Thuet est ici

by Antoine Tedesco & Jessica Padykula
Special from SceneandHeard.ca

Toronto - Before venturing to Thuet Cuisine a friend said, “a meal is framed and enjoyed by the company, if the conversation is great, an adequate meal can become a really good meal and if the person you’re with is driving you crazy, even the best meal can taste rushed and uninspired."

Perhaps Thuet benefited by the wonderful conversation that evening, but that would only simplify the review because fourth-generation, award-winning chef Marc Thuet’s understanding of flavour combinations, plating and over all atmosphere all hold their own.

Nearly four hours passed without notice. Ken, our waiter, was charming and knew exactly when to come to the table and when to keep his distance, allowing the conversation to never feel stilted or interrupted, well done, Ken. Thanks. He added a lot to the evening, including an infectious smile and stories about his recent love of winter.

The opulent, dimly lit dining room had an ambiance highly conducive to long conversations over good food; and the scent of fresh baked bread wafting through the restaurant instantly makes you feel at home.

It’s not easy to ask a chef to curtail his culinary vision to fit a vegetarian request, but after several courses sans meat, it was evident Thuet’s kitchen is talented, inventive, and confident.

“I have always done my best to present imaginative cooking that takes the inspiration from the best ingredients every season has to offer,” said Thuet. “I am very proud to be able to express this style by offering something new to the local gourmands. Here at Thuet Cuisine, I invite you to place your gastronomic experience entirely in my hands and let this delicious adventure guide your palette and taste”.

Specializing in haute-cuisine (the foodie version of fashion’s haute-couture) and a prix-fixe menu between ($69, $74, $89), Thuet focuses on French Alsatian wines and food, while combining the finest New World products, creating a unique Canadian menu. Chef Thuet uses only the freshest ingredients in his dishes, which is based on the seasonal fare.

Forgoing menus all together and placed in the capable hands of the chef, the journey towards satisfaction began shortly after 7 pm. Eight dishes made their way from kitchen all paired with wine to highlight flavour notes that lie relatively dormant until released by the wine.

Starting things off was organic red beet marinated salmon accompanied by a tian of Dungeness crab and big eye tuna, ginger and umebochi plum dressing, garnished with golden caviar accompanied by champagne. This was definitely a powerful assault on the taste buds, a luxurious tower with a subtle taste of ginger running throughout.

This was followed by British Columbia morel risotto (wow!). It’s hard to nail the texture of risotto, sometimes the rice can be too hard, sometimes too soft. Upon first bite, you might not be ready for the rice’s resistance to the tooth, but you really start to appreciate the necessity for texture in such a creamy dish.

These two wonderful dishes where but a preface: Pav?f king dorade and penko crusted Diver Sea scallops served with a duo of white and green asparagus, carapace sauce; Mamma Scopazzi’s hand rolled penne with a rago, sea snails, razor clams, sea scallops and B.C spotted shrimps; Rolad baby turbot, diver sea scallops, and a grape citrus sorbet to cleansed the pallet.

Other high notes included dreamy Saffron panna cotta in a lemon grass emulsion, coconut and ginger foam, served with a lemon pistachio gelato and velvety Muenster cheese fried to perfection and served with a subtly sweet pear collie. The sharpness of the cheese and the mellow sweetness of the pear made for one gorgeous food combination.

Oh yeah, the espresso was done to perfection; the thick foam gave the sugar a fight, keeping it suspended until the espresso was ready to give itself up, a perfect end to the evening.

Many factors make up a good meal, good food, good company, good wine, and excellent service to name a few. New kid on the restaurant block, Thuet offers a bold, confident approach to cuisine that makes for a sublime dining experience.

-30-

Photo: Chef Marc Thuet courtesy Thuet Cuisine


To Know:

Thuet Cuisine (609 King St. W.) is open Tuesday to Saturday from 5:30 pm to close; for reservations please call (416) 603-2777; for more information visit: thuet.ca

This article originally appeared in Vol. 05 - Issue 03 (May 4, 2005) of SceneandHeard.ca


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