By Annabelle Goodman –MIDEASTRO Yorkville 27 Yorkville Ave (416) 477-2427
It may sound like the Leon and Benny show but it is the finest new happening in town. Leon Goldstein hails from Israel but has traveled and lived in many countries before becoming the owner /manager of this chic new establishment.
Benny Cohen is the creative chef behind the exotic food adding an Israeli twist to the gourmet specialties.
I liked everything about this place. Kudos to Leon for designing a functional aesthetic space. This is a huge restaurant. The tables are well spaced. There is room for large parties or tables for 2.The dark wood panels, dark tables and chairs give it a suave elegant look. The washrooms must be visited. State of the art plumbing makes one feel like a special guest. I loved the simplicity. The beautiful wood and décor speaks for itself. One cityscape mural is on the wall at the end of the restaurant. It was so refreshing to see bare walls giving warmth to the establishment.
Benny Cohen likes to cook with fusion spices and the presentations are creative and festive. The portions are very generous. Chef Cohen has even promised to prepare my favorite Israeli dish ‘shoshooka’ on my next visit. Get ready because I am returning.
Our adorable server was Felipe who hails from Columbia and has enjoyed Toronto now for 5 years. He looks like a teenager but was so well versed in the wine menu and the food. I would call this place an inspiration. That is exactly the intention of the management. They wanted to bring something new to the neighborhood.
The artisan bread and three delicious dips start you off with a plus. My friend and I had just been to a depressing film. We wanted an uplifting new experience. We opted for 3 appetizers to share.
The Burrata Salad was prepared with imported soft Italian cheese served with arugula in oregano balsamic vinaigrette. Shaved parmigiano reggiano, heirloom tomatoes and kalamata olives are included. Bruschetta salad glazed with a balsamic pomegranate honey reduction is part of this exotic creation.($25.00) It was a work of art and a delight for the palate. The Nicoise Salad was prepared with fresh tuna and Middle East spices. 6 minute eggs topped the creation.($14.00) We demolished both salads. Felipe insisted on bringing the salads first to enjoy and then we were presented with the hot Baladi Eggplant ($11.00) Grilled whole eggplant is topped with tomato heart salsa, Israeli feta, wild oregano roasted garlic and herb tahina. It looked too good to eat and it tasted too good to leave. Hot Portobello Mushroom and Goat Cheese Salad is prepared with layers of spring mix topped with warm Portobello mushrooms in a balsamic garlic olive oil and served with fried goat cheese puffs and cherry tomatoes.($11.00)
Main offerings are varied and creative. We enjoyed watching the works of art being handed to the hungry clients. Risotto is prepared with a mushroom medley, black truffle, asparagus and green pea.($31.00) Organic Grilled Chicken Breast is marinated in five fresh herbs and citrus and served with fingerling potatoes and grilled vegetable skewers in a chianti vinaigrette. A quick stew of black beluga lentils, spinach and concasse tomatoes completes the dish.($32.00)
Seafood Couscous offers a variety of seafood in white wine, saffron, and bisque sauce, served with homemade traditional couscous.($30.00)
The Israeli style Tiramisu completed our feast. We had such a good time.