Search Results for "duck confit"

SUMMERLICIOUS 2019: Fancy duck confit @ Bymark

It’s the most wonderful time of the year — Summerlicious has come back to Toronto, bro! You know I’m a fan of eating three funky dishes for the price of one…an appetizer, main course and dessert, all for a set price between 23 and 53 bucks. This year, we’re starting off at the high end at Bymark, this funky little Mark McEwan joint in the Financial District. For Summerlicious, they’re rolling out stuff you won’t find on the menu, like these fried green tomatoes with crispy pork belly:

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You know what I say — anything deep-fried has gotta be delicious, and these fried green tomatoes were no exception. The crispy pork belly lived up to its crispiness, and then you’ve got a little freshness from the sour cream, and a nice corn salsa… Not a bad way to get things started!

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Dude, this duck definitely didn’t suck! Nice and roasted, kinda like chicken, with more veggies than I ate all of last month! I mean, they even managed to make Brussels sprouts taste good, and they’re like the Axis of Evil in Flavourtown!!!

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I probably couldn’t tell you the last time I ate a profiterole — what is that, French or something? But when you stuff it with a chocolate stout ice cream, I’m all in. You could put that on a sandale de plage, and it would still taste good!!!

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Now, unlike some fancy-schmancy places, that have like 72 wines and 3 beers to choose from, Bymark actually has a pretty big beer list — and it’s not all Molson, either. I went with a Ball’s Falls Session IPA from Bench Brewing Company, which has some hoppy goodness, but is much more crushable than your average IPA, at just 4.5%. Dude, I could probably crush, like, 17 of these…

Duck confit on a bun for this funky French brunch!!!

Now, I don’t really celebrate Easter — I pretty much eat Peeps 24/7, bro!!! — but I’ll take any excuse to go for brunch that I can get. So, we’re hanging out at Le Paradis, this funky French bistro that’s kinda in the middle of nowhere, on Bedford north of Davenport. This place has got everything on their brunch menu from steak tartare to eggs benny to a raclette cheeseburger — although I see they’ve omitted the beer-braised lamb, which makes me a sad lambda. But we’re still eatin’ good in this neighbourhood!!!

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We’re starting off with moules a la marinière, these PEI mussels steamed with white wine, garlic and onions. Dude, who needs muscles from Brussels when you can have mussels from Charlottetown???

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But you know that was just a light snack in Flavourtown, so now we’re moving on to the main event — a duck confit sammy on a ciabatta with a fried egg on top! It’s like if Italy was facing off against France in the kitchen, and they both laid an egg — which sounds kinda like a soccer game, eh? The duck is nice and tender, you’ve got the crunchiness of the ciabatta, and then that egg oozing all over the place… Man, I’d actually sit through a soccer game if you fed me a few of these!!!

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Now, here’s where we kick brunch up a notch with a pint of Averbode Abbey Ale, this Belgian brew from the 14th century. Well, OK, I don’t think this one was actually brewed in the 1300’s — that would be some pretty skunky beer, bro! But I gotta say, it was a nice, fruity, brunchy beer with a deceptively strong 7.5% kick. I’m not drunk or anything, but I might have led the resto in a round of “Frère Jacques” — sonnez les matines, son!!!

My oh my, duck confit pizza pie!!!!

Now, I’m definitely no stranger to duck confit. I’ve had it on a burger, put it on poutine, and even served it up jerk style with red beans and rice! But I’ve never done a duck confit pizza before…until last night.

This culinary creation comes courtesy of Pizzeria Libretto, a funky fresh homestyle joint just a couple blocks from the opera house–no, not that Opera House, we’re talking COC, and I don’t mean Pepper Keenan, bro! Dude, this dish is like a duet between Pavarotti and Brigitte Bardot. Let’s break it down:

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Now, they’re serving it up Straight Outta Napoli style, so this pie comes out of the oven after just a couple minutes, which gives you a nice, chewy crust. The duck is nice ‘n tender, the mozza melts in my mouth…and then they kick it up a notch with some pear slices, son! Man, I think the last time I ate pear is when I fell face-first into a fruit salad at the buffet in Caucasian Barrel. (I musta slipped on a banana cream pie or something!) But while I’m not normally a fan of fruit on pizza…they totally do it up right!

The thing is, this crust is so thin and flop-a-lopa-gussy that I gotta fold it up NYC style to shovel it down my piehole. No sleep till Brooklyn, bro!!!!

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Duck confit jerk style at a funky Queen St. snackbar, bro!

So, we’re hanging out at Cadillac Jenkins, this funky new Queen West joint that’s kind of a culinary cross between Fergie Jenkins and Cadillac Williams. And let me tell ya, they were bringing the high heat last night, hombre! Winterlicious might officially be over, but this place was serving up a one-off, four-course meal fulla stuff that isn’t even on the menu, son! They were combining Carribean and European all night long like Lionel Richie gone dubstep, starting off with this funkalicious flavour favourite—oxtail ravioli in a ramen broth:

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Man, this dish is so outta bounds, it ran over the cameraman! You’ve got the rich ‘n meaty beef from the oxtail in a pillowy soft pasta cushion, and a nice, light spicy broth, with just a bit of a kick. Man, I’m pretty sure I could slam seven or eight of these, with Guy Fieri’s Real-Deal Marinara Sauce on top!

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Now, this dish is Straight Outta Stomach, son! You’ve got some freshly cooked calf pancreas with a nice apple slaw, a celery puree and a side of crispy duck skin! Now, I’m no specialist when it comes to pancreas, but this kinda tastes a little like Japanese chicken karaage—hold the waffles though, bro!!!

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But now this, right here, is the main event. We’ve got a jerk-spiced duck confit on a red-bean cassoulet, sorta like Bob Marley be jammin’ with that topless broseph from Soggy. The duck skin is nice ‘n crispy, the meat just falls off the bone and melts in your mouth like el primo pulled pork. The beans are nice ‘n all, but I couldda used a little more spice—I definitely expected this dish to be a bit hotter. Still, this was one of the top five duck confits I’ve ever had. If they bring it back, you know I’ll be back, John Connor!

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But of course, you know we still had room for dessert! Where do I even begin with this cornucopia of Flavourtown righteousness? You’ve got two kinds of madeleines, some little chunks of candied squash, a toasted marshmallow ice cream and a chocolate-milk foam, son! I wasn’t sure what combination worked best with what, so I just made sure to shovel as much straight down my piehole as fast as humanly possible. But I gotta say, man, that chocolate-milk foam is downright taste-tastic! I dunno how they make that stuff bro, but I would totally eat it off a flip-flop!!!!

We’ve got both kinds of duck here: confit AND breastern!

So, we’re hanging out at Le Batifole, this cozy neighbourhood French joint just a couple blocks from East Chinatown, and they’ve definitely got some funkalicious dishes. Escargot, cassoulet, steak béarnaise…but when I heard that they’re serving up both kinds of duck, well, cue up the theme from Rawhide, cuz we’re countin’ em out and ridin’ em in, Elwood!

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OK, now let’s break it down. The duck breast was fatty, chewy, rich and zesty, thanks to the creamy apple brandy sauce. You’ve also got some confit apples on the side for the extra sweetness. The confit was juicy, moist and chicken-leg tender, although it didn’t quite have that crispy skin. But they made up for it with the extra-crispness of these big fat fries, bro!

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Now dude, these have gotta be some of the best fries I’ve had in a while. Super-thick and crunchy, nicely seasoned, with a solid terragon aioli—and they definitely don’t short-change ya! I’m not sure I really needed to eat all these French-fried potaters…but I definitely don’t regret it, either!

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But you know I still had room for dessert…and their gourmandises are totally Instagram-worthy. They call this one the boule de neige, and it’s like a creamy snowball right in the kisser in Flavourtown. You’ve got a light, fluffy meringue swimming in English cream, and then some craisins and a gooseberry on top. I almost felt bad about eating this little guy’s face off…but it was totally worth every bite, bro!!!!

FLAVOURTOWN OLYMPICS: This French duck breast is only second best!

Oh man, was that was one helluva ice dance last night, or what? Virtue and Moir, the greatest ice dancers of all time, had to make an epic comeback after the French team of Papadakis and Cizeron came out and set a new world record. Papadakis had a major wardrobe malfunction in the free skate, but it still looked like they were gonna win gold…until Tessa and Scott came through in the clutch and set an even newer world record. Boom goes the ice-dance-amite!!!!

Man, it’s gotta suck knowing that you’re one of the greatest, but someone else is just a bit better than you. That’s kinda like being the duck breast in this delicious duck double down, bro!

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Don’t get me wrong, I love duck breast just as much as the next broseph, but for me, duck confit is where it’s at. So, when I heard that Le Batifole, this friendly neighbourhood French joint on Gerrard, was combining them both into one iconic French duo, I was so into that like a Macron handshake, mec! But even though the breast was succulent and juicy, I still had to give it to the confit on this one. It scored higher marks in technical execution, son!

READ MORE: We’ve got both kinds of duck here: confit AND breastern!

This Duck Dynasty burger is cookin’ with peanut oil!

So, we’re hanging out at The Burger Cellar up on Yonge St north of Lawrence. This place is cookin’ up most of the animal kingdom, bro—you’ve got lamb burgers, bison burgers, turkey burgers…and this tribute to my favourite reality TV show, the Duck Dynasty burger:

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OK, let’s break it down. What you’ve got here is a thick, juicy, AAA Angus beef patty, with some BBQ duck confit on top. Throw down some melty cheddar cheese, crispy onions and chipotle mayo, and now you’re cookin’ with peanut oil, son! This burger is supposed to come with coleslaw on top, but coleslaw and duck go together like peanut butter and chili oil, so I got ‘em to put some crispy, deep-fried jalapenos on mine instead. I do not regret this decision…

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Now, if you’re ordering a Duck Dynasty burger, you gotta have a killer side, like crawfish gumbo, or some deep-fried boudin balls or something. But you can’t get that shit up in Toronto, so I settled for some beer-battered onion rings. Can’t say I’m disappointed—these rings are super-crispy, fried-to-perfection, shut-the-back-door, bro! Next time, I might go for the duck poutine, though…

POUTINE WEEK 2016: Holy fuck, that’s a lotta duck!

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They don’t call it haute poutine for nothing. This delicious dish from funky Queen St. E joint Prohibition Gastrohouse is topped with duck confit, duck crackling, duck gravy and the fries are deep fried in duck fat. If there was anymore duck in this dish, you’d hafta slam on the brakes and wait for it to cross the street!

OK, let’s break it down. The duck confit is cooked perfectly; great texture, nice chew. You get that added crunch from the crackling, and an extra kick from the duck gravy. Cheese curds are on point, even if they’re already melted by the time they hit the table. Hey, at $14.95, this is no poor man’s poutine—but what it might be lacking in size, it more than makes up for in flavour!

Legit lobster BLT @ La Société

So, we’re hanging out at La Société, this funky French bistro on Bloor St. Of course, you’ve got your duck confit, your cassoulet, your beef bourguignon…but for lunch, they’re also serving up a bunch of funky sammies, like a croque monsieur, roasted turkey, and this chicken of the sea, lobster BLT:

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OK, now let’s break it down. You’ve got these thick, meaty chunks of lobster in a lemon aioli, with some crispy bacon, crisp lettuce…and I guess there’s a tomato in there somewhere? Comes with a great big cup of fries — with both ketchup AND mayo, bro!!!

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Now, I’m normally more of a ketchup man, but as they say, when in Quebec, ou est la bibliothèque! I guess you could even make your own mayochup, but that might not be such a good idea at lunchtime…

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Speaking of getting mayochup’ed, this place only has two beers on tap — but they’re Kronenbourg and Lagunitas, so, y’know, quality over quantity, bro! This little half-pint will set you back nine bucks, though… Like I said, it’s a fancy French restaurant!!!

Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the fandango???

Now, I’m not normally one for fine dining, but if you name your restaurant after a line from my favourite Queen song, then you KNOW I’ll be there with a crown on, bro! So we’re hanging out at Scaramouche, this funky joint at the bottom of a condo, a few blocks away from Av & Dav. It’s a little off the beaten path, but dude, if I lived in that building, I’d eat here every day! (Did I mention they’ve got a pasta bar upstairs???)

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So, we’re starting off with an appy that eats like a meal — the Gnocchi Parisienne, with shredded duck confit. Dude, I loves me some duck confit…and this is body by gnocchi, so you know it’s gotta be good! Plus, you’ve got some nice sauteed mushrooms, a duck foie gras jus and winter greens–but it’s the crunchy Parmesan crumbs that makes it!!!

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Now, so many of the main courses here looked super-cala-fragilistic extra delicious, but you know my tiebreaker is always gonna be bacon, so I just had to go with the bacon-wrapped venison. This gamey deer steak was cooked to perfection, a nice medium rare, with all sorts of stuff on the side, including some big ‘ol shrooms and a nice, spicy mustard. You could put that on a flip-flop, and it would still taste good! Now, the Parmesan fries were extra, but you KNOW we’re paying extra for some cheesy potaters, son!!!

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And of course, even after all this grub… I still had room for dessert!!!

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Say hello to my little friend Milk Chocolate Nougat Bar. This three-piece Oh Henry comes with salted peanut brittle and a side swipe of caramel sauce. Dude, I would swipe right on that sauce–right down my piehole, bro!!!