A day at the museum – c5

From a very young age I’ve been very quantitative.  After seeing a Donald Duck cartoon with the Galileo quote, “Mathematics is the language with which God wrote the universe” I became inspired.  I believed that everything could be broken down into numbers, figures, dimensions, vectors or statistics… that is until I really started appreciating art.  At first I tried quantifying art by looking at the wave lengths of various color spectra or trying to understand harmonics in music.  After expending a great deal of mental thought I gave up trying to explain it and just learned to love it.  I love walking through museums and looking at the intricate details in sculptures or the beautiful simplicity of a scenic painting.  The artist’s talent is something I could never replicate in a million years and I find the more art I see, the more music I listen to and the more literature I read, the more I appreciate it for it’s almost divine beauty that dumbfounds my numerically oriented head.  Okay, that rant went on a little longer than I had anticipated.

This past weekend I found myself at the Royal Ontario Museum.  I was originally walking around the gift shop waiting to meet a few friends for brunch but then I thought I might as well go in and take in some of the exhibits like the Dead Sea scrolls (which was a very fascinating display).  After touring a couple floors of the building my friends arrived and we took the elevator up to c5 for brunch.

We showed up at 2:25pm and the hostess said she would speak with the kitchen since they close at 2:30pm.  Lucky for us, she welcomed us in.  The dining room has an open kitchen on one side and is surrounded by large windows with a pretty impressive view of the city.  The view isn’t like Scaramouche or Canoe but I thought it was pretty good considering you are only five stories up and surrounded by the tall downtown buildings.  My friend and I decided to get the prix fix for $35 while my friend’s girlfriend opted for a single dish.  To start, my friend had the charcuterie plate.  Of the meats on the plate, my friend said he really liked the chorizo sausage (top right) and would rank the Genoa sausage second (bottom left).  He wasn’t a big fan of the lamb (bottom right) but then again he commented that he thinks that he doesn’t care for lamb meat in general unless it’s a lamb shank.  The buffalo pate (top right) was… interesting.  I tried a small bite and didn’t really know what to say.  It had a texture like any other pate but didn’t really taste like meat.  With the flat bread and the tomato marmalade, my friend said it was a little better but the general consensus around the table seemed to be that of dislike (maybe our palate’s aren’t developed enough for pate).

I had the daily soup.  It was a celery and leek puree mixed in duck broth with foie gras.  The soup came out piping hot which I really like.  I get kind of annoyed sometimes when the soup isn’t hot enough.  The duck broth was very nice and went very well with the puree.  The broth was a little on the salty side but I still really liked it.

My friend and I went half and half on the Monte Cristo and the Spanish omelette.  The Spanish omelette was not a traditional looking omelette.  I came served in a small bowl that appeared to be baked or something with all the other ingredients on top.  The oven roasted tomatoes were very flavorful and a little tart.  The tartness went nicely with the scrambled eggs and the crispy, dark meat chicken.  The chicken was delicious.  It was very juicy and was crisp on the outside and soft on the inside.  The menu said there was Niagara gold cheese but I couldn’t taste it.  The eggs themselves were good.  Not too fluffy but not too dense.  Overall, I like the dish but thought it was a little overpriced for a small bowl of eggs.

The Monte Cristo was good.  The ham was real ham, cut from a pig and not the weird roll stuff you get in the grocery store.  The ham also had a perfect balance of saltiness and meatiness.  The cheese had a very subtle flavor and great texture.  It was warm and “stretchy” through every bite.  The sandwich was also topped with lettuce, tomatoes and onions, all of which were fresh.  I have mixed feeling about the bread.  I thought the bread was good and had a lot of flavor.  It was almost like an egg bread and one of us at the table thought it might have been French toast.  It was thick, soft and a little spongy.  The bread by itself I like but I’m not sure if I like it with the sandwich.  Who knows, maybe it was just me.

My friend’s girlfriend had the crepe.  It had a whole host of things like Nutella, chocolate ice cream, a ton of powdered sugar and a banana filling.  I asked what she thought and she thought it was okay.  I guess given the price point of $19 you are expecting a REALLY good crepe.

For dessert I had the apple whisky baba.  I had no idea what a baba was when I ordered it but I like apples and I was trying to avoid chocolate (I had a pretty hefty portion of hogtown poutine from Smoke’s the night before).  It came with several things on the side that I can’t remember accept for the maple leaf shaped sour cranberry… thing.  The baba was like a cross between a donut and a piece of cake (the Betty Crocker kind).  It wasn’t too light but it wasn’t heavy either.  The glaze was sweet and delicious and the ice cream on top was nutty with a hint of salt.  The ice cream alone was a little unusual but with the baba, it worked.

My friend had the squash cheesecake with a pecan parfait.  This is unlike any cheesecake I’ve seen before.  The cheesecake is the yellow string running across the plate (it kind of looks like toothpaste).  The parfait is the log in the middle.  Around it were blueberries on top of white chocolate and I believe some sort of caramel glaze.  It was… different.  The cheesecake was not what I expected.  It wasn’t sweet and was very light in texture.  It really did taste like squash and cream cheese which I wouldn’t say is bad, just interesting.  The parfait was good.  I was deprived of nuts as a kid so I think anything with nuts is pretty good though.

It was a pretty pricey brunch but you could tell a lot of thought went into the dishes and the ingredients were very high quality.  My buddy picked up the tab citing he is still spending the winnings from our Casino venture from a couple nights before.  Overall, I would say the brunch food is very unique and the atmosphere is very posh.  Being in jeans and a sweater I felt out of place but after spending most of the meal raving the museum’s many exhibits and posing questions about cultural art from the various regions of the world I quickly forgot about my apprehension.  My day at the museum was not only filled with wonder and awe of dinosaur bones and Chinese tombs, but was also filled from good brunch and good friends.


~ by jlowjlow on December 8, 2009.

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