Light up your tastebuds at Luma

Last night was my first time at Luma in Toronto (located in the Bell/TIFF Lightbox).

Yes, I know everyone else has already been. Yes, everyone else has already told me how awesome it is. However, I wasn’t expecting it to be quite *this* awesome. When Danielle and I planned our dinner date, this was the first place she suggested and I eagerly agreed.

Let me preface this review by saying I’m an extremely picky eater. If it looks weird (to me), has something I can’t identify in it or is gamey/fishy, I probably won’t eat it. Having already perused the menu online, I quickly decided on the steak frites (served with mushrooms and truffle-parmesan fries). Danny chose her go-to, the lingcod, served with prosciutto. Having made an unexpected trip to The Stockyards during lunch, I made a conscious decision to turn down the soup special, a butternut squash (my favourite).

I quickly learned that Executive Chef Jason Bangerter doesn’t take no for an answer.

He arrived tableside with a gorgeously plated appetizer of chickpea fritters on Moroccan quinoa with beetroot and other tasty additions.

We couldn’t get close to finishing it, but we certainly tried.

My steak frites was perfect and, unfortunately, also went unfinished. My meat was tender, perfectly cooked and lean as could be while still retaining flavour. As for the frites…I would probably walk downtown from my Bayview/Finch home for the parmesan-truffle frites. They were crispy on the outside and perfectly soft inside; dressed beautifully in the parmesan and truffle oil.

Danielle’s lingcod is a dish she keeps coming back to when she visits Luma. Apparently it’s that good every single time. As a non-fish eater, I was almost tempted to ask for a bite – it looked so delicious.

We turned away the dessert menu – everything on it looked amazing, but we couldn’t bear to have another bite.

Of course, Chef Bangerter wouldn’t allow that either, and two spoons surreptitiously made their way to our table. The dessert that followed was jaw-droppingly decadent.

That, my friends, is a layered cup of sin with espresso pudding, crunchy brownie crumble and Kahlua cream…topped with gold leaf flecks for an extra dose of luxe. I would have been satisfied if I’d only had this dessert for dinner.

I’ll be back to Luma and I’ve learned my lesson – go with the intention of having a full 3-course meal. You won’t regret it.

From the response to the photos I tweeted, Instagram-med and Facebooked last night, I know my friends will be visiting soon, too.

Thanks to Chef Bangerter for the unexpected treats – I practically rolled my way home for how stuffed I was, but every bite was perfection.