Sherman's Food Adventures: Published on Main

Published on Main

So you know the saying that "you can never have too much of a good thing?", well I think it is completely true when we are referring to Published on Main.  Fresh off a visit back in September, I felt that I needed to come back again.  Not only do I love the food there, the biggest reason for another visit was that Viv had never been.  So I took her there for her birthday and coincidentally, I made the rez just prior to Published being awarded a Michelin star.  Oh and also being recognized as one of the best restaurants in the world as well.

With those lofty expectations, we started simply with the Chips & Dip.  Yes, this isn't the most sexiest dish on the menu, but it is one of my favourites.  Those thick cut house potato chips arrived crunchy and nicely salted.  The accompanying sour cream and onion dip was the perfect temperature being cool and creamy.  There was a natural sweetness from the onions as well as a background sharpness.  What really made the dip was the smoked fish as there was an appealing fishiness and depth.

Next up was the Chicken Fried Maitake with garlic scape ranch.  Although there was no meat in this dish, the meatiness of the mushrooms made this rather fulfilling.  Beyond the aggressive crunch of the cornmeal batter, the maitake were tender with a meaty chew.  Creamy and aromatic, the ranch helped cool things down, much like the sour cream dip, but with more effect since the mushrooms were hot.  As much as garlic scapes can be rather strong flavoured, the dip was balanced.

One of the prettiest dishes was the Albacore Crudo with an ajo blanco, almonds, olive and lemon.  It ate as well as it looked where the tuna was super buttery with a fresh taste of the sea.  Underneath, the ajo blanco was rich but had a nice bit of acidity to compliment the fish.  The crunch of the almond crumble added the necessary texture as well as nuttiness.  Providing saltiness and a touch more tang, the olives were more than a garnish.

Continuing on with the seafood, we had the Roasted Octopus with turnips and a lemon guajillo dressing.  I found the texture of the octopus to be perfect for my liking.  Often, restaurants overcompensate for the chewy texture of octopus by making it too soft.  Here, the tentacles still had a good chew but was not hard to eat.  That dressing was just plain delicious where it had great acidity as well as a smoky and sweet finish.

One of my favourite dishes at Published is their Winter Squash.  I was pretty glad that they still had this on the menu. It featured roasted squash with a pepita miso glaze, fermented currants and a koji butter sauce.  The glaze itself was almost like a brulee and had an intense sweetness accented by a rich saltiness.  The sweet squash was firm, yet still tender.  To add even more luxuriousness to this dish, the koji butter sauce was rich, yet not too heavy.

We ended up ordering 2 of their features for the night including the Pickerel Filet with rosti, celery, Brussels sprouts and green dashi butter.  The fish couldn't have been prepared any better.  It was flaky, buttery and moist while the skin was crispy and well-salted.  That green dashi butter tasted like its colour yet was not heavy.  The accompaniments were excellent as well with vibrant veggies and a crispy rosti.

The other feature was the Beef Cheek with red wine cabbage puree, German gnocchi and Brussels sprouts.  Gelatinous and fork tender, the beef cheek was rich and delicious.  However, the puree was just a bit too tangy for our tastes.  It was in a beautiful shade of violet though and really popped.  Those gnocchi had a great mouth feel with a slight chew giving way to fluffiness.  Nice sear on them with a butteriness.

Onto dessert, the Elderflower Mousse with yogurt sorbet and lemon verbena was plated interestingly and was rather functional.  Alternating between sorbet and verbena, the sliced discs were easy to pick up and eat.  Nice tang on both while the verbena was super creamy.  I gotta say that this meal lived up to our expectations.  I've never had a bad experience at Published and I think they are fully deserving of their Michelin star.  Of course I'll be back sometime soon.

The Good:
- Beautifully plated and delicious food
- On point, but not fussy, service
- Excellent cocktails

The Bad:
- Can get pricey since 3 dishes (excluding dessert) at minimum per person is needed to be satisfied
- Getting a table these days is difficult


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