Mildred’s Temple Kitchen is located at 85 Hanna Avenue, Suite 104 in Liberty Village in Toronto. Above all other places, my friend Michelle wanted me to go there with her and dine in honour of the foodie gods. Our day may have started at St. Lawrence Market and detoured at Starbucks but it was Mildred’s Temple Kitchen that was Michelle’s true dining goal.
We arrived just after 5:30, right after it re-opened for dinner. There was quite a little party happening in the front room but the rest of the restaurant past the bar was quiet at first. Perfect!
Despite it being a freakishly-cold and dark May day in Ontario, the restaurant gleams with natural light thanks to the floor-to-ceiling windows.
I was on a tight budget this visit so Michelle insisted on treating me. Have I told you how awesomely generous she is? Because if I haven’t, I should. Michelle rocks.
We began with the gnudi which I had never had before. It was made with buffalo milk ricotta, egg, flour, nutmeg with sage butter. I thought for sure this was a dish I would not connect too deeply with. The combination of the sweet with the savoury in the shape of air-defying pillows seemed odd to me but I could not have been more incorrect. The balance was perfect. The fresh flavour of the ricotta juxtaposed with the sage was then heightened by the nutmeg.
Do you see that pool of glistening butter? So close to perfection, this dish could have made me cry if I was dining in private. Seriously. I love it when a dish surprises me with its brilliance.
Michelle and I both ordered the beef short ribs. It had a caramel glaze of coffee and olive and was served with spring onion mashed potatoes and garlic braised rapini… we absolutely could not order anything else. It sounded too good to be true.
The meat was fork tender and that glaze? OMG, that GLAZE! Total perfection. It went so perfectly with the slow-cooked meat. I wanted to gnaw on the bone, it was that good. Luckily all the meat easily fell off. When the last piece was gone, I was actually sad.
Please note that if you order the lemonade you may be brought to tears due to its over-the-top sourness. It is my opinion it contained no traceable sweetener so I had to dilute it with water throughout the night for it not to go to waste.
Here comes dessert and her name is Venus. Venus Bar to be exact: “layers of dark chocolate marquis, whipped ganache, caramel, salted peanut nougat & toasted banana marshmallow”.
Holy Mama what a dessert! Unfortunately I destroyed it by trying to eat half of it horizontally which Michelle enjoyed pointing out. But there was no destroying this sweet monster, even between the two of us. We were defeated. That said, I thought the dessert would be a little lighter but not this sucker. Perhaps it was too frozen but it was a beast in more ways than one.
There was a wild surprise that I was not expecting at all as we prepared to leave. While I was freshening up I was surprised to hear a recording of the aircraft safety message playing in the washrooms. Over and over again. I had landed in Toronto just over 48 hours ago so it was an absolutely surreal experience, one I will not forget.
Michelle also bought me a copy of the restaurant’s cookbook Out to Brunch. My first real dining experience in Toronto during my stay and I was already spoiled rotten.
It was a truly unforgettable eating experience. A very long day for this foodie but absolutely worth it. If they had the temperature under control and sweetened their lemonade, this review would be a five out of five. Oh heck, whatever. It was still truly one of the best meals I have ever had.
I give this restaurant five out of five wooden spoons.