UNION

Union

Union 72 first popped up on my radar when I was looking for a restaurant to celebrate a birthday last year. I love French cuisine and I liked that the menu at Union uses only produce from locally grown, Ontario farms.

Atmosphere: The feeling inside the restaurant is cozy. It feels a touch rustic with linens, an exposed brick wall, a full painted wall mural, lots of natural textures and heavy plates. The seating area was tight, we were very close to tables on both sides and it was a squeeze to leave without disrupting our neighbours. Lighting within the restaurant was intimate but they’ve tried to let in lots of natural light with the glass storefront and keeping a glass back door in place.

Service: I really liked our server, she was very helpful with suggesting wine pairings and could make a personal menu recommendation (which I always look for). She swayed us on ordering the crab tartinette over steak tartare, which isn’t always on the menu. I love finding out pieces of additional information like that and it really does sway how I order. We didn’t have to wait long between courses, and plates were cleared promptly. The only hiccup was trying to see a dessert menu at the end of the night. It took more than ten minutes to get someone’s attention. We weren’t in a rush so we weren’t trying too hard and it was more comedic at how difficult it was to get noticed.

Food: For dinner, the BF and I split a Crab Tartinette as an appetizer; he ordered the Cassoulet with duck confit, pork belly and blood sausage while I had the Seared Pickerel. We both really enjoyed the tartinette. The bread was toasted dry, buttered and really held up to the crab’s saltier dressing. I audibly “mmmm’ed” after the first bite. The was dish was heavy handed on the salt, I don’t think I could have finished both pieces on my own.

As for entrees, the pickerel was amazing, seared to a soft, buttery texture and lightly seasoned. The beets, potatoes  and swiss chard served alongside with the mustard sauce were also flavourful and still held their own textures. I could have easily eaten spoonfuls of the sauce. We were both disappointed with the cassoulet. The pork belly was too fatty, not all of the fat had glazed yet and the skin was too tough to cut. The duck confit was fine, as was the sausage but the meat was a bit tough and the beans were really greasy. I wouldn’t order this dish again.

All in all, Union was a little hit and miss. I’d like to go back to try the Elk Sliders and their Steak, but for the dishes I had this night I would put them in the list of “nice to try but underwhelming”.

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