I've been wanting to check out this restaurant ever since it opened. The idea of blind eating, and trusting all our senses but vision seemed romantically perfect. I mean after all, our eyes are not the primary sense we please when eating.
So from the street it looks like an entrance to the path in Toronto. The menu was on the side of the street is the only well-lit part. Overall dark, tunnel-like, isolated, a bit alley-way like. As we entered, it was dark again. No people. I felt like I am entering someone's house, uninvited. After two doors on the right, followed a long, dark hallway. One end had an empty table area. I really didn't have a good feeling about this place. Made me anxious.
leather and olive aroma
The hallway lead to a main room with better lighting; there was a bit of knocking when people are passing. The main room had a long bar on the side with old leather brown tall-chairs and obvious metal screws. The middle area was for standing and waiting with a tall medium-sized table. And the other side had bookshelves with lots of books, not relating to anything in particular. Elevated there was a seating area with sofas. The interior sure looked antique, the best part was the blend of this old with polished metal Futura type on the wall - quotes, and the braille alphabet. We waited standing. I didn't even look at the menu, cheri ordered all my dishes to be "surprise".
dusty, hint of tar
A lady found us after and asked if we are ready to be sat. She lead us back to the hallway and introduced us to our waiter. He was hispanic. He asked that I put my hand on his right shoulder and same with mon cheri to me. He gave us instruction to keep to the right wall. And we submerged into a pitch-black room making tiny steps. It was not a long walk, until he put my hand on my chair. He told us the location of our plates and cutlery, with butter in the middle.
astringent, chalky tannins,
Soon came our warm bread and our wine. He also let us know exactly where the glasses were located not the table. We successfully cheered and drank. My entree came. It has quite difficult poking my plate, hoping is pierce something. It was mainly green leaves and a funny smelling dressing - the oil seemed mixed with some light seafood smell. I did not like it. In my plate there was also some kind of pumpkin (I think).. I am still not quite sure what I ate but I didn't taste like any mushroom nor octopus or calamari.. Cheri ate the rest of it, even though he dislikes both seafood and mushroom. Next came the main dish. My meat was warm, juicy and lean (possibly chicken) with a taste of lemon. It melted in my mouth. I had a side of potatoes and peas. To my surprise food presentation was not removed from the equation. Organization inside the plate was key. We even swamped forks to try. He has veal, which was not bad either. Our waiter came again. To be honest, I initially felt strange around him and looked at him with a sense of pitty and distance. Soon enough, he was our friend, as we really depended on him and has to trust him. Lastly came our desserts - the two cakes. I was initially served the dark chocolate cake, but before even trying it, cheri switched ours and I had some of the vainness style one with ice cream. It was great. We lingered on with our food for some more time.
long, evolving, slightly rough, faintly bitter
Cheri kept on seeing a light when we were sitting. We assumed its from the two doors opening when people came in. And so we came out.. for once I appreciated the dull light in the hallway and on the way out. This place was unique and mysterious.. but it missed the warmth and comfort a restaurant needs before one can sit down. It would make one hell of an experience at Halloween.
overall.. a mysterious Merlot - served too cold, needing air