Any blog that has anything to do with Donald Trump means the possible insertion of jokes about getting fired, bad hair or something to do with the apprentice.
A team function brought me to Stock, located on the 31st floor of Trump Tower. There’s a couple of things I would expect when dining at a restaurant affiliated with Donald Trump; waiters with bad hair (dammit!) and at least one staff member getting fired every night (D’oh!). Seriously, I would hope to view a few self-entitled pretentious patrons and enjoy a dining experience with unparamount attention to detail.
For goal number one, it didn’t take long. Upon arrival, I was handed a very good glass of what I recall was a Spy Valley Sauvignon Blanc and shuffled out to the balcony for some hors d’oeuvres. It was a chilly night, so I wasn’t surprised to see a couple (ie. man and woman) enjoying a couple of fine cigars and swirling some sort of amber potable while seated in the corner of the balcony as the waiters circulated with appetizers in hand . Since it was a chilly eve, they were wearing matching fur shawls. Whether supplied by the hotel or not, it’s pretty irrelevant. MATCHING FUR SHAWLS! Awesome. Mission accomplished (sorry no picture).
As for the hors d’oeuvres, I was offered prosciutto wrapped scallops, shucked oysters with fresh horse radish and fried portobello mushrooms with truffle aioli. The proscitto was a delicate diversion from the usual bacon and provided enough salt to balance the buttery sweet scallop which was cooked perfectly. The oyster was fresh and meaty. I must digress on the mushroom as I have publicly called for the banishment of both truffle and aioli as a food trend. Eating this simple finger food makes me want to take it all back. The mushroom was moist and the batter crispy….and yes, the aioli was good.
It was a set menu but I found the choices innovative and appealing. My starter was the octopus. It was executed well….still tender and fired properly (ok..stopping). It was seasoned well and the tender potato added some delicate earthiness to complement this treasure from the sea.
For the entree, I ordered black cod with an edamame puree and lightly fried greens. The well seasoned flesh was glistening but wasn’t raw. The fork cut through it like butter and tasted the same. The subtle crunch of the crispy vegetables was the perfect complement from both a taste and texture perspective. From the land side, I managed to secure a small portion of the filet which was served with a vibrant pink hue indicative of a good medium rare..simple but satisfying.
Dessert was from the chocolate cart which circulated while peddling its house made wares to patrons like an ice cream truck in a subdivision. A sinful array of truffles and other delicacies weaved through the tables offering rich and artisan delicacies which were another example of the delicious attention to detail which was evident throughout the evening.
The meal finished with some Niagara ice wines and a tasty Taylor Fladgate, 10 yr old tawny port which was simply delicious.
I expected dinner at Stock to be a adventure in posh dining and a possible fulfillment of my champagne wishes and caviar dreams. Instead of white linens, candlelight and a waiter named Jeeves, the decor was casual and comfortable and the food was the standard fare you would see at any other eatery in the area. The concepts were simple and the execution was near flawless.
Ok….I did take a quick peak at the online dinner menu and the prices were quite acceptable and rival some of the higher end restaurants in Toronto. The octopus is $17, the cod $34 and the filet is $42. The truffles are $3 a piece.
In the end, I got what I was looking for…my paparazzi experience, a good wine/port buzz and a well executed meal from start to finish. Donald, thanks for making Toronto a better place to dine, one fur shawl at a time.