Last Friday CBGB joined Nellie and I at TOCA for dinner out, in honor of my birthday. But really, in honor of being out for dinner.

We chose to try the new Tom Brodi restaurant TOCA, in the Ritz Carlton. We met first in the TOCA bar, where we were greeted by a particularly awesome bar snack: candied bacon. I’ll say that again in case you were unclear about the awesomeness: candied fucking bacon. The bartender also kept us well supplied with some excellent wine (and cocktails for GB, because he’s like that) and pushed the Ontario selections, which made us happy.

Dinner was quite good, I thought. I had the TOCA Caesar with the B.C. spot prawns (and bacon tuile) and 50-day-aged Angus Beef ribeye. GB had the Dungeness crab marrow (which everyone raved about) and venison loin. Nellie and CB split the “fancy fish & chips” (beer-battered Yarmouth lobster) and then split the east coast scallops and Wellington County petit mignon for their mains. Somewhere in there was some awesome Yukon pomme puree and some asparagus. And all our wine (except the Amarone Nellie had for dessert) was from Ontario.

Speaking of dessert, it came in two stages. First was the cheese plate, and this is where TOCA has a very cool feature: a glassed-in cheese cave right in the middle of the dining room. We were able to take a quick tour and ask some questions in between courses, and get to know the cheese that came before our dessert: warm sticky toffee pudding. Delicious, even if there wasn’t quite enough of it. Nellie had another glass of Amarone, whilst GB and I had some Stratus dessert wine.

It was a very, very tasty night in a beautiful spot. Happy birthday to me.

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