Earth at Bloor West, Toronto
While browsing through Groupon, I came across a deal for this restaurant called Earth that specializes in local ingredients. Intrigued by their values, I decided to ask my friend Julie to come try out this restaurant with me. We were given their special Down to Earth menu specifically for the Groupon deal.
The deal was a 4-course meal featuring:
Starter – Chef’s Appetizer Platter
First – Your Choice of Appetizer
Second – Main Dish
Third – Dessert
The Chef’s Appetizer consisted of:
Smoked Trout tartar, Goat Cheese covered in batter and deep fried, mini Pork Croquettes, Vegetarian Sausage, Whole Seed mustard, a Liver Paté (I believe it was pork), and pickled vegetables. We were also served a soft bread with extra virgin olive oil.
We both enjoyed the appetizer platter, my friend favoured the paté while I especially liked the smoked trout. I truly commend them for making a house vegetarian sausage, though it took a more meat-loaf like shape to me. I think it was also too crispy but it was well-seasoned. Most of the dish was deep-fried and of crunchy texture, which is why I liked the break of having the trout and paté. The bread smelled pleasant, but I am more of a fan of more robust and interesting breads. The bread they served however was up to standards in my opinion. The extra virgin olive oil was very strong. You can tell right away it was the real deal especially with it’s visible green colour. Those who have not tasted TRUE EVOO have to take caution not to dip too much.
local mixed greens, shaved fennel, apple, riesling vinaigrette
I found the ratio of the oil higher than the vinegar making my salad quite oily. I enjoyed the fennel in my salad however, as I found it to be the most refreshing part of the salad.
smoked pork croquettes
maple mustard sabayon, pear salad, arugula
The pear salad was enjoyable, but I was not a fan of the maple mustard sabayon. I found it having a wasabi-like taste. You can really taste the horseradish flavour. I also found the croquettes to be over-seasoned.
Good food would grab you and make you want to finish the plate. Unfortunately both Julie and I did not for this course.
smoked steelhead trout
rooftop honey, celeriac purée, brussels sprouts, pickled apricots
The one thing I remember Julie saying when she tasted it was, “It tastes healthy.” The fish was pan seared and sautéed, skin was crispy and brown.I found the brussel sprouts didn’t go well with this dish and the over dish alright but not memorable.
house sauerkraut with pulled pork, pork belly, boudin blanc, local sausage, red potato
We both agreed that the best thing in the plate was the potatoes. I felt the potatoes were perfectly cooked and seasoned. The sausage was quite clean tasting, meaning I didn’t taste anything that made me question if there are any fillers in it. The sauerkraut with pulled pork had a nice acidic level but was too salty once I continued eating it. The pork belly was a small hunk of pork belly that appears to have been deep-fried. I could be wrong, but it certainly tasted to that degree. Needless to say that pork belly failed to enter into ours.
Although better than the first course, the second course wasn’t stellar either.
sticky toffee pudding
whisky caramel, poached pear
Warm and decadent, but not overly sweet. You could really taste the whisky in the caramel, but I had wish they gave a little more pear.
milk chocolate custard
espresso moon rocks, niagara black cherry, vanilla chantilly
This had a deconstructed look. The moon rocks were basically the crispy wafers of french macaroons. The chocolate custard was very delicious with the chantilly (basically whipped cream). I think this dessert was my favourite. I found the flavours balanced nicely.
Taste – 5.5/10
Unfortunately I would not order the same things except maybe the chocolate custard.
Presentation – 7.5/10
The plates’ presentation were pleasing to the eye. I’m pleased that they put effort into them.
Service – 8/10
I actually found a service up to standard. We were treated with respect even though I was dressed quite casual. We were not left thirsty and came promptly to fill our cups.
Expect to be here for about 2 hours. There are long waiting gaps between meals. Do not eat here if you are in a rush, as this is no fast food joint or a Kelsey’s. Be sure to come with good company.
The atmosphere of the restaurant is classy and minimally lit. A good atmosphere for a date or a girl’s night out.
Would I come again?
Not likely, as the dishes are fairly pricey if you are not getting a special deal like Groupon. However I still admire and respect them for their values of locality.
Nevertheless, this is my personal opinion of my experience at Earth. No one is a better critic than yourself, so if you want to try this restaurant I highly encourage you to do so and see what you think.