Auberge du Pommier

My first winterlicious stop this year was dinner at Auberge du Pommier. This is my second visit to the restaurant, the first being years ago during a summerlicious. While the restaurant has been deemed overpriced/overrated by some, both meals I’ve enjoyed were excellent and based on my limited experience, they remain one of my top picks for the Licious event. I’d like to visit during their regular service to compare expectations and value.

Atmosphere: One of my biggest gripes about the Licious events is how restaurants tend to be overwhelmed with volume, which often leads to missed details and sloppy service. This was not the case at Auberge. Dining at Auberge feels like being invited to a fancy dinner party. The dining room was elegant, simply decorated, dim, intimate and romantic. I loved how tables were placed on an angle throughout the room to provide a sense of privacy, you’re not directly facing or next to a stranger. Complimentary coat check was provided and the foyer is separated from all the dining areas.

Service: Our server was efficient and unobtrusive. I hardly noticed when she re-filled wine glasses. She also made sure we were stocked with bread. Each course arrived quickly with short lulls in between and the entrees were served on hot plates. After the meal, we lingered at our table over coffee and there was no rush for us to leave.

Food: Cozy, elegant atmosphere and topnotch service aside, the reason I come back to Auberge is the food. For $45 (comparable to $75-$100 a la carte), the three course meal is a steal. Each dish was plated beautifully with different colours and textures. Every bite was delectable and portion sizes were perfect for me.

For appetizers, I ordered the Seafood Remoulade while The Fiance chose the spiced pork Terrine. Both dishes set the meal off to a great start. My crab and shrimp salad was light and flavourful with the meyer lemon aioli. I loved the halves of grape that added sweetness to some bites and the crunchiness of the croutons. Off of The Fiance’s plate, I stole a lot of his pickles. Luckily, he doesn’t eat mushrooms so those were all mine. The vegetables were lightly pickled, the perfect balance between sour and sweet. The terrine itself was rich and savoury.

More often than not, I order seafood during Winterlicious. The sea bass at Auberge met every expectation. The fish was cooked to just done, was super sweet and had a beautiful crisp skin. The Fiance’s steak was also buttery soft and the horseradish cauliflower puree provided a touch of heat. At first, I was sure it was fluffy mashed potatoes. Then there was the sauteed (buttered) spinach that deserves it’s own callout. Lots of butter.

For dessert, I chose the Chocolate dish and got to sample the cheese and beignet. Out of the three, the beignet was the strongest. It’s hard to go wrong with airy donuts, dusted in sugar and served with apple cider parfait, aka cubes of creamy goodness. My chocolate mousse was dense and rich but not overly sweet. For me, cheese is not a dessert, but the piece of aged cheddar that was served was tasty.

Overall, an exceptional dinner at Auberge du Pommier, cementing their place in my list of top Licious restaurants.

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