Sbraga

On Thursday night, Andrew, his classmates and I went to try Sbraga, a restaurant opened by Top Chef Kevin Sbraga. The reviews of Sbraga made it sound really good. Their menu constantly changes based on what’s in season, and what the chef is trying out. They also have a tasting menu for only $55.

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How the menu works is that everyone starts off with the same items (ours was a gruyere popover and a foie gras soup). Then you choose a dish from the “appetizer”, “first plate”, “second plate” and “dessert” sections.

We started with the popover and it had some good flavor but I thought that it was quite dry, definitely not fresh from the oven.

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The soup on the other hand was AMAZING. It had a very deep flavour, thanks to the foie gras, but at the same time, it was sweet and had a lemongrass aftertaste. They also gave us small pumpernickel croutons, which held up very well within the soup.

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For my appetizer, I tried the tomato salad which had peaches and a soy vinaigrette. It was nice and light, but I wasn’t a fan that the peaches still had their skins on.

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This was the point in the meal where it started going downhill. The only word that can appropriately describe the barley risotto was SALTY. It came with crisped rabbit which had some good flavor, but the salt was so overpowering that it was quite disappointing.

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For my main, I tried the sea bass. I think that the skin of the sea bass had been heavily brined, whereas the fish itself had no flavor. It did come with two sauces, but I didn’t think that they worked with the fish itself.

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Lastly, I had the roasted peaches for dessert. I don’t know what I was thinking since the tomato salad peaches still had their skins on, I should have figured that the roasted peaches would have theirs too.

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I think that at the end of the meal, our main feeling was surprise. Sbraga had been rated very well on different websites, but it definitely did not follow through on that popular opinion. In addition, our service was unbelievably terrible. The waiter repeatedly kicked my chair (and I almost fell off twice!), he also kept bumping the plates against me, and never asked how we found any of our dishes. Lastly, the courses moved very slowly considering that the restaurant wasn’t even close to full. Personally, I now wonder why people even return there!

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