deep purple and blue tones of the fresh blueberry puree glowed with the contrast of the shaved lemon, and tasted like heaven. The drink was so good that we both ordered seconds before our meal even arrived. The cocktail was not too sweet nor bitter – just delicious! I really think this was the best cocktail I have had to date, so good that I wish I had one right now!





I couldn't help but notice that the service at Toque was excellent; the waiters are extra attentive and not rushed which in turn makes for a better dining experience. They let us sit, talk and enjoy our cocktails before bombarding us with the menu. I liked this, but at the same time thought they were letting us sit for a bit too long. Our waiter arrived with our menus and explained to us that we could enjoy their tasting menu as long as we both decided on ordering it, or we were free to order whatever our tummies wanted. We decided to order a la carte and save the tasting menu for another more special occasion.
  





After our waiter took our orders, he returned with an amuse bouche - totally did not expect this. We were served a butternut squash mousse that was absolutely to die for. Light, fluffy and packed with flavour, I could have eaten it as my main course. Along with the butternut squash mousse, a beautiful wooden bread basket arrived.   





The house made bread of the evening was a toasted nut bread - so freaking delicious I couldn't stop eating it! The bread plate also consisted of fresh baked French rolls - just as delicious as the house bread. The waiter's assistant (that's the only word I can think of to describe her job) kept making sure our bread was refilled while another cleared our plates - seriously the best service I have ever had at any restaurant!




I ordered the seared foie gras lightly dusted in popcorn - yes popcorn - and served with an apple puree, field berry reduction, ground cherries, strawberries, cranberries and torched cubes of bread. The only thought that came to mind was insanity. This dish was so creative and so well done that I was speechless.






Yes I know that this dish is Normand Laprise's signature and famous foie gras but wow did it blow my mind. The soft tender texture of the foie gras was perfectly complimented by the fluffy popcorn. I loved the different textures of this dish and especially the contrast of flavours. The foie’s delicate flavor was enhanced by all the other components of this plate. From sweet to savory, this dish was the perfect start to an amazing meal.




I was very sad to see my plate being taken away, but that also meant my main course was on it's way. I ordered the cavatelli with snow crab in a cream sauce. The dish was very flavourful, cavatelli was cooked perfectly and the crab was flaky and so good. The only element of the dish that I could not figure out was the mousse, I assumed it was there for presentation as it was flavourless and added nothing to the dish. I have craved this dish a few times since, so rich and flavourful, really a prefect pasta dish.  




My friend had the seared tuna served with roasted tomatoes and a soy vegetable glaze. The tuna, caught fresh in Gaspésie, was seared deliciously on the outside and cooked to a beautiful rare on the inside. The tuna was delicious. The delicate seasoning and flavourful subtle soy vegetable glaze was the perfect way to serve this fresh fish, not to mention complimenting it with the deliciously flavourful roasted tomatoes – yumm!








As we both finished our mains, our waiter came by to clear the table and offer us some delicious sounding desserts. Unfortunately for us we were so full we had no room for sweets. We kindly declined desserts and ordered tea and coffee instead. The waiter returned with our hot drinks and a little surprise, two delicious French Macarons. The delicate cookies were just delicious, the perfect ending to an amazing dinner.


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