Sherman's Food Adventures: Toulouse Petit

Toulouse Petit

Normally, when I'm out-of-town, restaurant revisits are not on the top of my list.  However, if the food is memorable enough, it could warrant a second go-around.  This was the case after our 6-hour BBQ Certification Course.  Since we were not exactly hungry as we downed a good amount of BBQ meat, we ended up visiting Toulouse Petit (conveniently open late) at 9:00pm.  It was the first ever visit for Grace, but as mentioned, this was a revisit for myself.

While looking over the extensive menu, it occurred to me that the best value was their build-your-own 3-course meal.  I chose the Local Crab & Red Grapefruit Salad as my starter.  Topped with a big chunk of avocado, fennel, baby tomatoes, arugula and pistachios, the whole thing was tossed in a champagne vinaigrette.  This was well-dressed being peppery, savory and acidic.  Flavors were bright and fresh while textures were varied including the smoothness of the avocado, juiciness of the grapefruit and the crunch from the pistachios.  As for the ample crab, it was firm and a bit salty.  Also loved the hits of basil too.

Staying with crab, I had the Fried Green Tomatoes topped with fresh dungeness crab and tarragon-chive ravigote.  The picture doesn't do this dish justice as there was a tonne of firm, yet still fluffy crab on top.  I found the green tomato to be firm which held up to the crispy cornmeal batter.  It was crunchy while staying intact and adhered to the tomato even after cutting through with a knife.  The ravigote was very "tartar" sauce-like being creamy and acidic.  I liked the faint flavor of anise with the tarragon as well as the sharpness of the onions.

For my main, I went for the Toulouse 9 oz. USDA Prime Ribeye Steak Frites.  This was beautifully prepared medium-rare.  It was properly rested where the juices remained mostly in the steak even after my first few cuts.  On top, there was a cajun stilton butter that was zesty, spicy and pungent.  This added plenty of flavor to compliment the natural meatiness of the ribeye.  As for the frites, they were thin and crispy with not a whole lot of potatoness left.  I didn't mind though as I like my frites crunchy throughout.

Grace decided on the Big Easy Jambalaya which arrived as a pretty impressive portion.  One bite and the spice level was impactful without killing the dish. There was a nice depth-of-flavour where the andouille sausage added even more body.  Loved the ample meaty shrimp as well.  One thing I didn't like about the dish was the slightly bitter finish. We never really did finish everything and it was a good thing I didn't order any more dishes (although I really wanted to!).  I guess there will be another revisit because there is so much more that I want to try off the menu.

The Good:
- Impactful flavours
- Well-portioned
- Attentive service

The Bad:
- Heavy and on the greasier side (but no one said Creole food was light)