The Toronto Wine Elitist Cabal ™ made its first ever sojourn to SARA restaurant in downtown Toronto last night. It was established 5 years and started out as a Japanese focused restaurant but revamped itself into a globally inspired contemporary shared dishes menu. You order a whole bunch of dishes and then share and eat family style amongst all the guests. We had some great food and brought some great wine to go with it.
Fellow TWEC ™ and board members Jay Shampur and Tim Burnett joined me this night. Jay had been previously to eat and drink but this was the first time for both Tim and myself and will definitely not be the last.
We started off with a trio of some of SARA’s signature cocktails. Jay had a Martini, Tim had the Ode to Theo (Thyme Infused Gin, Elderflower, Green Tea Syrup, Lime) and I had the Sweet & Sour Margarita (Reposado Tequila, Dry Curacao, Cognac, Jaggery, Tamarind) pictured below.
LACOURTE GODBILLION MI-PENTES 1ER CRU EXTRA BRUT – Jay brought our aperitif Champagne. Family-owned Grower Champagne from the Montagne de Reims. Small 8 hectare vineyard and made by a small team of only five people using organic and biodynamic practices. 100% Pinot Noir. Nice fresh picked apple nose. Nice texture, pretty crisp apple flavors and a nice little ginger note. Really good start.
DOMAINE HUET 2009 CLOS DU BOURG MOELLEUX – This was just superb. A dessert wine that truly acts like a table wine. Apple strudel nose. Light body. Delicate Caramel apple and lemon peel flavors. Borwn sugar on the background but is lifted by a nicely acidic finish. Great wine. My only bottle and it was sacrificed for a good cause.
RHYS 2012 ALPINE VINEYARD PINOT NOIR – Tim’s contribution. The nose on this is like perfume. Delicate rosewater and pencil lead. A light Burgundy like body. Rich cherry fruit flavors and strong but not gritty tannin flavor on the finish give away its California roots. Really creamy note all throughout. Time felt the mouthfeel was too soft and it was lacking acidity. I can agree with that but it was still enjoyable.
Our amouse bouche was a classic French Gougere, a cheese puff flavored with onion confit and garlic cream cheese.
We followed this up with three appetizers, a vegetable and a protein from the sharing menu. Our first appetizer was the Chopped Salad. Chopped kale and greens were dressed with a tamarind vinaigrette, poblano cashew “cheese”, wasabi pea, and crunchy nori.
Our second appetizer was the Tuna Tartare. It was dressed with white soy, yuzu, and black truffle. It was served with the most incredible house made potato chips.
Our third appetizer was the Wagyu Reuben. Smoked wagyu beef is sandwiched on housemade rye bread and dressed with gruyere, truffle mustard, and sauerkraut.
Our vegetable was the Roasted Brussel Sprouts. These were dressed with walnut, pomegranate molasses, feta and za’atar.
Our main was the Korean Fried Chicken. Exactly what it sounds like, a delicious fried chicken tossed in Korean barbecue sauce.
This was a fantastic outing. I’m looking very forward to returning. SARA also offers a full table tasting menu as well as the main sharing menu. Check it out if you’re in Toronto.