Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to November. It is now officially legal to start making Christmas plans!
I would like to share my 2011-Christmas experience at Verses Restaurant, though the menu has changed significantly since then. I highly doubt I qualify as a food connoisseur. Hence, I cannot fathom differences in quality above a certain threshold of deliciousness, meaning that fine dining is only an option for special occasions.
So, I went ahead and assumed that Christmas qualifies as a special occasion and granted myself permission to indulge in a night of wining & dining.
Originally New Apostolic Church on Victoria Street North. Now exquisite Verses Restaurant.
The owners, Debbie McFadden and Brett Shantz felt it necessary to keep the integrity of the building intact. What your eyes feast on when you first walk in is the original stained glass windows, ceiling motifs and church lights.
No kidding when they said “feast your eyes”!
There are several dining sections you can choose from. We chose the altar.
Elevated at the front of the main dining room, the backdrop of the alter is a wall of stunning stained glass making for a dramatic dining experience.
Definitely an experience unlike any other.
A fabulous idea of converting a church to a restaurant, but throughout the meal I felt slightly disrespectful for eating on the altar…
I have always felt that concise one-page menus are under-appreciated. I love them! Places that offer 20-page menus annoy lazy me.
On the Table for Maple:
For fine(r) dining, Y & I always aim to get a greater breadth of items by selecting three appetizers, one main and one dessert. For limited stomachs of two, that is the best way to get a better variety and idea of quality.
Sesame flat bread, multigrain rolls, and herb bread.
Tuna Six Ways
Seared tuna on crisp rice vermicelli with wasabi tobiko
Grilled tuna slider with umi plum vinaigrette dressed pea tendrils
Dashi shooter and Tuna tartare
Sake cured sashimi on jade bamboo rice with fresh wasabi
Tuna melt on a brown rice cracker with melted eweda
It was all good until we had to awkwardly eat the sushi with a fork ahaa.
Pan fried crispy frog legs served with a roasted garlic waffle and
caper, parsley brown butter
Seared Canadian sea scallops and a shucked oyster served with horseradish lemon sorbet and bloody Mary jello
They were lovely, but nothing compared to the main course.
Roast Ontario rack with a sundried tomato; black olive pesto crust and
Verses shepherds pie served with carrots and snap peas
Truly outstanding. The medium-rare lamb melted in our mouths. So tender, so well-seasoned. Y could not stop gushing over the perfect shepherds pie. Impressive, very impressive.
Despite the seemingly small portions, we were pleasantly satisfied by the end of the main course. Still, a girl’s gotta have her dessert!
I was stunned to learn that the dessert menu (at that point) did not have cheesecake, key lime pie or creme brulee. Those are my go-to desserts and Verses’ interesting and unique dessert offerings brutally forced me to step outta my comfort zone. Evil!
Sous vide Forelle pear, Pear William bavarois and
sea salt caramel mousseline topped brown butter cake
with butterscotch and truffle oil gelato
The truffle oil gelato tasted too oily, but we enjoyed the variety on the plate.
Y: What’s this!?
M: A pear…
Y: What happened to it! It looks so lazy now…
Pardon our sense of humor, or lack thereof.
Impeccable service. The perfect place for a special occasion.
1) $$$ – Fine fine fine fine dining
2) Grand church atmosphere. Try dining at the altar!
3) Quality service
4) Main is significantly better than appetizers