It was my final week in Toronto before I head back to Asia for a month. I wanted to sample another fine dining establishment and decided on Nota Bene after reading a lot of positive reviews on the Internet.
The cuisine as described by Open Table is Contemporary American and featured a Hog Summer Night Special every Tuesday in July and August. Fortunately for us we dined there on a Tuesday night and had a chance to order their Hog Special.
Our meal started off with some Rye Bread which was served cold. I'm not a fan of Cold Breads in fine dining establishments as it tends to be a little too chewy.
SUCKLING PIG TACO
This was the first course of the Hog Summer Night Special. The shredded pork was tossed in a rather bland spice mix and is served with some Pork Crackling, Tomatillo, Sour Cream and Butterhead Lettuce
RICOTTA-STUFFED ZUCCHINI FLOWERS
The Zucchini Flowers had a nice textural contrast between the crispy batter and soft ricotta cheese. It was seasoned just right and the Ricotta Cheese was really good
Absolutely delicious. The Hamachi literally melts in your mouth. The Acidity was perfectly balanced with the use of Buttermilk which toned down the sourness. Eaten together with the Cilantro and Avocado it was a really refreshing appetizer.
NOVA SCOTIA LOBSTER SALAD
Crisp Romaine Lettuce, Perfectly Cooked Lobster Meat, Crispy Croutons and Bacon Bits tossed with a Butter Milk Dressing that did not overpower the salad. This was another solid appetizer.
SUCKLING PIG PORCHETTA
The main course of the Hog Summer Special was simply divine. The natural flavor of the Pork Loin and Stuffing is accentuated so well in this dish. The Pork was moist and the Skin and Crackling was crisp. Easily one of the best Pork Dishes I've had.
12/OZ GRASS-FED NEW YORK STRIP
The Striploin was cooked perfect Medium Rare. It was had a nice flavor but it did not had a crispy crust like what I had in Giby's. It was definitely a very good Striploin but Giby's still has my vote for the best Steaks.
RABBIT SOFFRITO, PAPPARDELLE PASTA
This was Katrin'a entree and I had a little bit of it. The Pasta was cooked Al Dente with the Rabbit Meat really tender.
This was Lily's main course and we found it to be a little disappointing because it tasted similar to Chinese Steam Fish. Given we were in Nota Bene we expected something different.
SHAVED ONION RINGS
We ordered a side dish of Onion Rings. It was seasoned nicely with Sea Salt, had a light crunchy texture and the Onion Rings was sweet.
STICKY TOFFEE PUDDING
A sweet but sinful dessert. The Caramel had a nice deep flavor and was really good the Sticky Toffee which contained some Pecan Praline adding a nice crunchy texture to the soft Pudding.
LEMON CURD, BUCKTHORN BERRY SORBET
My favorite dessert of the night. This dessert was an interplay of Texture and Flavors. The Lemon Curd's sourness complemented the Buckthorn Berry Sorbet and Raspberries. The Raspberries were served frozen giving it a crispy texture to contrast the soft texture of the Sorbet and Lemon Curd.
PISTACHIO ICE CREAM
The Ice Cream was decent. The Pistachio Flavor was strong but it wasn't as creamy as we liked. We did however enjoy the Sugar Biscuit.
Overall Note Bene is the best Fine Dining Restaurant I've had so far in Toronto. There were a number of dishes I really enjoyed such as their Hamachi Ceviche, Lobster Salad, Suckling Pig Porchetta and Lemon Curd with Buckthorn Berry Sobert.
People looking to visit Nota Bene should definitely go on a Tuesday to try out their Suckling Pig Porchetta!
Price: $$$$$ (Approximately USD $65 per person)
Address: 180 Queen Street West, Toronto, ON M5V 3X3, Canada
Tel: +1 (416) 977-6400
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