We were recently invited by Frank Restaurant inside the Art Gallery of Ontario for a fall menu tasting. This modern space serves contemporary comfort food under the helm of female super chef, Anna Yarymowich. Here's a look at a couple of the menu items we tasted:
Burger lovers rejoice! The Triple Beef Burger ($24) is not to be messed with. Think 8 ounces of organic ground chuck and brisket, topped with braised beef short ribs, king oyster mushrooms and balsamic roasted vidalia onion. You will need a fork and knife, unless you have a massive mouth that can fit around this epic burger. Served with house-cut frites, house made dill pickles, mayo and house made ketchup. The frites are stellar and not to be skipped over for a side salad. This is not the time to be healthy - just look at that burger.
The Seared Sea Scallop ($16) with roasted sunchoke purée, lemon caper brown butter sauce and sunchoke chips. I loved the textures mixed together on this plate - from the crunch chips to the perfectly seared scallops. This is my idea of comfort food.The Mini Acorn Squash Soufflé ($14) was likely our least favourite. I liked the souffle part and it's something I could never re-create at home. It was light and airy, served with a cider poached pear which paired together perfectly. The Quebec blue cheese on the left wasn't really my cup of tea and most of it sat uneaten. For that reason, I would not order this dish again, but that's not to say you might really enjoy it.
Delicious warm bread came out before our meal with a little shell of sea salt that we could sprinkle on top. The winner was the Chocolate Espresso Bread that had a subtle cocoa flavour and was super unique. I've never tried anything like that before and it was a nice surprise - we were fighting over the last piece.The Duck Magret ($29) with pan-seared foie gras was a definite treat. I don't cook duck at home and this was truly my comfort food dreams brought to the next level. The portion sizes at Frank are quite huge that I added the sliced duck to my lunch salad the next day.
On the bottom you'll see the roasted Ontario blue plums and roasted yams (so creamy) with braised red cabbage and plum ginger coulis.
The Grilled Seasonal Vegetables ($6) with mini carrots, zucchini, parsnips, eggplant and swiss chard were perfectly seasoned and sprinkled with snipped chives. I like a healthy boatload of veggies (preferrably smothered in butter) with my meal and this did the trick and was easy to share too.
A Manhattan & a lychee sparkling cocktail
By the end of the night, we were both happily stuffed and opted to share at least a taste of The Dark Chocolate Gâteau ($10) served with salted caramel sauce, and dulce de leche whipped cream. Now the cake itself is THICK, so brace yourself. I'm more of a light, fluffy cake person - so I only needed a couple bites of this rich chocolate treat.
Frank Restaurant is open for dinner Tuesday to Saturday from 5:30 - 10 PM, lunch service runs from 11:30 AM - 2 PM Tuesday to Friday. Brunch is served on both Saturday and Sunday until 3 PM. Located inside The Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas Street West - Toronto.
Make sure you check out their new fall menu and the Frieda and Diego prix-fixe lunch and dinner menus that are inspired by the latest AGO exhibit.