1. Bosk: Summerlicious ‘14 Stop 1

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    Operation Summerlicious 2014 is a go! Our first stop was Bosk (FacebookTwitter), located on the ground floor of the esteemed Shangri-La Hotel in downtown TO. Dan used to work nearby so this always held some draw for us to try out.What better time to do so than Summerlicious? $25 lunch menu, here we come!

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    Free bread! Well, you know it’s only bread. But good bread. This was a crusty, herbed bread served with a creamy garlic aioli. To be honest, the crust was a bit tough to chew through, but hey, we’re not bread pros. XD However, the garlic aioli was absolutely delicious and being the big fans of garlic bread we are, the spread was definitely worthwhile to sample.

    The Appetizers:

    Seared Albacore Tuna
    With: Rice Noodle, Jicama, Peanut & Kaffir Lime Dressing
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    This chilled tuna appetizer was scrumptious, being both tender and moist. It was served with just the right amount of veggies and the crunchy rice noodle and jicama added interesting textures to your bite. However, the flavour of the tuna is definitely still the star of the show and the combination of flavors in each bite is complementary and not overwhelming in the least. Anna highly recommends this while Dan also gives his two thumbs up. :)

    Heirloom Tomato Soup
    With: Crème Fraiche, Basil, & Olive Oil Crouton
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    While Dan found this chilled tomato soup to be decent with a surprising hint of smokiness, Anna rather disliked it. (Anna: To be fair, I generally don’t like tomato soups. XD) That little tomato was nice touch and the croutons added good texture. All told, the flavours were tasty and the consistency was good, although the crème fraiche was a little confusing.

    The Mains:

    Lois Lake Steelhead Salmon
    With: Couscous, Tomato Fondue, Fennel, Basil & Lemon
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    Soft and tender salmon FTW! Cooked perfectly with just the right amount of moistness, this salmon is an exercise in experiencing subtle flavours. The seasoning is all seared on top, but not bold as to dominate the fish’s natural flavour. The tomato fondue and couscous was pleasantly tasty, offering a cool contrast to the seafood. The couscous in particular was impressive since it was so well flavoured and had such a wonderful texture. (Anna: We’ve had couscous that was bland and dry and as boring as plain yogurt. Bleh.) The biggest surprise was the greens combining to give you a distinct taste of…florist. XD Basically, it tastes the way the florist’s smells. Weird? Yeah, we know. But it’s true.

    Flat Iron Steak
    With: Polenta fritter, Herb Garlic Purée, Roasted Carrot, Red Wine Jus
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    As with the salmon, the flat iron steak was gently seasoned on top such that the flavour of the been would still be the main feature in each bite. The meat was a tad stringy, but was well-cooked and otherwise delicious. The polenta was amazing- fried to a crisp on the outside whilst still being soft and moist on the inside. Only the garlic purée felt a bit out of place and we weren’t the biggest fans of the roasted scallions. The jus made a good complement to the bread from earlier.

    The Desserts:

    Dark Chocolate Mousse
    With: Chocolate Soil, Coffee Granite, & Condensed Milk Syrup
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    Now you think, “There’s no way you can be subtle for dessert. It needs to be bold!” And you’re not entirely wrong. This was bold. Boldly delicious with chocolate flavour, but still layered with subtleties thanks to the coffee granite and milk syrup. The best word to describe this mousse would be decadent, since the mousse is so rich and creamy, and the coconut crumbles added texture. This dessert was, quite frankly, amazing. A+ for presentation; it’s arguably the most beautiful mousse we’ve seen.

    Mango Pudding
    With: Coconut Pearls & Lime Sorbet
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    Caution: The lime sorbet packs quite a tart punch, as it should, so have it with the mango pudding and coconut pearls. The mango pudding itself has a wonderful creaminess to it, but it definitely did not have very strong mango flavours (Anna: Or maybe we were just spoiled by the amazing mango gelato at Il Gelato di Carlotta). The coconut pearls were smooth, creamy, and delicious, while the coconut crisp offers a crunchy sweet bonus to go along with the rest of the dessert-y goodness.

    The Wrap:

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    Seated in our cozy little corner, we had a great view of the setup for the Lions Parade of Nations. Okay, okay, the photo proves that the view wasn’t great, but it does come with ample natural lighting. Service was superb (Shoutout to Eugene! And a big thank you for offering to take a photo of us.) and we’ll let the fact that we’re actually doing a shoutout do the talking. Price-wise, Bosk is at the top tier for Summerlicious prix fixe menus with lunch priced at $25 per person and dinner priced at $45 per person. However, given our experience there and the absolutely phenomenal food and service we had, we’d say Bosk is a definite must try. We’re looking forward to coming back one day to try their regular menu. :)

    The Location:

    Situated on the busy intersection of University and Adelaide in the high-class Shangri-La Hotel, Bosk oozes luxury and class. You’re right downtown, so there’s lots of other Summerlicious options nearby to try out too. All day parking can be found nearby for under $10.

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