The Deacon and Brutus declare "Viva Balsam!!!"
But first, the usual brilliant rant:
Greetings to all my frenz and fanz, and a particularly sallow "Bite my entire staff!" to the moronic mob of morons who sit around moroning like morons and don't even realize what morons they are.
So anyway, your humble Deacon and Deaconess were recently wined and dined by Don Velouche Brutus and his consort, Kathryn the Great, in honour of your Deacon's birthday. Brutus being a noted oenophile and amateur food critic, his invitation to Balsam was particularly interesting in light of a fairly recent and devastating "review" of said establishment by noted Professional Restaurant Criticaster, Amy Pataki. The review in question bore such a pale verisimilitude to our experience with the restaurant, that one wonders if the term "review" should be replaced by "ass clown hatchet job". So on the night in question, we took the Black Rolls out of mothballs and picked up the generous couple and in a matter of minutes, arrived at Balsam in the trendy Beach/Beaches area of Canada's finest city. Brutus had brought a couple of BYO bottles of wine with him, including a particularly lurch Stratus Cab Franc, and we were soon ensconced in a cozy table and friendly staff and patrons with nary an ass clown in sight or on site.
Now this is a very cool little place. It seats around 30 people and the food has a distinctly Mediterranean flavour. I had the surf and turf, and if you're an Ass Clown Food Criticaster, you probably expect something like you'd get at the Keg. But this was no 20 oz Porterhouse and Lobster tail surf and turf. Think small quantities and amazing quality; some braised beef ravioli with a couple of flawlessly cooked scallops on top. Newsflash! It's the sort of portion you'll get in Paris and is not meant to be wolfed down. The salad was incredible and the service, more than up to scratch. The desserts are actually a family secret and we sampled some of the most melt-in-the-mouth cookies we've ever tasted. Part of the mandate is to provide smaller plates that the table can experience as a group. Other items include jerk quail with caramelized banana and Mango Gastrique, and pan seared crab cake with spiked sour cream and citrus corn sauce! Genius Chef Nick Drake manages to create his culinary wonders in a tiny kitchen and is readily available for questions and comments. Main man David Salter who earned his stripes at Oliver Bonancini is highly attentive, keeps things moving and makes sure his patrons want for nothing. If you're just down for a snack and a drink, you can hang at the bar, and the patio's open in warm weather. Situated at Queen East and Balsam Avenue (coincidence?), it's dressy casual and also open on Sunday!
Seriously, homeys - we loved our dinner and the ambiance is very cosy. The Deaconess and Kathryn the Great loved their dinners too, and were less strident than usual, which was a huge plus. The only improvement I can recommend for Balsam would be a box of lawn darts at each table that you can throw at any Ass Clowns who try to cross the thresh hold and ventilate their personal inadequacies via scathing and vituperative "reviews".
I think Balsam is the Beach/Beaches best kept secret. Y'all check it out. Tell David the Deacon sent you. He'll treat you well.
I'm givin' Balsam 5 Frickin' Starz!!!
A huge thanks to Don Velouche Brutus and Kathryn the Great for a spectacular birthday dinner!
You heard me.
Deacon Dr. Fresh
Protectin' my homeys from Ass Clowns and Criticasters...