Weekly Lunch Pick: the sustainable trout at Pangaea
Although Winterlicious kicked off last Friday (see our 61 best bets), it’s still possible to secure a seat at one of the city’s top tables, especially if it’s just outside the downtown core. Pangaea’s open dining room typically caters to a well-heeled Yorkville crowd (with prices to match), but during the culinary fest, the restaurant offers a steal of a three-course prix fixe for $20 (we stopped by just before the festival commenced). On our visit, the soup, which changes daily, is a creamy vegetable stock–based velouté ($12) that’s poured tableside over briny spot prawns and a tight quenelle of caviar. It’s a heavenly match with black olive bread that we coat with a thick blanket of sweet roasted pear butter. A silky steelhead trout fillet ($32) is served medium-rare over slices of sweet roasted golden beets and shallots, and sided with braised Swiss chard and confit potatoes (Yukon Gold and Peruvian purple fingerlings), giving the light course some meaty depth. The plate is rounded out with a rich beurre blanc threaded with chopped tarragon.
Cost: $72.46, including tax, tip, sparkling Q water ($2.50) and a pot of Kambaa Estate Kenyan tea ($7). Winterlicious diners can expect a similarly excellent meal at a fraction of the price, so we’d suggest ordering a glass or two of wine to go with the prix fixe menu.
Time: 41 minutes. N.B.: There’s no wait when we arrive, but the room steadily fills as the hour creeps past noon.
Pangaea, 1221 Bay St., 416-920-2323, pangaearestaurant.com