Cheri informed me that he will be taking me out on our monthly anniversary to this place and seeing the 48% urbanspoon rating, I was a bit nervous.
I am very happy we still went - this restaurant deserves waay more recognition.
golden yellow, rich
A brick facade with a marble-like entrance and flags, the Windsor Arms hotel looks royal and secluded. It is on a small side street off Bloor. As we approached the entrance, the man entering in front of us held the door for his company as well as us. Once you enter the main room, there is a vintage sofa centre piece and the reception. We saw a host lady and asked her about the restaurant.
scent of lemon merengue, figPassing under their fancy chandelier, we were led to the entrance on the side. It was dark with gold PRIME cap letters on the side. Greeted by the portrait of Nicolai the 2nd as well as a large piano, we walked in the long room. We picked a cute table on the left, by the window, with a boat of candles on the side. It felt cozy and luxurious.
warm, vanilla, oak
We were given their menus. We went for their Prix-Fixe one. Cheri wanted their Fresh Salmon Ceviche to start, followed by a Roast Turkey. I asked for their Kale Slaw salad followed by a Miso Honey Glazed Salmon. Our waiter asked that we order all at once and so he helped us with our final decisions for dessert. We got the Mousse Bombe and Creme Brulee.
We ordered a glass of wine each. I asked for their Phillips oaky Chardonnay, while cheri asked for their chianti, but had to take a ripasso as they didn't have it. In their glass menu, they also had their own Windsor Arms Private Label - the least expensive option. We learned it is made by a Niagara Winery and labeled for them. (kind of neat)
As we waited, a basket of folded white cloth, made its way with a side of 3 dips - hummus, tapenade and a sundered tomatoe. The cloth was conveniently keeping breads inside warm. Next our wine glasses arrived. My Chardonnay was a bit on the light side, but smooth and lightly oaky.
cream buttery richness, lively acidity, smooth
Our appetizers didn't take long. My salad was light, kale a bit bitter but refreshing. The balsamic dressing and pistachios made it. Cheri's fresh salmon ceviche came with dill and capers, just they way he likes it. It was fresh and tender.
After a short break, our main dishes made their way. My Miso Honey Glazed Salmon came in a wide, deep plate. Not only did it look amazing, but it also tasted beautifully. The fish's miso glaze created a bit of caramelized coat. It still had its skin on, which was easy to take off. What made it outstanding was the addition of dark beluga lentils underneath and the intricate tomato marmalade on top. All topped with a lemon spring.
The Roast Turkey with Traditional Festive Accompaniments came with a few roast potatoes and brussels sprouts. The cranberry stuffing on top of the turkey had this dish unique and intriguing.
I was eating slow, savouring every taste in my mouth. Their portions were a great size - not too little nor too much.
On my way to the washroom we noticed the numerous Fabergé eggs behind a glass hidden in the dark, for some odd reason. There was also a separate section for High Tea.. it was beautiful - old Soviet style. The washroom turned out to be an adventurous place to go to. I had to come out of the entrance and take the elevator a floor up. The elevator had a little library on the side. Then the second flood was like a terrace, overlooking the lobby and a dark hall. I felt in the mood for ghost stories. In front of the washroom was a piano with notes under the seat. (didn't I wish I can play)
crisp apple and caramelWith our dessert we ordered their sparkling dessert wine. Bubbly and not too dry, I thought it was really refreshing. The White Chocolate Feuillantine Mousse Bombe, was like a giant round candy - white chocolate with a bit of caramel on the outside, dark on the inside. It was served a bit too cold and hens felt a tad waxy. Although, I quite enjoyed the raspberries underneath Their Valrhona Chocolate, Grand Mariner Creme Brulee was a well-defined dark chocolate cream with a small chunks of hazel nuts. It was not too sweet, but chocolaty and filling.
Overall, the dishes were beautifully presented, amazing in taste and the impressive ambiance made it all feel vintage and musical.
Overall.. a unmistakable Toasted Head Chardonnay