Monday, January 23, 2017

Dinner at the Ritz: Pre-Theatre Menu & Two Chefs





Located at the Ritz Carlton in the heart of Toronto’s Theatre District and across the street from Roy Thomson Hall, Toca has reinvented itself recently with an Italian-inspired menu created by two-star Michelin guest chef Oliver Glowig, working closely with chef de cuisine Jilin Gaba and the culinary team at Toca. With the restaurants renowned Sunday Brunch, Chef's Tasting Menu and one of the largest private cheese caves in the country, Toca also serves a short but sensational pre-theatre menu every night with a tempting selection of two or three courses from which to choose, including antipasti, secondi and decadent dolce. Looking forward to meeting up with friends before going to see Dr. Kenny Broad, a diver and environmental anthropologist being featured at the amazing National Geographic Live! series at the RTH, the pre-theatre menu featured a choice of Butternut Squash Soup or Insalate "Toca" with radicchio, endive, arugula, mushroom, mixed nuts and blueberries to start, followed by handmade Tagliatelle with lamb meatballs and baby kale or Ontario Trout served with fork-mashed potato, green onion and yoghurt sauce. For those with a sweet tooth, there was the Ritz-Carlton Torta, their signature chocolate cake or Caramel Custard Budino with khalif and streusel. With a great menu of wines by the glass, gracious service, elegant dining room and superb location, Toca was a lovely beginning to our National Geographic 'night on the town'.




Toca menu offers seasonal, locally sourced Italian cuisine

Paladin Pinot Grigio

Amuse-Bouche of Tuna Tartare with Wasabi Mayonnaise

Insalata “Toca” with radicchio, endive, arugula, mushroom, mixed nuts and blueberries

Ontario trout with fork-mashed potato, grilled spring green onions and yoghurt sauce

Tagliatelle with lamb meatballs and baby kale

Chef Glowig's Ravioli 'Capresi' stuffed with caciotta cheese, marjoram and tomato sauce 
is the Island of Capri's signature dish

Two-star Michelin guest chef Oliver Glowig at the Toronto Ritz-Carlton

The Ravioli 'Capresi' made with caciotta cheese is made daily by Toca's culinary team

Using a circular ravioli cutter, the pasta is lovingly made by hand

Guest chef Oliver Glowig with Toca chef de cuisine Jilin Gaba 

"Smile" - you're on Scrumpdillyicious!











Butternut Squash Soup
Serves 8
Recipe courtesy of the Ritz-Carlton

3 large butternut squash
1 cup apple juice
2 cups heavy cream
3 cups whole milk
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 cup unsalted butter
Kosher Salt to taste


Cut the squash in half and remove the seeds, then place on a baking sheet pan skin side and bake at 350°F until soft, about 40-50 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Meanwhile, place all the remaining ingredients in a large pot and bring to a simmer then turn the heat off. Once cool enough to handle, scoop the pulp out of the squash and add to the liquid in the pot. Stir well and bring back to a simmer then remove from the heat. In small batches add the soup to a blender and purée until smooth.









Cheesecake
Serves 8-10
Recipe courtesy of the Ritz-Carlton

Graham Cracker Crust:
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 tbsp all purpose flour
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted

Cheesecake:
3 1/2 lb cream cheese, room temperature
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
7 large eggs
1/2 cup + 1 1/2 tbsp heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup + 1 tbsp sour cream


Combine the graham cracker crumbs, flour and sugar in a standing mixer using the paddle attachment on the lowest speed. Add the butter in a steady stream until mixed evenly.

Line the inside ring of a 10” springform pan with a 5” strip of parchment paper, and press the graham cracker crust mix into the bottom of pan. Mix the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, heavy cream and vanillas together, then add to the cream cheese mixture, scraping the sides frequently. Add the sour cream and blend well until mix is smooth. 

Pour the cheesecake batter over the graham cracker crust and bake at 300°F in a water bath for 2 hours or until firm to the touch. Remove from the oven, let cool completely, then refrigerate. Once cold, remove the springform pan and serve.