TNs: TWEC (TM) Tasting Menu at Edulis: Vive La France! Champagnes, White Burgundies and Sauternes

Bonjour mes amis et amants du vin, l’eau qui donne la vie:

The Toronto Wine Elitist Cabal ™ met up to take out our honored first-ever American member Tim Burnett to his first-ever Canadian tasting menu at Edulis, a small 30 seat tasting menu restaurant that has earned raves in the city. Jay Shampur, Michael Wright, Tim and myself were also joined by Tim’s lovely wife Alyssa when her work function fell through at the last second and the restaurant graciously accommodated us. Though no wine theme was planned, it ended up being an all French wine evening from start to finish:

VINCENT COUCHE 1997 SENSATION CHAMPAGNE – This aptly-named Champagne was extremely well aged and caused an interesting reaction amongst the group. Tim noted the nose was like Ruffles potato chips which in itself is a pleasant odor… from your potato chips, not your wine. Strangely, I actually enjoyed it very much though it was certainly a cognitive dissonance from what you expect. The palate is extremely rich for Champagne, due to a bit of maderization which gives it some Sherry-like creamy nut flavors. Over that, you get some surprisingly ripe fruity flavors. Although the wine has decent acidity and fine mousse, it doesn’t really come off as crisp as Champagne normally does due to the additional creamy flavors. Really a beautiful contrast in flavors. My sense was that the table was split on this wine. I loved it. 50% Chardonnay and Pinot Noir apiece per their website. RECOMMENDED
DIEBOLT-VALLOIS NV BRUT ROSE CHAMPAGNE – Jay and Tim ordered this from the wine list. 63% Pinot Noir,
27% Chardonnay, 10% Pinot Meunier per their website. This Champagne was extremely fresh and crisp and absolutely loaded with strawberry flavor, probably more so than any Rosé champagne I have ever had to date and was quite striking to me in that regard. Accented by decent amounts of toasty lees and lemon flavors with good acidity. Decent NV champagne that I would certainly drink again. Me like. RECOMMENDED
HENRI BOILLOT 2008 MEURSAULT – I have just developed a Meursault problem myself after years of exposure to it by the other members of TWEC ™ and so it was rather appropriate that Jay brought this as his contribution. This was decanted for an hour before it was served. Beautiful nose of flinty gunpowder and fresh cream. Lovely mature but not too ripe tastes of golden apples, cream, and a touch of lemon curd all accented by that gunpowder. Lovely wine for a non-cru Meursault. RECOMMENDED

DOMAINE MARC MORAY ET FILS 2011 PULIGNY-MONTRACHET 1ER CRU LES REFERTS – This was Michael Wright’s choice off of the wine list. Very good contrast to the flinty Meursault. It was a lot richer in the mouth with far, far less flintiness and lees than the Meursault but in exchange a lot creamier and a lot more golden apple flavor. This was excellent. I was actually kind of torn on which of the two styles of French Chardonnay I enjoyed more but I give a slight nod ahead to the Meursault. RECOMMENDED
CHATEAU CLOS-HAUT PEYRAGUEY 2007 SAUTERNES – My contribution, natch. This Sauternes was in a perfect, and I mean perfect spot. This was very striking in that it was far more citrusy in flavors and aromas than you would normally get in Sauternes. In fact, it veered awfully close to being more of a Hungarian Tokaji than a French Sauternes in that respect. Clean aromas of honey, lemon peel, vanilla and roasted pineapple. On the palate, immediate striking flavors of fresh lemon curd hit you before standard vanilla, cream, roasted pineapple and creme brulée flavors blend in. Extremely positive reactions all around the table and I was happy to share this with all the waitstaff and kitchen staff for which thanks was expressed afterwards.
You’ll notice the heavy leaning towards white and sparkling wines and not a red wine in sight for the evening. This is because Edulis is very seafood and vegetable oriented – though they certainly don’t shy away from other proteins – and they emphasize both local and fresh and so it was a much better choice to shy away from the reds this evening as you will see.

The amouse bouche was called a Gilda. It’s a Spanish tapa skewer composed of a green olive stuffed with green pepper, anchovy and homemade crouton. This was served alongside a housemade bread – Edulis has a baker come in every morning to make the bread – and a house cultured butter.

First course was a lightly dressed wild basa sashimi with cucumber and radish slices.
Second course was an absolutely delicious poached snow crab dressed with just tapped maple sap, foie gras and toasted savarin.

Our next course was charcoal grilled firefly squid and green onion over risotto.
Next up was poached pickerel served with scallop mousse. Cool presentation as the slice of pickerel was rolled up to resemble what at first glance appeared to be, well, a giant scallop on the plate.
The next to last course before the main was a plate of Cod cheeks and soppressata. We were informed that these were the first Cod cheeks of the season and that all the local restaurants were snapping them up.

Our main course was a platter of duck breast, duck sausage roll Wellington and smoked apple coulis.
Dessert was a delicious Morello cherry sorbet served with peach pit mousse. Peach pits are what are actually used to flavor Amaretto liqueur as using actual almonds would be far too expensive.
The last course was a specialty and trademark meal finisher that Edulis is known for, their homemade Baba au Rhum served with a rich rum sauce and chantilly cream.
After dinner, executive chef Michael Caballo came out to say hello to us and thank us for coming. In turn we thanked him for the absolutely tremendous meal. The TWEC ™ would like to thank everyone at Edulis for a fantastic meal and evening. We will return!