Friday, May 19, 2017

Luma: Seasonally Inspired Canadian Artisanal Cuisine

Located on the second floor of the TIFF Bell Lightbox in the heart of Toronto’s Entertainment District with its floor-to-ceiling windows and outstanding views of King Street West, Luma pays homage to Toronto’s rich, cultural landscape with a menu featuring Canadian artisanal cuisine made with the finest local and regional ingredients. Chef Michael Wilson’s seasonal menu showcases fresh, artfully prepared dishes, which feature the finest ingredients and reflect our nation’s diversity, with dishes such as Quebec Lau Lau Pork Chop with mustard greens, wild rice, edamame and pineapple; Newmarket Smoked King Cole Duck Breast, with rhubarb, shallots, spinach and sesame scallion pancake; and East Coast Scallops with bacon polenta, tomato, fennel, sorrel and foraged vegetable pesto. For theatre-goers, Luma also offers a Curtain Call prix-fixe and Small Bites menu for guests on the go. Warm and inviting, the dining room and bar, designed with rich woods, leather and stone, and friendly professional staff, make Luma a delicious dining option before heading out for a concert at Roy Thomson Hall or latest theatre production at The Princess of Wales.

The long marble bar at Luma

French 75 made with Champagne, lemon juice, splash of gin, and dash of simple syrup
garnished with a curl of lemon rind

Our bartender stirring my husband's Martini before pouring it into the ice-chilled glass

Warm and inviting, the dining room is designed with rich woods, leather and stone

The Curtain Call menu for those catching a show

House baked bread and whipped butter with a drizzle of truffle honey

Beet Salad with mustard seeds, watercress, shaved mountain oak gold cheese 
and caraway dressing

Vegetarian Asparagus and Pea Soup with toasted almonds

Hamachi Crudo with coconut, citrus, ginger, cilantro, red chilies and taro

Seared Trout with lyonnaise potatoes, rapini, fennel and salsa verde

Seared Ahi Tuna with red rice, fiddleheads, oyster mushroom, mustard greens and pea shoots

Ontario Rack of Lamb with roasted carrots, lentils, carrot top pesto, 
grilled scallions and black garlic

Pumpkin & Fire-Roasted Chestnut Rigatoni 
Serves 4-6
Recipe courtesy of Chef Michael Wilson

1 lb rigatoni 
2 1/2 cups of chestnuts, scored 
1 pumpkin
2 cups unsalted butter, browned
2 tbsp sherry vinegar
1 shallot, minced
6 garlic cloves, roasted
1 bunch of sage, chopped
2 cups grated Manchego cheese
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

In a pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta for 10 minutes. Drain in a colander and reserve. Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Score the chestnuts with a sharp knife and roast in the oven for 10-15 minutes. While the chestnuts are still hot, peel, chop and set aside. 

Peel the pumpkin, cut in half and scoop out the seeds, then dice into quarter-inch cubes. Place the butter into a pot and turn on high heat. The butter will melt and begin to foam. As the bubbles lessen, remove from the heat and add one tablespoon of sherry vinegar, then cool and reserve. 

In a saucepan on medium heat, add oil and roasted diced pumpkin. Once it starts to get colour, reduce heat. Add the shallot, garlic and sage. Return the pasta to water to reheat. Add the pasta and a splash of pasta water to the saucepan. Add chestnuts, one tablespoon of sherry vinegar, brown butter and season to taste. Plate and garnish with shaved Manchego cheese and chopped sage.