On the recommendation of a friend I decided to check out Bloom. By the end of dinner, I had not only sent him a text to thank him, I had also called two other friends and insisted they join me for dessert.
Entering the white and rust coloured room, guests are immediately greeted with the warmth of smiles and flickering candles. Seating thirty-six, the restaurant conveys a boutique ambiance without pretension. Two semi-circular booths enveloped in thin white sheers bookend the banquet at whic
I am seated. Glancing at all the dishes going by, it all looks so good; I hope I will have chosen wisely, but as the evening progresses, I realize I can`t go wrong here.
To begin, the Lobster Bisque ($14) is uniquely velvety textured and luxurious. In its centre a poached tomato sprinkled with smoked sea salt crystals, and crammed with a mound of lobster rillette. I am told it comes with a money-back guarantee, but I leave no trace of it in the bowl. A light and toasty Boschetto and black truffle infused Tuscan Pecorino Deep Fried Cheese Stick ($14) set on baby arugula and heirloom tomatoes drizzled with hazelnut vinaigrette is artfully crunchy and tasteful. Poutine ($12) is served with bison short ribs braised for nine hours, cheese curds brought in from Quebec, Roaring Forties blue cheese, and fresh hand cut fries in a tangy jus of mustard and molasses. In his description, our waiter, David, explains that "the blue cheese adds a depth; an undercurrent". It tastes exactly as he said it would.
All the wait staff are well versed in the intricacies of the menu. It is apparent that the staff here are a key element to this restaurant's success. Along with owner Stephen Czetyrbok they work as a team, attentive to their customers and to each other, and no matter how busy the rush, they maintain good humour and professionalism. That dynamic goes a long way to controlling the energy in the room.
Chef Nigel Finley tells me that at age ten, his mother told him, "if you get a wife you've got learn how to do two things: you're going to cook, and you're going to do laundry". Well, with cooking this good he can send his laundry out. The Beef Tenderloin ($32) is simply the best steak I've eaten in a long time. A tender 8 oz cut of AAA Canadian beef on a freshly baked egg dipped brioche, with wilted spinach and Bearnaise, is topped with a plump lobster claw. For an additional $10 any steak can be accompanied by a delicious butter poached lobster tail or two jumbo tiger prawns.
Ready for dessert I order the much talked about Peanut Butter & Jam Sandwich ($10)-- not exactly something you put in your lunch box. Freshly baked brioche is soaked in peanut butter, warmed in the oven, set on a plate of chocolate hazelnut crÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¨me anglais, topped with a homemade strawberry rhubarb jam, and crowned with a homemade honey and vanilla white chocolate ice cream. Sweet, decadent, and homespun; this is obscenely good. "Nigel is a phenom", boasts Czetyrbok. Indeed.
When you're eating food that has been prepared to such perfection and served with such affection, you can't help but smile. The value for money here is excellent. We can relax and feel good. Bring someone here that you appreciate; someone who really appreciates good food, and let your evening bloom.