Pangaea Restaurant Toronto
Winterlicious is an amazing opportunity to check out fantastic restaurants, and their delicious menus. I had the honour recently of dining at Pangaea Restaurant in the heart of Downtown Toronto
I noticed the second I walked in how beautiful this restaurant truly is. It is very modern and up-scale. They incorporated natural elements into the décor like natural hardwood, metal running along the ceiling, and many different mediums of beautiful art, and I truly do mean beautiful. I loved the various paintings and sculptures; they are beautiful, but not hard to understand. The modern and up-tempo music was also very comfortable and made the dining experience complete.
I started the night not with an appetizer, but with a warm apple cider. This cider was very tasty, and a fantastic way to warm up from the frigid cold. I generally stay away from apple cider, mainly because the flavours can be sharp and acidic, but the flavours in the drink were not super assertive yet still flavourful. The drink was rimmed with a tasty blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice, and sugar, totally transforming the drink once the cider hit it. As I was enjoying the cider, the waiter came around with soft, fresh bread and butter to start off the food portion of our night.
Our first course consisted of the hot soup of the day, which was a black bean soup, and a pear and endive salad. The soup has a thick and almost creamy texture. The soup is made by puréeing black beans, and is almost reminiscent of mashed potatoes. There is a prominent black bean flavour, but the taste is also smoky and deep in favour. The pear and endive salad was next on the list. The pear was beautifully roasted. It was soft and sweet, and really complimented the tanginess of the vegetables and cheese. The endive was served with watercress, walnuts, Roquefort cheese, and a delicious and creamy dressing.
Our main course consisted of a Pork Tenderloin and potato gnocchi dish. The tenderloin medallions were brined, and then grilled and served with chickpeas, spinach, and honeyed sweet potato. The pork was juicy and tender, and the saltiness of the pork was complimented well by the sweetness of the sweet potato. Now, onto my favourite dish of the night, the potato gnocchi. I honestly loved this dish! I loved the flavours and freshness of the dish, but what I loved the most was the actual gnocchi itself. I expected little nuggets of mushy potato pasta, accompanied by a tasty sauce, but the gnocchi I had was not traditional at all. Each piece of pasta was pan toasted, and the pasta wasn’t smooth like I expected it to be. It was very reminiscent of baked dough. The sautéed, spinach & mushrooms, accompanied by several kinds of vegetables really made the dish homey, rich, and hearty. The sauce on the bottom of the dish was also quite tasty, and I made sure to enjoy my meal with a bit of the sauce in each bite.
And we end-off our Pangaea experience with two amazing desserts. The first is a Lemon Bar made with a shortbread crust, lemon meringue, and topped with fresh whip cream, and what I call meringue sticks. The lemon bar was nice and sweet, and the shortbread is crisp, let super soft. The whip cream was very fresh, and the meringue sticks were crisp and very sweet. To balance out the sweetness, there were some cranberries in a sauce on the plate. The cranberries themselves are very sour, but the sauce was just sour enough to cut through all the sweetness. Taking an all-in-one bite with the bar, whip cream, meringue, and sauce is a truly amazing way of enjoying this dish.
Our last item for this experience was the dark chocolate cake, topped with a generous amount of vanilla icing, and was also served with the same cranberries. The cake itself was dense, but with a nice chocolate taste. The icing was very sweet and there was a bit of graininess of sugar when eating it. This however didn’t take away from the cake as a whole. To balance out the sweetness if the icing, the cranberries once again came to the rescue.