“Whatever you do,”said my writing partner, Paul, clearly concerned about my penchant for adventurous eating, “don’t order the brains.”
“When was the last time you saw brain on a menu?”I scoffed.
And then, there it was, in the appetizer section: lamb brains.
In retrospect, it shouldn’t have come as that big of a surprise. After all, we were dining at Buca, my favorite Toronto restaurant, known for its creative offal offerings.
“No innards,”Paul reminded me as a we perused our menus, squinting to make out the tiny print in the darkened room. Finally, I gave up and used the flashlight app on my phone. Yes, I felt old – but not quite so bad as the evening progressed and about a half dozen other diners followed suit. “Just go ahead and order for us,”said Paul, obviously too proud to use the flashlight function on HIS phone.
There were a lot of very intriguing menu options, but many fell foul of the “no innards” edict. Eventually, I decided to split the difference by reading aloud slightly altered versions of the dish descriptions. For instance, the pasta with duck offal ragu became “pasta with duck ragu”! The revised descriptions proved more palatable to my squeamish writing partner.
A couple of the highlights…
The crispy pig ears. Yeah, yeah, I know, but it’s not brains and, technically, not an “innards”. It’s more of an “outard”.
The bianca pizza with gorgonzola and duck eggs.
And various awesome pasta. Love that place.
Then, last night, we met up with Brad Wright for dinner at another Italian restaurant in the neighbourhood. My review: Pizza good, pasta okay, service excellent, slight urine smell. Not sure about that one.
I was walking the neighborhood today, shopping for necessitates – socks, underwear, towels, a soda stream shaped like a penguin – and noticed A LOT of intriguing dining options in the area.
Tonight, it’s oysters with the director of our first two episodes and then, tomorrow morning, I’m homeward-bound. And none too soon. Akemi tells me that Jelly has been restless since I left, up and panting through the night, and has taken to following her around.