Tuesday, April 7, 2015

O&B Café Grill at Bayview Village

When restaurateur Peter Oliver and chef Michael Bonacini teamed up in 1993, little did they know that almost 20 years later they would be running seven restaurants with more on the way. South African-born Oliver and Welsh native Bonacini, first opened Jump Cafe & Bar, and quickly became a unique and successful player on the Toronto restaurant scene. Other notable restaurants followed, including Auberge du Pommier, Canoe, Biff's, Bannock, and Luma. The latest in the O&B chain is Oliver & Bonacini Café Grill, a new wave of upscale casual eateries that now stretch from Toronto's Bayview Village to the Blue Mountain Resort in Collingwood.

Oliver & Bonacini Café Grill open kitchen and homemade preserves

O&B's impressive Wine Rack features over 50 varieties of wine 
including red, white, Prosecco and Champagne

Located in the heart of Bayview Village, Oliver & Bonacini Café Grill is a bright modern dining room detailed with washed tin ceilings, leather banquettes and distinctive light fixtures. At the culinary helm of O&B's Bayview outpost since 2008, is Chef de Cuisine Steven Kwon. After attending Vancouver's Culinary Arts Program, Kwon immediately joined Bacchus Restaurant at the Wedgewood Hotel in Vancouver under Executive Chef Frank Dodd and with Chef Lorenzo Losetos’ brigade at George Restaurant in Toronto before joining the O&B team. With a broad menu that offers something for everyone, popular O&B favourites include B.C. Albacore Tuna Tataki, light and crispy Fish & Chips, Lamb Shepherd’s Pie, Pan-Seared Ontario Pickerel, O&B’s legendary Macaroni and Cheese as well as their absolutely delicious butter-and-cream-free Mushroom Soup.

Chef de Cuisine, Steven Kwon 

O&B Mushroom Soup with no cream or butter

Mediterranean Spinach Salad with artichoke hearts, fire-roasted red peppers, chickpeas and sherry dressing

B.C. Albacore Tuna Tataki with asian pear, avocado, daikon, tomato & watermelon 
with yuzu, ginger & wasabi dressing

Fish & Chips with two pieces of haddock, Yukon Gold fries, creamy coleslaw & tartar sauce

AAA Canadian Cheeseburger with Canadian Swiss, green lettuce, red onion, vine tomato, dill pickle, roasted garlic mayo and pain au lait bun

Japanese Chicken Caesar Salad made with teriyaki-glazed chicken breast, edamame, 
pickled ginger, cashews, roasted shiitake and wasabi peas in a sesame & miso Caesar dressing

Q-water is a unique filtration system that filters tap water which then dispenses 
Still and Sparkling Q-water into glass decanters, eliminating inventory and recycling 

Oliver's Famous Carrot Cake with walnuts and pineapple sour cream gelato

A Macchiato and biscotti to finish

Mac & Cheese
Serves 4-6
Recipe courtesy of Oliver & Bonacini

1 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 stalks celery
1/2 cup onion, sliced
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp white pepper
2 tsp salt
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 cups 35% cream
3 cups 1% milk
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup chicken stock

Mac and Cheese:
8 cups macaroni noodles, cooked
1/4 cup cheese curds
1/4 cup grated cheese
1/3 cup peas, cooked
1 tbsp Goldfish cracker crumbs

In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, bay leaf, nutmeg, salt and pepper, and sweat until completely cooked. Then add the flour and cook the roux. Slowly add the cream, while working the roux. Add all of the cream and milk, then add the chicken stock. Add the Dijon mustard and continue stirring constantly until all the flour is well cooked out. Whisk in the Parmesan and cook out until the sauce is completely smooth. Adjust the seasoning to taste. Add cooked macaroni noodles, cooked peas, cheese curds, and grated cheese to the sauce. Sprinkle Goldfish crumbs and broil until bubbling and golden brown. Serve immediately sprinkled a few extra cheese curds.