July 16, 2012

Summerlicious lunch @ Auberge du Pommier

Back at Auberge du Pommier again, this time for Summerlicious lunch with my mommy dearest!
Oddly enough, I've sat in this room all three times that I have dined here, and this was the second time I was seated at the table next to the fireplace. Not that I'm complaining since the room is absolutely lovely, especially during the day.
While waiting for the food, I noticed that a couple of the chairs had French phrases printed at the back and they were all different. I wanted to go around the dining room and read them all!
I didn't love the bread because the crust was on the chewy side, although the inside was very soft. The accompanying artichoke dip was absolutely delicious!
My mom started with a green & wax bean salad with cherry tomatoes, pine nuts, fresh herbs, dressed in lemon thyme crème fraîche. The salad was very pleasant and light, and we particularly enjoyed the pine nuts. The lemon thyme dressing was also very refreshing.
My choice of appetizer was a sizable brandade croquette, served with a arugula salad, black olive crumbles, and red pepper aioli. I love a good fish croquette, and this one was super crispy, fried to a beautiful golden brown. The chunky bits of potatoes mixed in with the fish were tasty and comforting. I only wished that the arugula salad was a little more than a couple of leaves.
For the main, my mom ordered Mediterranean sea bass with Prince Edward Island mussels, grilled zucchini, basmati rice and saffron sauce. My mom wasn't overly impressed, commenting that the fish tasted like the pan-fried kinds that she makes at home. I did like the super crispy skin, but the saffron sauce left a lot to be desired.
Being a huge Pixar fan, I was delighted to finally try a ratatouille. While this looked nothing like the one served in the film, Auberge du Pommier offered a highly refined version, featuring baked summer vegetables, petit basil salad and soft polenta. Surprisingly, this was my first time having polenta and I absolutely fell in love with it! The polenta was delightfully creamy and rich, a warm and comforting complement to the veggies.
The grilled zucchini and eggplant were beautifully layered into blanket enveloping various cubed vegetables, which were stewed in a tomato broth. The resultant flavours were bright and acidic. For those concerned that a vegetarian dish won't fill you up, this one certainly will (thanks to that fantastic polenta). I had to pack half of mine home to save room for dessert. Overall, I preferred the ratatouille over my mom's sea bass. 
Both desserts were very elegantly plated, so it was a feast for the eyes even if the taste didn't deliver. Mom's dessert was a poppy seed shortcake with marinated fruits, vanilla gastrique, crème fraîche mousse. The shortcake turned out to be a biscuit (I should've looked it up ahead of time!) when we were expecting a sponge cake of some sort. I liked that everything was not overly sweet, and when you combine all the components together- biscuit, crème fraîche, strawberry, rhubarb, and a dab of the vanilla gastrique- it was a tasty bite! I just wished that we had more of that vanilla syrup to counteract the tartness of the rhubarb.
My dessert choice was an obvious one- ice cream sandwich- caramel semifreddo, cocoa nib, chocolate cake. The caramel ice cream was really delicious, but the chocolate cake and cocoa nib were too bitter for my liking. The best part of the dessert was the three small pieces of caramel crunch that sat atop the puddles of chocolate sauce. To my surprise, this dessert was also not very sweet on the whole. I definitely prefer it this way since the last time I had a dessert here, everything was sickly sweet!
Lunch is well-priced at $25 per person, while dinner is $45. I had a summerlicious dinner here two years ago and I definitely enjoyed this lunch a lot more. While I remember the food was quite good, I didn't feel that it was worth $45. In comparison, $25 is quite a steal to dine in such a lovely ambiance! One down side to lunch is that they don't validate parking before 5 pm.
All in all, my mom and I had a fabulous lunch, and we even have leftovers for dinner!
Auberge du Pommier on Urbanspoon

4 comments:

  1. Nice post! I'm going for lunch on Sunday, probably getting the ratatouille instead of the sea bass now :p

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