From your first course ‘til your last, ‘Allium’ will delight your palate.

This restaurant intrigued me in so many ways. From the super casual ‘costco worker-esque’ attire of the servers, to the bacon-infused chipotle Caesar, to the ‘blind’ appie and main options, I could totally understand the Allium buzz. Located on Holland’s restaurant row (Anna’s Thai, Foolish Chicken, Canvas resto & bar are among Allium’s neighbours), this restaurant does French cuisine proud. The menu although tiny, was overwhelming so my date and I had decided to begin our experience by each picking an appie and sharing them for optimal taste testing. The Allium Salad packed a serious amount of flavour: chipotle lime dressing, pickled beets, roasted cauliflower, creamy roasted squash, crunchy quinoa and a panko-crusted ‘French toast’ crouton, all of which made this a salad heaven. The Shrimp ‘Cocktail’ came with 3 tempura shrimp on a bed of avocado aioli, roasted corn and a slice of tomato&horseradish cornbread (which melts in your mouth).

For mains, we decided to try the ‘blind’ option (the only thing the server could tell us was that it was 31 dollars) and Allium’s widely popular steak&frites.

The blind option blew my expectations flavour-wise and was beautifully presented. Seared mini-tuna steaks served with roasted eggplant, and a pulled-pork filled croquette served on a zucchini pancake with fig jam on the top and bacon cream on the bottom had my taste buds wanting more.

The steak&frites was also delicious, served medium rare on buttered Brussels sprouts with a Dijon-chili aioli for frite dipping, however my only complaint was that the dish was a bit too salty for my liking and the poor server had to keep filling my glass of water up throughout the meal.

For dessert, we decided to try Allium’s famous Banoffee Pie which is their take on a banana cream tart. There isn’t much to say about this dessert except that if you don’t get it next time you’re there, you’re committing culinary suicide. Thank god it came in a half size portion though, since that’s all I had room for.

Location: 87 Holland Ave
Website: http://www.alliumrestaurant.ca/

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