Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Habits Gastropub [Media Tasting]

I frankly haven't heard of Habits Gastropub (@HabitsGastropub) before I got invited to their media tasting. Owned by Michelle Genthner and Luis Martins, it's been opened since 2012. The pair have over 12 years of experience running two other successful bar, so I know I am in good hands.

The first thing you see when you walk in was the amazing whiskey bar, they have over 300 bottles of different variety which is one of the biggest selection in Toronto. But just as any pub, they also have a large selection of beer (over a dozen selection of craft beer on tap + another 2 dozen or so of International bottles), wines and liquors to choose from.

Definitely love the open kitchen and the quotes/drawings on the blackboards. They also offer live music or comedy 2-3 times a week on their tiny stage. Frankly, it's difficult to find good food at most pub, however Habits is not just a pub but a gastropub. What's the difference you  ask?! It means that it serves higher end beverages and food. You can still find traditional pub fares like burger and nachos on the menu but also some "fancier" dishes that I was lucky enough to try that night.

Our media tasting menu was definitely an innovative one with wine and whiskey tasting.

Champagne Cocktail
~ saffron infused simple syrup, sparkling wine, Amagnac
It's the first picture of the post. The Amagnac (brandy) was a bit strong for my cocktail palate, especially to start off the night.

Seabass Ceviche, Citrus
Very delicate, thew fish was so tender with just the right amount of sour. Perfect way to open up my palate for what's to come.

 The following 3 dishes was paired with CASA DO VALLE 2012 VINHO VERDE, Portugal

 Buffalo Sweetbread
~ with house-made blue cheese and spicy BBQ dipping sauce
Tender inside with perfect light crisp outside and that blue cheese dipping sauce was just so stinky good (as in, can I have the whole thing to myself)

 Salmon Duo
~ a salmon mousse on crostini and cured slices with pickles
Love the slightly salty creamy mousse in contrast with the tender cured salmon with the tangy mustard and pickles.

 Cauliflower Salad, Anchovies, Chili
Love all the amazing flavor here but somehow I wish it was served warm instead of cold. Love the perfectly caramelized exterior of each and every single piece with a kick from the hot chili.

 The following 4 dishes was served with MONTE DAS TALHAS 2012, Portugal

Bone Marrow on Toast, Cucumber, Radish
Can I have another one or two?! 
Love the creamy fatty bone marrow in contrast with the crunchy salad.

Pappardelle, Chicken Liver, Sage
 Surprisingly this simple pasta dish was a favorite of mine. The thick house-made pasta was light and perfectly cook and coated  with the liver. The grainy liver was somehow very smooth and creamy with the pasta here.

Habits Slider, Putanesca Relish
Top with salty bacon and sweet relish, all you need for a meaty goodness.

Braised Veal Cheek w/ Raspberry-Lambic Braised Cabbage
Super tender and a thick yummy sauce was even more perfectly good with the sweetness and acidity of the raspberry-Lambic braised cabbage.

Beet Ice Cream, Rosemary honey mascarpone, walnut praline
~ paired w/ 12-year Old Pulteney Whiskey
 This was my favorite out of the trio, especially the savory touch here.

Lemon Crema, Berries 
~ paired w/ 12-year Cragganmore Whiskey

Brownie, Coulis
~ paired w/ 15-year Glenfiddich Whiskey
Yes you can smoked chocolate and this is a smoked chocolate brownie with was complimented by the smokey flavor of the whiskey

Verdict :
I was definitely missing out on this place before
I was totally impressed course after course.
Although I am not a Whiskey fan but Ben is, so I will have to bring him back.
For me, the food alone was enough to bring me back

*** This meal was complimentary. Opinions are my own***

Habits Gastropub on Urbanspoon

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