Yesterday was our 11th anniversary. We spent it watching hockey. That’s how cool my wife is.
After we watched Sweden smoke Denmark (accompanied by two hours of loud, drunk commentary by the world’s most annoying human behind us, who was mercifully tossed from the building before the final period) and Switzerland manhandle the Czechs, with a couple of heavy beers (Black Oak Nutcracker porter and the Muskoka Winter Jacket) at Corks in between games, we got ourselves tucked in for dinner at Michael’s On Simcoe. It’s a steak place we’ve been meaning to try since it opened over a year ago.
When we walked in we noticed most of the activity was in the dining room ahead of us, but they led us into the stark, quiet bar at the front. It seemed like they dropped the tables they expected to be lightweights into the bar area, and but for one table and a single dude at the bar we were alone in the whole section. No matter; the food would be the same.
It turns out our server had been in Nova Scotia last week, just as we were, and also grew up near where Nellie’s family was stationed for years. So that’s why she was so nice.
We started with glasses of Veuve Clicquot and Fleur Du Cap Chardonnay (which took us back to our days in Cape Town) to go with our starters: aragosta gnocchi w/ fresh lobster, spiced tomato, garlic, lobster stock, and fresh basil for Nellie, and tonno crudo (fresh tuna, basil, cucumber, shallot, crisp chick peas, and tomato dressing) for me. For our main we split a 25oz bone-in ribeye, w/ sides of shredded brussels sprouts with apple and bacon, and heirloom tomato & cucumber salad. We paired it with a bottle of 2006 Palmaz Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine was rich but not overwhelming in the way that some California cabs are. Strong but subtle, it paired beautifully with the steak. The steak was excellent. Maybe not the best I’ve ever had — it was a little overcooked at the edges — but definitely worthy of a celebration.
We underestimated the size of their desserts and ordered one each: a maple walnut butter tart w/ cinnamon ice cream and poached pear for me, and sticky toffee pudding w/ a caramelized apple for Nellie. My butter tart was more like a butter tray, so I’m glad I ordered a smoky bourbon to counter the overwhelming sweetness. Nellie ordered Amarone with her dessert; we’re not quite sure what she got but it wasn’t Amarone.
We had no complaints about our meal — on the contrary, we quite enjoyed it. But it did nothing to knock Jacobs & Co out of our #1 choice for Toronto steakhouses.
Cover photo from the Michael’s On Simcoe site