O’noir Restaurant, Toronto

Hello all! After a slight delay we have returned with yet another Toronto restaurant review. This one is courtesy of one of our lovely contributors, Mr. Pyjama Chef. Enjoy…

“Have you ever imagined losing one of your senses? Just consider spending 2 hours in a room where you can only hear, smell, touch, and taste but cannot see at all – that is what O’noir has in store for you.

Once entering the restaurant, you are seated in the reception area where you make your dinner selections from either a two course or three course menu. The choices include five appetizers, an assortment of five entrees and four desserts. The fun part of this dinner experience is composing your menu of only surprise items (one for each of the courses)…elevating the level of suspense throughout the dinner!

Once the menu is decided and recorded by the hostess, you are brought to your table by your server, a legally blind person. With each step you enter a world of blindness, of darkness, carefully holding onto your server. The dining room is totally pitch black and the culinary adventure begins.

First course arrives to our table and our first reaction is to attempt eating with cutlery, but it’s difficult. So we actually end up eating with our fingers… hints of parsnip, a little carrot, some baby greens… that is what I tasted from my surprise appetizer. Possibly a salad?!

For the main course, the portions are big: the filet mignons are well cooked, the chicken breast is moist, the shrimps are a little bland, the veal flavorful… and the surprise entree, well, it allows for a lot of guesses. It could have been a braised piece of beef from the taste and texture… but after convincing the hostess to give up the surprise, I found out it was honey glazed chicken, moist and tender! The garnish was composed of green beans and sauteed potatoes. Our server for the evening was efficient, very pleasant and extremely patient with all his guests!

For the dessert, the surprise wasn’t quite as difficult to guess as the textures were easily recognizable. A caramelized apple and vanilla ice cream topped off this tantalizing journey.

Overall, this dinner was a great experience – a good meal – with nothing exceptionally fancy but good flavors. This definitely was a test for the taste buds and showed the importance of our sense of sight in any meal.”

In Toronto, O’noir is located at 620 Church St., just south of Bloor st. East. For those interested in more info check www.onoir.com.

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