the blue pear restaurant dinner
It is the ole blurry photo taken in restaurant anchor for a post.
Last night was the greatly anticipated birthday dinner at Blue Pear with me, my husband and four friends. I’ve always looked at those tables of groups of couples having dinner with great envy. Well, this time it was ME ME ME. Lucky me.
I decided not to take copious notes at the dinner. This distracts from the tasks at hand, which were eating and drinking and laughing with our mouths open. And unless I had a tripod and proper lighting, decent photos were out of the picture (literally) too.
I scribbled a few now-illegible notes on a piece of paper. My memory is becoming foggy, but I threw my scribbles in sentences and they said this:
You have to ring the doorbell to be let in. I’m not sure if this is to create a ‘private club’ atmosphere, or because they don’t want any non-Blue Pear diners coming in. If you know what I mean.
The decor is quite spartan and white. The lighting is white too. It is less cosy than Red Ox Inn, but afterwards I realized it was because the focus is all about the food. I thought to myself: It is about the food, stupid.
We had two servers who were approachable, knowledgeable and friendly. For such a high end place, there was not a drop of snot in their attitudes. They were lovely ladies, actually and provided the right amount of attentiveness and leaving us aloneness. We closed the place, but felt no pressure to leave.
OK, about the food. Blue Pear is all about the food. You know there is always a guy on Top Chef who concocts complex creative food, using new technologies? That’s who is in the Blue Pear kitchen. There is a lot of foam served with food, which is a first for me. Our friend Michael announced: Foam is awesome. The food is not heavy or cloying or rich. It is remarkably modern and cutting edge, but it keeps an element of whimsy, which saves it from taking itself too seriously. Food is meant to be consumed, after all…chewed up to sit in my belly.
I succumbed to peer pressure at our table and threw all caution to the wind and ordered Japanese EEL served with eggplant. The idea of eel was way more creepy to me than the execution, for it was crunchy, smoky and mild. G ordered veal cheeks (are those butt or face?) and he became quite enamoured with them as they fell apart with tenderness on the plate.
Next up was carrot soup for everybody. This was sweet and light and there was that foam again. If I had a foaming device, I’d use it all the time too. Then a celery salad with walnut puree and walnuts and blue cheese. Loved the walnuts, but the shredded celery did not turn my crank, although it was a refresher, sorbet-style before the main meal. One of our party has a severe nut allergy and all she got was a pile of celery – that’s the disadvantage to the fixed price menu – any differences weren’t recognized with a substitution, but merely taking the walnuts out of the salad – our friend was concerned about residual nuts in her salad, and opted not to eat it. Nobody had an epi-pen, and the nearest hospital was a little too far away.
OK, the mains. By this time I had consumed a fair amount of wine, so things get fuzzy here. I ordered the grilled guinea hen breast. Why I ordered what was basically chicken, I don’t know. The skin on the breast was still on – what a rare treat – and all crunchy and flavoured with a Madeira jus – it was really eye-rolling good. And the little tiny cup of truffle mac and cheese was the best thing I ate all evening. It was just baked mac and cheese, but the truffle oil sent it over the edge to heavenliness – it was moist on the inside, but crunchy on the outside. Really what I wanted was a big bowl of that with some crackled skin on top. Our table decided to head to the Sobey’s downtown today and cough up $18 for a tiny bottle of truffle oil that is housed behind the locked cabinet and split it amongst the six of us. Clearly truffle oil is liquid gold.
I was busy hunched over my meal, so I have no idea what my friends ate. Oh arctic char and pork tenderloin and beef – maybe if they are kind, they will provide a small review in the comments. You didn’t expect a professional review for this, did you? Because nobody is paying me for this. So you get a review written by me in my pink robe instead.
Onto dessert, which wasn’t fixed. I chose the pictured creme brulee and apple fritter, as did my friend K, and our dessert arrived with candles in it for our birthdays. That was sweet (thanks, Mike). Also note my new lovely necklace in the picture, too. Lucky Suz.
And with that, we rolled out of Blue Pear, nicely sated, but not stuffed full, for a nightcap at our nearby friends’ place.
I have to say that the food at Blue Pear is nicely paced. It took us 4 hours to eat five course and consume two bottles of wine (Sumac Ridge Meritage, yum) along with various cocktails and coffees.
A final note:
Blue Pear is really really really expensive. I know it was my birthday and all (and in fact, the birthday of another babe at our table – a frequent commenter on the breakfast place thread on Foodie Suz – you can guess who), but I have not stopped thinking about the total of the bill since we left. I think Blue Pear is firmly out of our price range. I’m not saying we should not pay for good food, but to be nakedly honest – the prices were a bit rich for me. I know, I know that it is a fixed price menu, so in fact the bill is even less of a surprise than an a la carte place. But do not go to Blue Pear unless you have at least $150 each in your pocket to spend.
The Blue Pear Restaurant
10643 123 street