Tag Archives: tasting menu

5 course tasting menu…at a BBQ joint!!!???

Now, The Carbon Bar has gotta be the swankiest BBQ joint I’ve ever set foot in. Forget picnic tables, butcher paper and lining up to the counter, this place looks more like some fancy nightclub. But that don’t mean the food ain’t legit — I ordered some real-deal ribs from them during second (or was it third?) lockdown, and even made a couple of their meal kits at home when I had to isolate while awaiting COVID test results after coming back to Canada. (Fuck, I’m glad that shit’s almost over!) So when I heard they were serving up a five-course tasting menu for the reasonable price of 75 dollars, I was all over that like beef on brisket. Dude, that’s like 200 less than I paid at Don Alfonso, bro…

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Now, this may only count as one course, but we’ve actually got three appys here: mozzarella sticks, shishito peppers and KFC — that’s Korean Fried Cauliflower, son! The KFC was nice ‘n crispy, and they added some chili flakes to the shishitos to give ’em a nice little kick. Believe it or not, but the non-vegan mozza sticks were my least favourite thing here…

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Course number two is also a two-for-one, as they put down some shrimp ceviche and pulled pork tacos at the same time. I’m pretty sure this is the exact same pulled pork taco kit I made at home a couple months back…except that they fried the tortillas, while I put them in the microwave. Carbon Bar 1, Greedo Catucci 0.

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Next up was a fish course, which you definitely don’t see at yer average BBQ joint. We only got one piece of salmon per person, but that’s OK with me, since I was saving room for the Pitmaster Platter anyways:

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Now, The Carbon Bar definitely deserves credit for giving their Pitmaster Platter an Extreme Makeover: Flavourtown Edition since I first set foot in here back in 2016. Y’see, six years ago they only gave you three meats — brisket, ribs and fried chicken — and there was hardly enough food to go around. But since then, they’ve upped the ante with smoked sausage and smoked turkey (which is exclusive to the tasting menu; the regular platter comes with pulled pork). Sure, they’ve raised the price to $38 a person for the platter alone, but I actually think that’s a steal, son. Just compare this sad little plate of food from 2016 to the following meaty monstrosity:

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And that’s not even all of it — there was enough food left over for me to go back for seconds! But you KNOW I still had room for dessert, bro…

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OK, so these weren’t all just for me — everybody got a lil’ taste. We’ve got mini chocolate brownies, caramel fudge… but what makes it are the bourbon truffle skulls, bro!!!!!

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Dude, this might be the most badass dessert I’ve ever seen. You want my skull? You can’t have it, bro!!!!!

Now, this might already be the longest review in Triple B history, but you’re gonna wanna stick around for a few beers, cuz they’ve partnered with Blood Brothers Brewing to really kick their beer game up a notch…

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We’re starting off with an Autopop Cherry Sour, the only one of these three beers I’ve had before (it was in a smaller can, though). This one’s a nice way to ease you in, cuz it’s only 4% and tastes more like cherry soda.

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Now, I was trying to hold off on the heavy stout until the meat platter arrived, but the problem is, I drink beer too fast. So I polished off this Amaretto coffee stout, Under a House in Northern Italy, with the tacos and ceviche. Maybe not the best pairing… but dude, I could drink this with a flip-flop, and it would still taste good!!!!!!!

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But we’re saving the most funkalicious (funkaliciousist?) for last with this Ajji Majji nitro sour. This beer smells like vanilla and tastes like peaches — I dunno how they do it, but they sure do it good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chowing down 8 courses at the best Italian restaurant outside of Italy…

Now, we don’t usually do tasting menus on Triple B — my motto’s always been why go for a buncha small plates when you can get an XL pizza, bro??? — but when we heard that Don Alfonso 1890, this funky joint inside of Casa Loma, was officially named the best Italian restaurant outside of Italy, you KNOW we had to check it out! And when you eat here, there are only two options: a three-course a la carte menu for 120 dollars, or an eight-course tasting menu for $180. I may not be good at math, but I think that getting more than twice as many things for 50% more money seems like the better way to go, bro!!!!

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After a bread plate and some canapes, they kick things up right away with this playful, mysterious little dish called L‘Anguilla. Believe it or not, but that’s eel gelato, topped with sturgeon caviar, with a side of wild-rose tagliatelle on a dollop of fresh herbs. Now, when it comes to gelato, my go-to is gianduja, but this fishy variety makes for a very interesting appetizer…

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Speaking of seafaring creatures, this rolled-up Muscovy duck breast is served with mashed apples and baby spinach, with a balsamic vinegar and demi-glace. Dude, this duck definitely doesn’t suck!!!!!!

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Of course, you can’t be the best Italian restaurant outside of Italy without making a mean pasta, and this vermicelli dish definitely fits the bill. Noodles are cooked perfectly, with a couple pieces of mackerel on the side and topped with Sicilian pine nuts, which give it a nice crunch. Man, I couldda slammed three times as much pasta — but I had to save room for snapper:

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This roasted red snapper has a nice, citrusy seasoning, on a bed of organic asparagus — the best kind of asparagus, bro! — red radishes, and a cauliflower puree. While I don’t normally go for fish, this dish was delish!!!!

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But they’re saving the best for last with Il Bisonte! You’ve got Manitoba bison tenderloin wrapped in a Swiss chard and Buffalo mozzarella crust, with salsa verde and red chili sauce for dipping. The meat was perfectly cooked, super-tender… dude, you could put that cheese crust on a flip-flop, and it would still taste good!!!

And it turns out the bison was the same size portion as the one on the a la carte menu. It’s just that the a la carte version comes with veggies, so it looks like I made the right choice…

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Now, when you’re dining at the best Italian restaurant outside of Italy, you don’t just get one dessert to choose from, son! Served on top of dry ice, we’ve got little baby cannoli, raspberry mousse on a raspberry wafer topped with a raspberry… and the star of the show, Pistachio Semifreddo (which sounds like a bad guy on The Sopranos, bro!) But that’s not all, folks…

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Say hello to ma lil’ friend Trionfo Alla Nocciola! They’re packing a whole lotta hazelnut in here, with hazelnut parfait, hazelnut sponge cake, hazelnut crumble and a hazelnut mousse wrapped in chocolate on top. Dude, that’s hazel-nuts!!!!!

Now, while I didn’t go for the wine pairing, my personal beer pairing (Blood Brothers Inner Eye IPA) along with the tasting menu, tax and tip set me back nearly three bills. So I might hafta stick with frozen pizza for the rest of the week — not that there’s anything wrong with that… 😛