Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Liberated Bliss at Brasaii in King West

Scallops with Figs and Brussel Sprouts - Brasaii
.... then thankfully snapped back to reality.  That's to say, I had the night off.  Hubbo watched the kids while I went to dinner with my cousins for a Birthday.  They were once regular denizens of King West but at a much later hour :D  As the birthday girl put it, there wasn't a place she paid cover or didn't know all the door staff.  Well, we discovered rather bluntly that nothing has changed but the price of the drinks but I'll get to that.  I really didn't know that Brasaii turned into a club after dinner.

The other girls started with the Steak Tartar which was soon swept clean.   I started with the poached Lobster.  It was the ideal portion for the course and the price.  It was very well cooked.  Tender and not at all rubbery.  The flavours were subtle and bright.  We accompanied the whole meal with several bottles of Whoa Nelly Pinot Noir.  Given the likelihood of varied orders and a group meal, I find it easier for the palette and the next morning not to try to change wine orders throughout a long meal.  As we started our appetizers, we were offered a complimentary glass of sparkling wine for the birthday.

Poached Lobster - Brasaii
The bread was constantly refilled which was refreshing.  Much different from Patria last week where they charge you 6 bucks for two slices of bread with oil.  The bread was warm Rosemary Wholewheat baguette or classic white served with whipped butter.  I kept snatching the Rosemary from the baskets. mmmm  Thankfully because the interlude was exceptionally long.  Even the most laid back at the table were starting to get antsy.  At first I had thought it was because not everyone ordered a starter but no, this was far too long a pause.  The water was not refilled as we waited and we didn't see our otherwise gracious server for quite some time.

Next up, I had the Scallops sans the Lamb Bacon. The Scallops were perfectly cooked and well seared.  The Brussel Sprouts, the reason I ordered the dish, were yummy.  The Figs were nice because I like figs but they were seasoned or dressed and were just sort of perched there on the plate. I didn't think they were necessary but glad to have them.  I was worried about the substitution but they were happy to accommodate.  S had the short Ribs, I tried her Potato 'nugget'.  It was very tasty, and crisp.  It was a tad on the 'tot' side for the style of restaurant but I liked it.  I took a poke at H's Orecchiette pasta.  I dodged the Sausage bits but I wanted to see how they cooked their pasta.  It was perfectly cooked and it had a nice chewy bite.  My only complaint about the main was that everything was hairs breath away from being COLD.  My dish was room temperature at best.  But we'd waited so long for our food, I dared not send it back or I'd just have it nuked or wait another half hour.

We shared a Cheese plate to end.  It was very nice and decently apportioned. The cheese were served with warm nuts, Black Berries in syrup, crackers and quince jelly.   It was far too loud and dark for me to take a photo or to hear which the birthday girl chose :D

It was fairly loud for most of the meal and it was VERY loud by the time we received our mains.   I hadn't known that Brasaii turns into a club after dinner service.  I was horse for the whole of the next day after shouting over the table to talk.  Some of the girls arrived after dinner so paid a cover to enter.   We were meant to move on to another club but as they'd paid the cover, we decided to stay a bit.... of course meant we never left :D.  It was really a mixed bag crowd.  The typical early twenties in hoochie dresses (i.e. barely there) were well represented as were their younger counterparts trying not to be eclipsed by their better clad and wealthier 30/40 something competition.  There were also small groups of Sugar Mamas and Papas.  Really mixed bag.  I had to chuckle when they played some classic club music from the late 90s and this group of older guys who were trying to cling to their youth and to youths, whooped up in unison.... giving away the game gents aren't we?  :D

Where did we land?  Well, the DMZ I guess.  Keen observers who have either moved on from this scene or are into a more laid back night out.  Still it was fun to be out with the girls.  I left around 2 and there was still a line up.  King West was a parking lot.  I'd recommend you make transportation plans ahead.  Don't catch your cab on King West if you don't have to.  Hop over to Spadina or Richmond.

Cost: $$$$ (but satisfying and 'fair')
Service: friendly but spotty when there was a gap
Ambience: modern lounge but VERY VERY LOUD later in weekend evenings
Wine list: good variety

461 King St W 
Toronto, ON 
(416) 598-4730

Brassaii- Cafe- Restaurant- Lounge on Urbanspoon


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