- The Food
- The Atmosphere
- The Service
I honestly almost walked right by the little sign that read “The Feasting Room”. Seriously, it was a little inconspicuous wooden sign hanging by a door. Chef Noah Goldberg is using this tiny sign to direct customers up the stairs into The Orbit Room, the venue he borrowed to launch the concept of The Feasting Room – a place where customers can eat “the entire beast”. What does this mean? Well in most meals, the average person will part of an animal, for example, the drumstick of a chicken. Chef Goldberg wants you to eat the entire chicken…in a pricier, sexier way of course! The idea is new and unique so even for the honking $65 a person, I gave it a shot.
580 College Street
Toronto, ON M6G 1B3
The menu is constantly changing so customers should give it some thought before making a reservation. This concept restaurant is only around for 6 months and within these 6 months, a different animal is served weekly. Buffalo, pig, and rabbit – these were all in the works, but for this meal, goose was my chosen.
The 6 dishes were as follows:
(1) goose liver parfait and blueberry compote
(2) goose heart and caramelized onion salad
(3) gravy made from goose neck
(4) goose neck stuffed with leg confit
(5) roasted goose breast with yellow beet puree
(6) gooseberry rice pudding
It’s extremely hard to write about each dish so I will focus on the ones that were my favourite. Let’s start with the two appetizers that are not listed above. Technically, there were 8 dishes, 2 appetizers ahead of the main dishes. They were deep-fried goose gizzard confit and goose wing marinated with Tamarind sauce. I cannot say the goose wing was particularly unique, but the gizzard was very different. The crispiness of the fried batter complemented the chewy, warm and moist centre, opening my stomach for the remainder of the meal =P
Amongst my favourite was the goose liver parfait. Chef Goldberg carefully layered fat, liver and parfait into a cup. Using a knife, the three-layer combo was spread onto thinly-toasted bread. The medley was absolutely flavourful with classic liver flavours magnified through Goldberg’s obvious cooking genius. My only complaint was that the bread was a bit sharp around the edges, cutting my upper mouth a bit. Other than that, this dish was commendable. Blueberry compote seemed redundant and excessive because the overpowering flavours from the fruit shadowed that of the liver.
The next dish on my list was the goose neck gravy. Yes, it hardly sounds appetizing but a book should not be judged by its cover. Our waiter served up an interesting bowl that contained strips of meat from the goose neck that was basking in its own juices. Deep-fried potato balls, sheep’s milk and cheese curd mixed in to deliver a scrumptious, creamy fries & gravy poutine!
Other courses of the meal were quite creative as well. For example, the salad was certainly inviting with three tiny goose hearts. The most time-consuming dish to prepare appeared to be the goose neck. Goose leg confit was carefully held together by the neck which acted as the sausage that encased the pieces. Chef Goldberg’s originality and imagination was undeniable and these are the two things to watch out for when coming to Feasting Room. The tasting menu changes often so whatever review written has no “practical” use, but I emphasize the concept and experience of the restaurant.
One thing I wanted to specifically point out – the price. At $65 per head I honestly expected more. Despite the service being friendly and efficient, buyer’s remorse kicked in for several things. One, The Orbit Room isn’t necessarily the fanciest place. Picture the typical bar area with small windows and tiny tables. For $65, I’d expect a comfier seat and possibly better decor. Don’t get me wrong, the place looks great…for a bar! With that aside, customers are essentially paying 100% for the new foods made from animals that are oh so familiar. If Chef Goldberg does indeed turn this concept into an actual restaurant, I’d possibly consider going back if the price is lowered. Reduce that buyer’s remorse so people feel the value is there! At $65, I’m not sure how many beasts I could eat before I go broke and left emotionally shattered.
The Damage: $180 after tax and tip for 2