Friday, September 05, 2014

REVIEW | Marben Restaurant on Wellington for dinner with some foodies from Zomato Toronto

Marben Restaurant has always been on my list but for some reason, I have yet to try - so when Zomato's foodie dinner was at this restaurant, I was beyond excited.  Marben is well known for its farm-to-table menu that is constantly evolving, and mostly catering to the after work crowd in the King West neighbourhood.

Once home to Top Chef Carl Heinrich, this locally driven restaurant has been led by Executive Chef, Rob Bragagnolo. He grew up in a family of chefs, spending his summers in Italy working at family owned restaurants and pastry factory until he moved to Spain to professionally enhance his skills and techniques. There, he worked at Michelin-stared restaurants before heading to Toronto, Canada, the city he grew up in. His previous years in Spain & Italy is evident in the current menu, which reflects Spanish & Northern Italy flavours and style.

The space inside and outside (including a street-side patio) are both beautiful, with wooden benches, exposed brick, mustard leather bar stools, and marble counter. It's also dimly lit, offering an atmosphere easy to chill out and relax to concentrate on your food and company.

So, what did we have for dinner at Marben? Take a look:

Artisanal Cheese Board ($16.00) with walnuts, toast & seasonal fruit chutney

Patatas Bravas ($7.00) with potato, spicy tomato, smoked paprika & aioli

Crispy Zucchini Flowers ($14.00) stuffed with scallop, morcilla & truffle mousse

Pan Cristal con Tomate ($9.00) - Spanish crystal bread rubbed with tomato topped with 24 month Serrano Ham ‘Fermin’

Grilled Octopus glazed in Blood Orange ($18.00) with red pepper, chorizo, new potato, scallion

Tequila Ceviche Cones ($12.00) with avocado, cilantro, tobiko & jalapeño

Smoked Risotto with Seared Scallops ($23.00) - chorizo, sea-buckthorn, hazelnuts & sea asparagus

B.C. Dungeness Crab & Roasted Tomato Tartare ($18.00) - avocado, tomato consomme & polenta crisps.

Crunchy Cucumber, Watercress & Buffalo Yogurt Salad ($12.00) - fresh herbs, spiced lentils with cumin-lemon vinaigrette

Ontario Peach & Manchego Cheese Salad ($12.00) - organic greens, pumpkin seed with lemon vinaigrette

Yucatan Style Braised Beef ($24.00) - spicy achiote glaze, jalapeno-sweet potato puree, cilantro

Ravioli ‘Raffaella ($24.00) slow roasted rabbit, fresh basil, shallot puree, marrow

Manchego Cheese Cake with basil & seabuckthorne 

Panna Cotta - rich, creamy, and seriously perfect, this was my favourite dessert.

Nutella Crème brûlée

Each dish created by Chef Rob and his crew was delectable and satisfying. I must admit, coming to the restaurant, I expect the prices to be high but for the quality of the ingredients and portion, it's definitely of value. I would love to return for a date night soon!

  -Our meal at this event was complimentary but opinions are our own-

Marben on Urbanspoon

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