Platinum Dining at Luma Restuarant
American Express Platinum members were treated to an exclusive night showcasing an eclectic assortment of Toronto food trends. For Taste from Platinum at Luma, Chef Michael Wilson put his signature spin on street-level culinary trends of recent memory.
For Platinum cardholders, the Taste from Platinum Program is unique in that it will allow you to make a reservation through the Amex Platinum Card Concierege at more than 1000 highly-acclaimed restaurants across the world (including right here: Montecito, The Chase, Colette, Patria, Westlodge, George, North 44, Splendido & more). Plus, by making your reservation through the Amex Platinum Card Concierge you can receive exclusive perks – complimentary appetizers or a glass of champagne. The Concierge can also arrange for flowers to be waiting at your table for when you arrive. As an honorary Platinum Cardmember for the night, we were granted access to unique dining experiences like this evening’s extravaganza – A Platinum Cardmember Dinner, complete with customized menus, wine pairings and a meet and greet with the chef. Such experiences are simply not available to the general public – at any price.
We were offered flutes of champagne before stepping out onto the breezy Luma patio, which boasts cozy chairs and a stellar view. As part of the VIP experience, we were greeted by flashing cameras and a veritable parade of ‘food truck frenzy’ canapes. There was a nod to the humble hot dog (a lobster frank topped with tangy horseradish slaw), piquant masala dosas, and delectable shrimp tacos with lime crema.
Inside, the mirrored walls & natural wood banquettes created an impressive backdrop for the night’s royal treatment. Centrepieces by Parterre exploded with vivid dahlias, roses and mimosa. Names scrawled on envelopes in loopy script indicated our place settings, and inside I was pleasantly surprised to find a $50 gift certificate for Wine Online (Wine Online’s Aaron Bick chose the pairings for tonight’s extravaganza). We take our seats at the communal tables, seeing both familiar and new faces alike as we greet our dining companions for the evening (even the more subdued tables got a little rowdy as the champagne flowed).
First course is a St. Canut piglet, the literal embodiment of the nose-to-tail eating trend. A testa pâté in a light gribiche is nestled next to pork belly with preserved black walnut and pickled mustard seeds. Then, we’re treated to 100 km greens with heirloom carrots, shaved goat gouda and honey mustard vinegar – all ingredients sourced from no further afield than Stratford, ON.
Next up is a spiced duck and fois gras ramen accompanied by a robust Pasqualin Langhe Nebbiolo – lots of structure and tannins, but not so overpowering as to dominate the slurp-worthy umame noodles. For the main, a grass-fed cut of Limousin beef was accompanied with edible reindeer moss, wheat berries, braised lobster mushrooms and rich marrow. This was augmented by a spectacular 6 Mura ‘Giba’ Carignano del Sulcis, and its’ depth, minerality and sultriness balanced out the succulent fat in the beef.
The real star of the show? A classic doughnut flanked by poached apple with star anise and cinnamon and bacon ice cream. As we depart, we are handed gifts – handmade 0&B Artisan small-batch chocolates and bottles of Cottanera 2010 Fatagione Nerello Mascalese – the perfect finish to a distinctly Toronto experience.
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