Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Review: Harry's Not So Social Kitchen

Harry's Social Kitchen is a new restaurant and bar in the Yonge and St. Clair neighbourhood.

The owners have jazzed up the interior of what was once Fionn MacCools, with swanky lighting and head bobbing tunes. It's all set up to be the perfect place to drop by with your friends and grab a cocktail or woo a companion on a date, but the menu will need some work before it will woo anyone.

I started off with the Three Cheese Angus Sliders and Grilled Apple and Brie Quesadillas as appetizers. The sliders were encased in soft brioche rolls. The Angus beef was cooked perfectly. It was moist and pink, but the flavour just wasn't there, which seemed to be a recurring theme throughout the meal. The quesadillas made up for it a bit with their interesting mix of flavours. The sweetness of the apple and creamy taste of the brie swung hand in hand with the salty bacon. The maple mustard drizzled on top kicked it into delicious mode by adding a much welcome tangy zip.

The mains arrived and I was hopeful that the enticing menu had done them justice. The New York Striploin was cooked to perfection and for you meat purists out there, you will be happy to learn that they didn't drown it in sauces or seasonings. The mashed potatoes and mixed veggies that came alongside the steak also seemed to be cooked by Goldilocks, as their texture was just right. Once again the issue of flavour came up. There was nothing remarkable about the New York Strip except for the fact that it was nicely charred outside, and exactly as rare as I asked for inside. Most places over cook or under cook, but this plate was cooked to perfection.

I also tried the Shrimp and Scallop Tagliatelle which was interesting, but not remarkable. Again, the pasta was cooked to perfection; not too firm and not too mushy. The curried coconut cream sauce was what threw me. I thought it'd be amazing, something I'd never tried before, but it left me unimpressed. It wasn't really curried or coconutty, it just tasted like slightly spicy cream sauce. Not something I'd write home about.

The desserts were what bored me the most. The Molten Lava Cake wasn’t molten at all. Calling it Chilly Lava Cake would be more accurate. The middle was undercooked and underwhelming. The Creme Brûlée was average at best. It lacked that essential creaminess which makes the dessert so addictive.

With food ranging from $7-13 for appetizers and $15-$34 for entrees it’s a bit on the high side for meals that could use more flavour.

Sorry Harry, but Sally won’t be screaming orgasmically in your Social Kitchen quite yet.

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