81 Bloor Street East
(Major Intersection: Yonge and Bloor)
Despite what my blog says, my coworkers and I rarely go out for lunch. Even if we do, its usually a quick place. Today however, was a special ocassion so we took the time and went to a fancier place to fill our starving mid-day tummies. Peridot is right by my office in yorkville. I have been here on a couple of occasions. Usually we sit in the dining room, but because of the weather we opted for the rooftop patio.
Left: Inside dining area, Right: Rooftop patio
All the other times I've been here, I order from their regular menu, and have never been disappointed. This time that we went, they were having a "Peridotlicious" promotion menu they were having. It is similar to Summerlicious, where for a fixed price ($20), you can choose from a selection of appetizers, entrees and desserts. Not a bad deal considering one entree or pasta here would usually run you 16 dollars!
"Watermelon Gazpacho" (Peridotlicious $20) - Puree Of Watermelon, Cucumber, Bell Pepper, Jalapeno, Ginger And Fresh Mint
For my appetizer I chose the watermelon gazpaco. It was a cold soup and figured it'd be perfect for the hot weather. I ended up not finishing this. Its a matter of personal preference but I found the soup was too heavily spiced. I always had an impression that gazpacos should be refreshing, but this one had lots of overpowering flavours from spices and herbs. It almost reminded me of Italian salad dressing! I will commend on the service here though, as the waitress offered me a replacement appetizer as a result of my disliking of the soup. I declined, but I really liked the gesture.
"Herb And Padano Encrusted Tilapia"(Peridotlicious $20)- With Baby Spinach, Orange Ginger Vinaigrette
For my main I chose the tilapia. I cannot say that it's the best fish I've ever had, but definitely not the worst. In terms of flavouring and cooking, everything was on par. It had a vinagrette oil that had a lemony flavour drizzled over it that brought out the fish's freshness and went well with the string beans and spinach. What did put me off a bit, was the texture of the fish. It lacked the certain bounce that fresher fish have in their meat. As a result it was more mush and dull. I would've also preferred the crusted to be crunchier. To be honest it wasn't a horrible dish, but I was disappointing because my previous experiences here were much better than this.
"Spaghettini" ($14) - Grilled Eggplant, Sweet Peppers, Red Lentils, Capers, Kalamata Olives, Plum Tomato, Chili, Basil, Arugula, Lemon And Extra Virgin Olive Oil
As a tribute to the delicious pastas here, I took a quick picture of my coworker' spaghetini. It was delish! I find that the pastas here have a good balance between pasta and ingredients, and each one comes with a long list of different ingredients. You'll never run into that situatuon where your sausage pasta comes with only sausage and pasta. I particularly enjoy the eggplant and lentils which is not something you find in many pastas. It's not overly oily as I find with other olive oil based sauces, and is mighty flavourful! Any place which can make pasta memorable is a good place in my books.
Chocolate Crème Brulee (Peridotlicious $20, normally $7)- With Fresh Raspberries
Dessert is usually my favourite part of the meal, and it is perfectly justified after this chocolate creme brulee! It was very creamy and had a heavy chocolate taste. Wasn't too sweet at all, and had a thick crunchy burnt sugar top. I just love breaking the first openinig and hearing the sugary top crack! One thing I noticed was that the filling was less thick than most creme brulees. It was a but more runny, like pudding. No matter, because it tasted heavenly!
If my impression of this restaurant is purely based on this meal alone, then I'd have to say it was average at best. I was not overly blown away by the peridotlicious selections. However, having tried their regular menu on other lunch occasions, Peridot is definitely one of my favourites. Stick to the pastas and paninis on the regular menu, you can't go wrong. I will definitely pay tribute to Peridot on my blog again sometime in the future to do it justice.