Auberge du Pommier
Auberge du Pommier serves some of the finest French cuisine in the city. Constructed from two woodcutters’ cottages that have been around since the 1860s, it’s a jewel at Yonge and York Mills, and a destination for serious business lunches in this part of town.
Inside it's a carpeted, hotel-like atmosphere (an auberge is a kind of small hotel) and there's a maitre d’hotel who seems straight out of The Grand Budapest Hotel to complete the experience.
We’re whisked to our plush seats, which all have French words whimsically scrawled across the back. Auberge is fairy-tale-esque, tables splashed about in lush and pleasantly cave-like rooms.
It feels like a wealthy home that’s been converted to a luxury B&B, filled with fireplaces and knick-knacks of little dogs and birds.
From the bar, a North York State of Mind ($16) is a 3 oz. cocktail of Forty Creek Copper Pot Reserve, port, Dillon’s DSB bitters, and salted caramel, garnished with a pleasantly sweet and sour boozy cherry.
The appetizer foie ($28), corn fed from Quebec, is layered onto a rustic cornbread with rhubarb, muscat jus, hibiscus ginger snap, an acidic pink powder and a sugar glass tuille on top. This dish opens the palette with sweet, sour and salty notes that balance the foie’s richness.
Scallops and octopus ($27) are dreamy and light. An octopus carpaccio is made by creating a kind of octopus terrine and using a meat slicer to create a thin base layer, laden with tentacles, three seared scallops, deep fried tapioca pearls, cordial cucumber balls, and a harissa sauce, bright avocado puree and fresh dill that combine beautifully.
Our duck entree ($44) is two stunning slices of duck breast lounging on a little risotto of wheatberries, a quince agrodolce sweet and sour sauce and a Spanish albufera sauce of reduced cream blended with foie gras jus, all with a crisp pistachio-crusted red atomic carrot and croquettes of confit duck leg and foie gras good enough to eat alone.
The bombe au chocolat ($12) is gelid rum butterscotch spray painted with chocolate with a malted milk crumble and sweet honeycomb caramel sponge toffee, complemented by white chocolate mint ice cream.
There are other private rooms near the front. In the summers, a walled-off terrace with a retractable sunroof brims with flowers and plants.