Jul 21, 2010

Summerlicious Part II - Pangaea

My second Summerlicious adventure took me to Pangaea on Bay Street. This upscale downtown restaurant is famous for its international fusion cuisine made with the locally sourced ingredients. Unlike Canoe, booking at Pangaea was a breeze and my taste buds were anxious for some serious action.

Pangaea is a beautiful space full of light and subtle decorative accents. A nature-inspired centerpiece in the middle of the dining area is made out of a tree brunch. It's very clean and almost weightless, emphasizing airiness and size of the room. A great piece of wall art across from the entrance is also low key but memorable. Pangaea is perfect for a business lunch or a conversation with an old friend over dinner. The atmosphere is warm and intimate and not at all pretentious. You'll feel equally comfortable wearing Valentino or Gap.

I will skip all the "got there-was seated-just some water please" blurb and get straight to the point - the menu. A full selection of fine dishes is available for those who are not into prix-fix lunches and my curious eyes have noticed a $20 sandwich and a $800 bottle of sweet wine. I am again grateful for the opportunity the Summerlicious is giving us - I would never set my foot in to this resto if not for the great $20 deal. Ilonka gets in a few minutes after me and we quickly decide on what to get. The order is taken and fresh bread with beat butter is served. This time the pre-meal carbs come out of a large communal basket and we get two slices each. The butter is light in texture but full of flavor.

I order grilled calamari for appetizer, and Ilonka gets a soup du jour that happens to be cream of carrot and ginger. The calamari is easily the best I've ever had thanks to their tender chewy texture and rich savory souse. Ilona's soup looks great too - bright orange with red pepper shavings in a snow white plate. It's almost art!

For the main I get a leg of lamb and Ilona gets muscles in coconut souse. Again, both dishes are delicious, although mine is not enough to feed even a cat. I love the presentation as well - Ilona's muscles are arranged on the plate by someones' careful hand.

The desert comes right after along with the bill. My tiny little cheese pieces look very lonely on a large plate, but the flavor is so electric that I forget about the serving size. The pear compote is sweet and fragrant, and the crackers are perfectly plain highlighting the other flavors.

Pangaea is a solid 8.5 out of 10 with points deducted for the slow service and a light dusting of snobbery.


No comments: