Sherman's Food Adventures: Published on Main

Published on Main

Here I am at Published on Main once again.  This is my 7th visit and if you know me, a restaurant has to be damn good for that to happen.  I truly believe it deserves all the accolades it receives.  Recently, it was named #3 restaurant in Canada by Canada's 100 Best.  #1 is Mon Lapin in Montreal and I dined there a few weeks ago.  Spoiler alert - I know I haven't posted Mon Lapin yet, but for me personally, Published wins hands down.  Love their creative dishes with equally unique plating.

This time around, we had to start with one of their classics - Chips & Dip featuring smoked fish and onion mixed within the creamy dip.  Some fresh dill on top finished this concoction.  Absolutely love the viscosity of the dip as it adhered to each chip with a certain richness.  The chips were semi-thick and uniformly crispy with enough saltiness.  The smokiness of the fish came through while it provided body to the dip.  Naturally, the onions provided a fresh and bright sharpness.

Believe it or not, for all the times I've been here, it has never occurred to me to try the Aebleskiver.  Very shocking as this is one of their classic menu items.  It consisted of 3 savoury Danish donuts filled with stewed herbs.  One bite and the cake-light texture of the donut was not exactly light, but it was appealingly moist.  The herbs offered up plenty of flavour but the herb emulsion really put the dish over the top with a creamy and bright condiment.

To get fill our veggie quota, we had the Grilled Summer Vegetables with miso bagna cauda.  On this plate, we found charred broccolini and snap peas that were pretty well-salted.  Hence, they ate with a well-seasoned smokiness even without the bagna cauda.  However, the fermented saltiness really help bring out the natural flavours of the crunchy snap peas and broccolini.  Impactful veggies, beautiful dish.

Not to be outdone, we were also served the Summer Bounty with both yellow and green zucchini atop a tasty paste.  Edible flowers and truffled marcona almonds finished off the dish.  Tender with still a buttery crunch, the zucchini slices were perfectly prepared.  We felt the tasty paste had a particularly Asian flavour and the texture of pureed beans.  It has was on the saltier side with hits of sweetness and spice.

I guess we didn't delve heavily into the meats for our initial dishes, as the Ravioli alla Vodka featured a creamy fresh cheese filling.  The pasta itself was fairly thin while still tender and al dente.  It was bathed in a rich and creamy vodka sauce where the alcohol was properly cooked down (and also restrained in the amount).  So I could taste the essence and that was it.  Love the chanterelles as they had a buttery texture with bite while offering up the usual light fruitiness. 

Off to our first protein, we had the colourful and beautifully plated BC Halibut with fresh summer veggies and a vierge dressing.  The combination of grape tomatoes, lemon juice, olive oil and herbs really made this dish bright.  The citrus segments provided another layer of acidity as well sweet juiciness.  We found some tender, yet firm pieces of squash that had slightly soaked up the sauce.  However, the star was the halibut (as it should be).  It was flaky and buttery, as with perfectly prepared and fresh halibut should be. 

You can never go wrong with any form of Scallops at Published.  So we got their current iteration, which consisted of expertly-seared scallops that were caramelized on the outside while still rare on the inside.  The result was a buttery and sweet scallop with proper seasoning on the outside.  In the middle, we found fresh corn in a smoked garlic popcorn butter.  This was aromatic, sweet and had the essence of popped corn.  This was our favourite dish.

As always, we also go for the beef dish, whatever it is and this time around it was the Beef Striploin with chanterelles and grilled kale in a cowboy sauce.  As you can see, the steak was prepared a perfect and uniform medium-rare.  It was properly rested too, so it was juicy and tender.  The combination of chanterelles (and their jus from the saute) and the cowboy sauce added body, earthiness and buttery tanginess to the dish.

We were also served the Lamb Belly with gem lettuce with a cilantro dressing.  This sported fatty and super tender lamb belly that practically melted-in-my-mouth.  It was grilled enough to have a smoky char and resulting caramelization on the outside.  It was sauced with a sweet BBQ glaze that helped balance the savouriness.  On the side, the crisp lettuce was tangy and sweet with a cilantro-forward dressing.

For dessert, we went for the ol' standby being the Hay featuring aerated hay custard with green apple, meringue and chamomile.  If you ever wondered what hay tasted like, this would be the perfect way to do it.  In addition to some dry grassiness, there was earthy and nutty notes.  The custard was light, creamy and purposefully sweet.  The key to this dessert was the broken meringue as it added an airy crunch.  As you can see, this was another delicious meal at Published.  We come here so often that 2 of the dishes were comped. I truly think that they need to return to their #1 ranking for the following year.

The Good:
- Expertly-prepared dishes that shows attention to detail
- Intentional flavours that are impactful
- On point service

The Bad:
- Need to order lots in order to be full, but not a bad thing if you want to try more


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