French Inspired Fare in Little Italy
Acadia is located in one of my favourite areas of the city in the heart of Little Italy. Be forewarned, you’re better off taking public transit, walking or cabbing to get to this area because it’s always a task finding parking with all the bars and restaurants that line the streets. But of course, don’t let that deter you!
It was a damp rainy night (good thing we took a cab) and not surprisingly I was in the mood for comfort food. So we ended up at Acadia quite unintentionally on a random Thursday night because we were at a party not too far away.
I had absolutely no expectations other than friends kept telling me “Go Joy, you’ll love it”, and it turns out, I did! The restaurant itself could use a little makeover but I couldn’t have cared less with food so ridiculously flavourful and excellent service provided by our very own Carly Rae Jepsen look-alike.
If you’ve travelled to Georgia, South Carolina or Louisiana, the heartlands of Lowcountry and Acadian cooking, then you likely know what to expect but add a touch of French and the chef’s own unique tastes and you have Acadia.
Since we had no expectations, we let the server pick our starters for us, which included homemade cornbread with whipped pork butter & mesquite ($8) - a.k.a. heavenly deliciousness; pork rillettes, pig head, cured loin and little neck clams ($14) – not my thing personally, but my fiancé loved it; and smoked sturgeon with sunchoke, grapes and mustard seeds ($15). It was a smorgasbord of comfort foods.
For our mains we had organic salmon with pickled quail egg, paprika, white anchovy, shishito pepper, lemon ($24) and beef strip loin with fried marrow, spinach puree, creamed mushrooms, pecans and pickled cippolini ($26). I bet you can guess which main I had; and while I’m not much of a red meat eater the little bit I did try was a true feast of flavours.
The dessert was a wonderfully creamy chocolate ganache ($9). I wish it didn’t have to end, but then again, I can just go back and order it once more. My time at Acadia turned what was an otherwise cold, damp evening into a warm and comforting experience.
50 Clinton Street, Toronto
Joy McCarthy, is a Holistic Nutritionist, food lover and owner of joyoushealth.ca