Courtesy of Chef Pedro Quintanilla of Bloom Restaurant
Last Monday, I was invited to Bloom Restaurant in Toronto to sample some dishes from their new chef, Pedro Quintanilla. Cuban born Quintanilla brings a passion and uniqueness to his cooking. He says that his happiest moments are when he's in the kitchen creating new recipes and watching customers enjoy his food. It was a pleasure sampling some of his new creations.
We started our dinner with a choice of cocktails, a Bloom Mojito and a Blooming Bud (raspberry and Prosecco). I ordered the Blooming Bud but I must admit, I preferred the Mojito which was light, refreshing and sour....just the way I like my mojitos. With the cocktails, we were served an Amuse of Cassava Frites with a delicious Mojo Dipping Sauce. I liked the frites but it was the dipping sauce that I really enjoyed.
The starters were a Ceviche (with Halibut & Shrimp cured in Lime Juice, Habanero Peppers and Cilantro) and a Spring Terrine (Chicken Liver and Foie Gras & Asparagus). My favourite was the Spring Terrine. I couldn't get enough of it and truth be told I'm not a huge fan of liver so this dish was a complete surprise for me. With the starters we enjoyed a Malivoire, Pinot Gris 2009. It was lovely and light and a great wine with both the starters.
Next came the Mains, a Sesame Crusted Ahi Tuna Fillet (with a Tofu Wasabi Dressing, Crispy Baby Potatoes and Roasted Mixed Vegetables) and a Pan Seared Flank Steak (with a Chimichurri Sauce, Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Ginger Glazed Carrots). My favourite protein was the Ahi Tuna. It was perfectly cooked and the Tofu Wasabi dressing gave it just the right amount of kick. My favourite sides were served with the Pan Seared Steak; the Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Ginger Carrots were perfect. With the mains, we were served a Malivoire, Pinot Noir 2008. The wine was deep, rich and spicy. This Pinot Noir was my favourite wine of the night.
And finally dessert! The two desserts were a Cuban Flan (with Dulce de Leche & Thyme) and Churros (with a Spiced Chocolate Sauce & Ice Cream). The stand out dessert was the Churros. The only complaint I had with the Churros was that there were only three on my plate. They were sweet, warm and crisp. What really made this dessert outstanding was the chocolate sauce spiced with chili and cinnamon.....pure heaven. Our dessert wine was a delightful Malivoire, Icewine Riesling 2008.
Thank you Bloom Restaurant and Mary Luz Mejia for the invitation to this enjoyable evening. I look forward to returning and trying more of Chef Quintanilla creations.
Chef Quintanilla shared with us his Ceviche recipe and I wanted to share it with you. Enjoy!
Chef Pedro's Ceviche
2 pounds white-fleshed skinless fish fillets such as halibut
1 pound shrimp
1 cup fresh lime juice (about 12 limes)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 small clove garlic, chopped very fine
1 or 2 fresh habanero peppers
1 teaspoon chopped parsley
1 teaspoon chopped cilantro
1 medium onion, chopped fine (1/2 cup)
1. Cut the fish into strips 1 1/2 inches long by 1/4 inch wide. Soak the strips in lightly salted water for 1 hour to tenderize. Drain well.
2. Put the fish in a bowl and fold in the lime juice carefully. Add the salt, garlic, and habanero peppers and refrigerate for 15-20 minutes
3. Just before serving, mix in the parsley, cilantro and onion.
4. Serve in chilled martini glasses
Enjoy some more photos from our dinner.