Built around the vestiges of two 1860s woodcutters’ cottages, O&B’s Auberge du Pommier has been open since 1987. Located in uptown Toronto, a few minutes walk from York Mills subway station, Auberge du Pommier has the most picturesque entrance to a restaurant that I’ve seen in a long time.
Delayed by the TTC, I was the last to arrive – I see my friends waiting for me in the foyer. Everyone is in great spirits, and Finance Bro tells me that I’ve made it right in time. The hostess takes my coat, and guides us to our table in the Sophie Dining Room. The restaurant itself is dotted with small statues of little dogs.
Winterlicious. Sunday. Lunch service. Table for 4.
As we sat down, the first thing I noticed was the music. Quaint, whimsical, French music which reminded me of Van Gogh’s Cafe Terrace at Night, one of my favourite paintings. The music throughout the afternoon maintained the ambience for the most part… except for a ludicrous 4 minutes and 13 seconds while Serge Gainsbourg and Brigitte Bardot’s Bonnie & Clyde played. The group and I decided that the playlist belonged to the Maître D’, as we caught him singing along joyously towards the end of the afternoon.
Though the rest of the restaurant was quite crowded, the Sophie Dining Room – well decorated with a white theme – was for the most part empty. The room received plenty of natural light.
One of my friends recounted how an old friend of his had commented on how he was becoming more and more of a hipster:
….Apparently all I need is an iPhone before I’m completely ‘lumbersexual’!”
We disagreed. Our bearded, flannel-wearing friend was far too in touch with his emotions and sensitivities to be considered a thoughtless, burly lumbersexual. And that kids… is how Mr. Lumbersensitive got his name.
Finance Bro & I ordered the Elderflower Lemonade (nothing special), while Mr. Lumbersensitive ordered an Iced Tea (very good). Bag Lady opted for water that afternoon. “And why not?” commented The Anthony, “Water is a wonderful thing!”.
Before I go any further, I guess I’d better explain what The Anthony is. Unlike, ‘Finance Bro’ or ‘Bag Lady’, The Anthony is not a pseudonym to protect the identities of my friends. The Anthony is a rank.
Over the course of the past year, my friends and I have visited a lot of restaurants. It was an summer evening while Bag Lady, Finance Bro and I sat in Cafe Boulud, that we came up with a ranking scheme, based on previous memorable experiences with servers.
The George is gorgeous. And he knows it. Sadly, that’s all The George is… a pretty face without the skills or personality to match. We first met The George at Sneaky Dee’s.
The Clinton is a charming fellow. Friendly, disarming, and ready to be a part of your discussion. We first met The Clinton at Hunter’s Landing.
A new category in tribute to our server at Auberge du Pommier! The Anthony is good-looking, friendly, and an intelligent, witty conversationalist.
The cream of the crop. The Zachary takes the flawless features of The George, and mixes it with the charm and approachability of The Clinton, and the intelligence and wit of The Anthony, but he adds a respectful restraint – sure, he could be the centre of attention but he doesn’t need to be, he’s there to make sure that you have a great experience. We first encountered The Zachary at Cafe Boulud. Funnily enough, to-date – we’ve encountered three Zachary’s (two male, one female)… all at Cafe Boulud.
So now that I’ve introduced you to my Very Official and Serious Server Rankings Scheme (VOSSRS), it’s needless to say that our server was great. In fact, all the servers were lovely that day.
For starters, Bag Lady ordered the Remoulade Salad, which she enjoyed but later felt that she should’ve ordered something else.
Mr. Lumbersensitive ordered the Spiced Pork Terrine. He enjoyed it thoroughly, commenting that he usually feels that up-scale restaurants aren’t worth the hefty prices they charge, but the terrine is something he felt was worth a higher price.
There was something about the Venison & Beef Haché that grabbed all of us by our taste buds. All four of us ordered it for our main course. And as far most of us were concerned, it delivered – the meat, cooked rare, was succulent and soft. It was nicely plated and paired wonderfully with the spinach. In hindsight, Bag Lady felt that she should have ordered the Winter Provençal Fish Stew; Finance Bro commented that though he enjoyed the dish, he still preferred the Roasted Ontario Pork Belly he had tried there previously.
For dessert, Mr. Lumbersensitive and I ordered the Chocolate, which was simply delicious. The blood orange coulis provided an excellent flavour contrast as well.
Bag Lady and Finance Bro ordered the Ontario Cheese, which they both enjoyed. Both loved the fig jam more than the cheese itself!
Rating: 4 Awkward Musical Interludes / 5
Have you been to Auberge du Pommier? How was your experience? Do you agree with my rating? Comment below and let me know!