Thursday, September 1, 2016

Michael's on Simcoe: A Snazzy Italian Steakhouse

Located at the corner of Adelaide and Simcoe in the heart of Toronto's Financial and Entertainment districts, Michael's on Simcoe run by Michael Dabic who used to be the General Manager of Harbour Sixty, is a sleeker more modern version of a traditional steakhouse that combines the finest cuts of steak, an impressive wine list and snazzy interior accented with eye-catching decor and pop-art, courtesy of Yorkville Design. Aside from the outstanding steaks which are all handpicked and wet-or-dry-aged on the premises in a gallery-style state of the art aging cabinet for 21-35 days which allows for the meat to develop superior tenderness and flavour, executive chef Derek von Raesfeld's menu also features fresh seafood, handcrafted pasta as well as vegetarian and vegan options. The restaurant is known for being a celebrity hot spot during TIFF, with the likes of Keira Knightley, Julianne Moore, Diane Keaton and Morgan Freeman making an appearance, quaffing fine wine and enjoying chef Raesfeld's decadent appetizers.

The sleek interior of Michael Dabic's Michael's on Simcoe

A blue lit wall behind our us cast an unfortunate hue over our table and meal 

Housemade bread and focaccia

Olives, pickled carrots and olive oil as condiments for the bread

Ketel One Vodka Martini with one olive

Server presenting Hamelin Bay Five Ashes Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon from Margaret River, Australia

Insalata Arugula: fresh arugula leaves, lemon olive oil dressing, shaved parmesan and black truffle

Fiore di Zucca: crispy ricotta & bufala filled blossom with puttanesca salsa, celery and basil cress

Carmela di Fungi: ricotta and mushroom filling with corn purée, porcini and unfiltered olive oil 

8 oz PEI Canadian Angus Tenderloin

Crisp Krombacher Onion Rings

Sea Salt Frites

Diane Keaton

Naomi Watts and the fabulous Hugh Jackson 

Strawberry Meringue  
Serves 4                                       
Recipe courtesy of Chef Derek von Raesfeld

4 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 pinch salt
1 tsp vanilla extract 
1/4 tsp cream of tartar 
1 cup powdered sugar

Strawberry sauce:
2 cups quartered strawberries, washed and tops removed
3 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp orange zest
1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice

1 cup whipped cream
1 tsp granulated sugar
Mint, for garnish

For the meringue, pre heat oven to 250°F. Place the egg whites and a pinch of salt and vanilla in standing mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and start to whisk on low speed. Slowly add the powdered sugar and tartar, then turn the mixer to high and whisk until stiff peaks form. On a baking tray with parchment paper, make 8 to 10 dollops of meringue and flatten to 1-inch thick. Bake for 60 to 75 minutes, rotating the tray half way and bake until crisp. Let cool in an open area away for humidity and moisture.

For the sauce, place the sugar, orange juice and zest in a small pot on medium heat, and add half of the strawberries and slowly stir until they start to boil, then remove from the heat and allow to cool. Then add the remaining strawberries. In another bowl add the cream and sugar a whisk until stiff.

Place the baked meringue on a large plate, then top with a scoop of whipped cream followed by a scoop of strawberry sauce and top with second meringue. Garnish with dusting of powdered sugar, a drizzle of strawberry sauce and a sprig of mint. 

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