We were both really excited for dinner at La Banane. It was #7 on Toronto Life’s Top 100 (2018) and it was also on Canada’s Best 100 (2018) at #16. Dinner was off to a great start. Duck fat pretzels with mustard? Yes please! (I am so looking for a recipe now so I can eat these all day every day). I was all ready to get the pate as my appetizer but when I heard taht the special of the day came with a rhubarb compote (my current obsession, I had $10 worth of rhubarb in my purse) I was all for it. Who could resist that with slice of brioche and foie gras?! The slices were very thick but very light. The foie gras was good. But the real standout was the compote. It paired so unbelievably well, it brought the dish up a notch. Which it kind of needed? It was a tad underwhelming. Brent had gotten a salt fish cake with celeriac and something else because it was in the 1001 foods book. It all paired really well, like a fish cake with coleslaw and tartar all in one bite. But it was not outstanding. We had come here looking for wow. So far only the rhubarb compote, pretzels and cocktails were at that level.
Brent had ordered the fish which was baked in a super salty bread. They presented it to him, a whole fish braided in bread. Then promptly took it away to carve it up and make it easy to eat. Twice they warned not to eat the bread. Of course he had a bite. It was indeed salty, I took his word for it. Meanwhile I devoured crab with cheese and crumbs, conveniently crammed back into the crab shell. The main course was definitely very pretty looking. The crab was so good, but in between I needed bites of something less heavy. The potatoes aligot were as amazing as expected, the cheese was so thoroughly blended into the mashed potatoes that it just stretched. I never imagined getting to twirl my fork through mashed potatoes a-la spaghetti noodles but there you go. It is possible. I actually resorted to eating the salad on the side. The fish dish was also heavy thanks to a white sauce with butter and yuzu. The yuzu really made the sauce outstanding. Both dishes were great. But we were way too stuffed for a gimmicky $50 dessert (a chocolate egg full of truffles) and nothing else really stood out.