December 2, 2010

Oliver & Bonacini @ Bayview Village

My quest to try out all the O & B restaurants brings me to Bayview Village. I should've have the foresight to make a reservation, because the place was jam packed on a Friday night. It took them forever to find us a seat for two, even longer than the stated wait time. Usually, I find that restaurants give you a more conservative estimate of how long you need to wait, but not here! And the whole time, I was absolutely starving. Not a great way to impress your guest.
This is the oldest O & B cafe grill that I visited, so the decor didn't impress me as much as the other two are a lot newer and nicer. Nevertheless, I like their open kitchen concept, and they have a very cute pizza oven on display. Too bad I'm never really inclined to order pizza here.
Service was rather slow due to the large crowd that night. I was so hungry for the bread that I think I gobbled it all down within seconds. I also had to ask for more bread because everything was taking too long.
We thought that going with a French Onion Soup would be a safe choice. This is a gourmet version of the classic favourite-Tuscan Onion Soup: caramelized onion broth with bocconcini and Parmigiano-Reggiano. The soup was surprisingly light and felt almost healthy. The onion flavours were very rich in this soup, but it was very light with the cheese. I liked how it was not overly salty (as are many onion soups). However, it also failed to provide me with the cheesy-comfort that I seek from onion soups.
Oven Baked Ricotta; Roasted Garlic Gnocchi slow braised veal in tomato, garlic and red wine. The flavours of this is somewhat reminiscent of a lasagna. The gnocchi tasted pretty good and not exceedingly doughy.
Beer Battered Atlantic Haddock with Yukon Gold fries; creamy coleslaw. This was pretty good, the batter was not too heavy and tasted great with malt vinegar, tartar sauce and a squeeze of lemon juice. I also like mine with a little ketchup to get some of that sweetness into the flavour profile. The fries were not extraordinary, but decent enough to satisfy.
Oliver & Bonacini Cafe Grill on Urbanspoon

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