I was looking forward to visiting Fressen(78 Queen Street West, Toronto) while they were participating in the Veggielicious promo with the TVA. It’s hard to believe how quickly April passed by, all of a sudden we arrived at the last day to try it out at Fressen, since they only participated in Veggielicious on slower days: Sunday thru Thursday.
Fressen was one of the first restaurants I tried when I arrived in Toronto last year, still fresh on my high from San Francisco’s Millennium vegan fine dining possibilities, I had to try Toronto’s version. It was different, but I was still very impressed with the dishes they had come up with.
This time was no exception. The Veggielicious special was a small soup of the day, and side of dips with fresh house made bread and choice of pasta for $17. My dining companion and I started with a bottle of Buenas Ondas organic malbec and the seared king, button and shiitake mushroom appetizer (not part of veggielicious, but too yummy to pass up.) The mushrooms were laying on a bed of cold wilted sesame spinach with a tart tamari flavoured garlic sauce. A great start to a lovely evening.
Next it was time for the soup course. I was pleasantly surprised that the spiral detail caused the sweet potato soup to be just a touch spicy (I imagine it was sriracha). I ordered the spicy lentil balls and the baba ghannouj (since it wasn’t on the menu I had to try it). The spicy lentil balls were not quite what I was expecting, but still tasty. That said, I would take nearly any excuse to eat slices of Fressen’s delicious slightly salty bread.
For the main pasta dishes we ordered the tomato rigatoni and a pesto linguine. Normally I shy away from ordering pasta dishes because it always seems like something I could make myself. This time, the heavenly tomato eggplant sauce on my rigatoni blew me away. The rigatoni was al dente to perfection, the sauce had a delightful hint of wine to it, roasted Italian eggplant, and warm bursts of cherry tomato.
I sampled a little of the pesto linguine, but the rigatoni was a definite favourite. In my mind it’s hard to go wrong with a combination of basil and garlic.
Then it was time for dessert, which at Fressen is easy decision if you’re going for it, because they usually only have one option. A chocolate terrine, avocado whipped chocolate, thick pieces of formed dark chocolate surrounded with fruit (pineapple, a tart apple, strawberry and mango), a sprig of mint and drops of (what I think were) peach and raspberry coulis.