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Welcome to cuiscenes, a Toronto-based food blog. We are by no means food experts or professional critics and the thing is, most people aren't either. We're just a few people who love eating.

Old School | cuiscenes does NYE

Old School | cuiscenes does NYE

I think as a human race, we can collectively agree that 2016 wasn't as fabulous as one might have hoped it would be last New Year's Eve (here's looking at you, Trump). We did, however, have some of the best meals of our lives this year, and for that we are #blessed. As is the new norm on NYE, we decided to do a fixed price three course dinner at Old School ($35), known for their crazy brunch creations and delicious smoked meats.

To start, half of us ordered the ‘Smoked Cauliflower with Romesco Sauce’, which we had to google (being the very informed foodies we are). Turns out Romesco sauce is made with red peppers and unspecified nuts, which definitely comes through. The combination of the very smokey cauliflower and the nutty sauce didn’t necessarily provide juxtaposition in flavours but was definitely never overwhelming.

Smoked Cauliflower with Romesco Sauce

Smoked Cauliflower with Romesco Sauce

For those of you who have 'not eating fried foods' on your list of 2017 resolutions (definitely not any of us), you might want to think twice about that. Italian seasoned bread crumbs and marinara sauce add a sophisticated touch to the good old fried ‘Mac n Cheese Balls’ recipe, but we would have definitely liked these to be a bit heavier on the cheese (did someone say resolutions?).

Fried Man n' Cheese Balls

Fried Man n' Cheese Balls

For the main, we ordered the ‘Smoked Short Rib with Black Cherry Jus & Blue Cheese Mash’. You had us at Blue Cheese Mash. You have us at blue cheese anything, really. These mashed potatoes were genius, the blue cheese was subtle, but gave the mash a perfectly gooey texture. The smoked short rib was juicy and easily came apart, but there was so sign of black cherry jus to be found.

Smoked Short Rib with Black Cherry Jus & Blue Cheese Mash

Smoked Short Rib with Black Cherry Jus & Blue Cheese Mash

Before even arriving, we already knew that we were going to say “Yessi to the Gnocchi.” As incredibly lame as that statement was, the dish proved itself to be the opposite. Lightly fried on the outside, each bite had a crisp welcoming right before the soft potato filling inside. Balancing the savory taste of the gnocchi was the sweetness of pulled pork. The ratio was uneven with more pork than gnocchi, but as meat-lovers, that was fine with us. Overall the dish itself was more than satisfactory. However, there is some critique in regards to the plating. When the dish arrived, everything was pushed to one side of the plate, making it look lopsided and unfinished. On top of that, there was a noticeable half-thumb sized piece of green plastic garnishing the gnocchi, which made us worry about how good the dish was going to be. The first bite reaffirmed our faith otherwise, but it just proves to show that presentation is just as important as taste.

Gnocchi Tossed in Maple Pork Rague

Gnocchi Tossed in Maple Pork Rague

By the time we got to dessert, we were all so stuffed the thought of another bite was more daunting than another day of 2016. When the waiter placed the 'White Chocolate Blondie with Ice Cream and Peppermint Whipcream' in front of us, we all put those reservations aside to tackle it because #nodaysoff. The blondie was approximately four times the size of any reasonable blondie and piled high with cream, so understandably after eating a third of it we had to push it away, our sweet teeth very much satisfied.

White Chocolate Blondie with Ice Cream & Peppermint Whipcream

White Chocolate Blondie with Ice Cream & Peppermint Whipcream

And so, a new year arrives, and although time is an illusion and New Year's means little to nothing in terms of the kind of person you are, it's a great excuse for us to set some goals and reach them, so why not! Let 2017 be the year of eating new things with people we love, making a mess in the kitchen, trying every drink on the menu, and yes, realizing stuff.

Old School Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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Jamie's Italian

Miku | Winterlicious 2017

Miku | Winterlicious 2017