We were invited as part of a select group of media flown out from across the country to participate in an exclusive experience to help launch GM Canada’s new luxury crossover SUV, the 2013 Buick Encore. The journey took us on a culinary adventure while we test drove the vehicle from urban chic Toronto to cottage country Muskoka, also known as “The Hamptons” of Canada.
We began our gastronomic tour at Toronto’s VICTOR Restaurant + Bar which is located in one of the city’s best luxury boutique accommodations, Hotel Le Germain. Top Chef Canada’s David Chrystian is the Executive Chef of this cosmopolitan eatery & lounge and he created a four course menu designed specifically for our Buick Encore trip, with each dish highlighting a destination or activity that we experienced during our four day excursion.
Even though VICTOR is only open for dinner (daily from 5pm to 12am), they opened the restaurant especially for us in the afternoon. A long table was set up in the private dining room for our group and Chef David was there to personally guide us through each creative course.
Starting with our first destination, “Toronto” Appetizer included Toronto Spice (a secret blend of flavours developed by Chef David and his culinary team at VICTOR) tomato soup with thinly sliced fried sunchokes, brussel sprouts and a generous dollop of cream cheese.
Our pit stop on the way to Touchstone Resort on Lake Muskoka was the McMichael Canadian Art Gallery in Kleinburg, Ontario. We experienced a private tour of the Group of Seven collection, so Chef David created “Group of Seven” Entree I. This first main dish was Chicken Tagine with some sweetness from dried fruit, vibrant mint puree, black olives, sumac, and crackling for a crunchy texture.
Since winter activities were on the itinerary, “Ice Fishing in Muskoka” was Chef David’s muse for Entree II. This dish consisted of pan seared white fish topped with a slice of crispy bacon, all resting on a bed of house made sauerkraut and accompanied by pickled asparagus with wild rice.
To conclude the meal, a little “Pick Up” for dessert was presented to us. The sweet treat was a rich and creamy scoop of tempting tiramisu topped with dark chocolate pieces and finished with berry sauce for a touch of tartness. When our dining experience came to an end, we all hopped into our designated fully loaded Encores, enabled OnStar, and hit the road toward lake country. Stay tuned for the next part of our culinary trip!
VICTOR Restaurant + Bar @ Hotel Le Germain
30 Mercer Street, Toronto, Ontario
Open daily 5pm-12am | (416) 883-3431