Happy Saturday to you all! I have to interrupt regularly scheduled programming to wish this cool guy (aka. my dad) a happy birthday!

That is a picture I took when we did a father-daughter canoe trip together a few years ago. It was a tough 150 km, but we made it through! Unfortunately dad is in Pennsylvania with mom this weekend, so we celebrated early on Thursday night with a dinner at our favourite restaurant: Blacktree.

My parents found this gem back when it first opened in 2005 and they’ve become really good friends with the chef, Matteo Paonessa over the past couple years. Matteo is a genius of a chef if I ever saw one. His menu is full of innovative dishes and he constantly manages to surprise and satisfy my taste buds with his unexpected combinations of flavours. If you are ever near Toronto and have an adventurous palette, you must check out Blacktree!


I started with a piece of bread fresh from the oven. Some foie gras butter was brought out with it, but I opted just to have mine without. The amuse bouche was a fried cracker with cured duck, foie gras and a lemon sauce. This was amazing! The saltiness, creaminess and sweetness all paired perfectly together.

I had such a hard time choosing an appetizer but, being one to never turn down fish, I had the hot and cold salmon. The hot salmon was perfectly rare with an amazing buttery texture. The cured salmon was also delicious with just the right amount of chewiness. The plate had some other sauces and embellishments on it but I forgot to ask what they were.


For my entrée I usually go for whatever steak or fish he is offering at the time (the menu changes monthly) but after hearing the description of this month’s gnocchi, I knew I had it go for it. It was a butternut squash gnocchi in a coconut milk sauce accented with an olive drizzle and pumpkin seeds, with a cheese that I can’t remember the name of. It was way too strong for me though, so I ended up leaving it. Everything else was delicious though!


Even though I cleaned off both of my plates (minus the cheese), I left the restaurant feeling not too full. I was just sleepy and satisfied after an evening of good food, good wine, and good company.

The birthday boy and mom:

Me, my third glass of wine, and my sister:

Hope you all enjoy your weekends!

What is your favourite restaurant? What is your favourite meal there?

Blacktree on Urbanspoon


Filed under restaurant

13 Responses to Blacktree

  1. Happy Birthday to your Dad! I love that first picture! Totally captures the whole "surviving in the wilderness" idea… but it makes me miss camping ;)As for restaurants… I really fail in that department because I can probably count on one hand the number of times in my life that I've actually been out to a real restaurant. Having that allergy to nuts made eating out a little more complicated than I was willing to put effort into… I didn't want to have to sit there worrying about whether what I was eating might end up killing me, so I just avoided it all together. And eating out isn't really big in my family anyways… We're more home cooked people :)Oh, and I totally feel you on the banana in oats thing. I always like to leave little chunks of it so that I can grab a spoonful and get a good amount of banana flavor in it :)

  2. Aw happy birthday to your pops!! Your family is beautiful, especially you! :)Butternut squash gnocchi with coconut milks sounds SO amazing. I want to somehow recreate that! I honestly don't know if I could pick a favorite restaurant.. there is one place by my school called Top of the Hill and they brew their own beer and they have this Sonoma Salad with chicken, almonds, raisins, roasted cauliflower and broccoli, and a curry yogurt dressing. Oh and deeelish sweet potato fries! ALSO are you able to eat almonds? Because I was thinking you could ask your parents for some TJ's almond butter! It's very good :)

  3. Happy birthday to your poppa! And I was going to say the exact same thing as Megan – what a gorgeous family!!The gnocchi sounds heavenly, as does the salmon appetizer. And I can never just use the whole banana IN oats, either – some has to be on top!! I saw soynut butter yesterday and was thisclose to getting some – but opted for the peanut butter instead. Next time! The honey flavor really caught my eye ;)Have a great weekend Chelsea!

  4. Happy Birthday to your Dad!I am such a fiend for restaurant hunting that this post alone is enough to make me pack my bags for Toronto! Those sweet potato gnocchi look particularly delish. I love root veggies and pasta together, so 2-in-1 sounds fabbb.

  5. (left a previous comment but not sure if it went through?) that's funny that you mentioned how you eat your banana in your oatmeal because i'm the EXACT same way – i can only mash half of my banana in, and i always have to leave the other half out to slice on top because i just like to be able to taste the actual texture of the banana.your restaurant food looks absolutely delicious! especially the hot and cold salmon – i want to try making that! btw, your family is lovely! =)

  6. Your family is too cute! And, that meal looks so fancy and delicious! My favorite restaurant…so hard! I don't really have on…they keep getting topped :)

  7. the meals you create look SO pretty. This restaurant looks like such a fun time. You Dad and my sis share the same birthday!

  8. The pic of your dad on the canoe trip is awesome! It's great that you can do fun stuff with your pa — mine lives far away right now. :( The gnocchi looks good! I like to treat myself to pasta when I'm at good restaurants since it's something I rarely cook for myself at home, mainly because I'm too lazy, lol.

  9. Must be a great weekend for your dad! Birthday + Father's day in one weekend = one lucky guy!I am sooo there with you about the banana in oatmeal thing. I like some texture in my oatmeals, and sliced bananas are just perfect :-)

  10. hahah 3rd glass of wine! and out w/ your parentals, i love it. your family is soooo cute!!!

  11. Happy Birthday to your dad! I have some funny pics of the first time I hit the third glass of wine out with my dad. He still picks on me!

  12. Happy birthday to your dad! AND happy father's day :)Gnocci in coconut milk sounds *heavenly*

  13. Happy birthday to your father! And happy father's day to him too :) Looks like such a delicious meal out…I love trying interesting new places with my parents, they make the best dates! Hope you've had a wonderful weekend love! xoxo

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